Archive for the ‘Descriptive Television’ Category

Reid My Mind Radio: Joshua Miele – The Maker

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Picture of Joshua Miele

This latest episode of RMM Radio features a profile of a very accomplished Scientist who has been defined for something that occurred as a child. Today, we’re going to explore what helped him get to running his own lab at Smith Kettlewell, creating and launching the YouDescribe service and his latest venture, creating a community for Blind Makers to develop robots and more using the ArduinoPicture of the Arduino with exposed circuitry

Listen now and meet Joshua Miele , the Scientist, Physicist, Inventor… the Maker! Then don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the RMM Radio Podcast

Resources: – Blind ArduinoJoshua Miele on TwitterThe San Francisco LighthouseSmith Kettlewell

2016 Oscars Audio Description Included?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

This past Sunday February 28 I tuned into the 88th Academy Awards to hear how Chris Rock handled the so called controversy. If you’re not familiar, with several movies this year featuring African American actors delivering what many would describe as Oscar worthy performances, for the second year in a row not a single African American or to my knowledge any person of color was nominated for an Oscar. Jada Pinkett Smith, actor and wife to Will Smith who delivered one of those performances, decided to call for a boycott. Now I know many are thinking, “Yo T, how the hell does that relate to audio description? Hang on, I’ll get there!

Chris Rock who was scheduled to host the Oscars prior to the call for a boycott was urged by some to quit. I didn’t agree with that. In fact, if we had some sort of “Black Council” formed to deal with such matters, and I was appointing the person to address the issue in the role of host, I honestly can’t think of another entertainer who could do a better job. Chris hits hard, no apologies, but does it in a way that is funny and entertaining to most. He can administer the medicine which may be hard to swallow for some, but it goes down. And everybody’s getting some medicine!

His opening monolog put the issue into perspective while the simple summary captured the goal of the ultimate desire prompting a boycott “…we want opportunity. We want black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors.”

Following Chris’ monolog I was half listening to the list of nominees in the first category; when I noticed the voice of one of the presenters providing audio description for the nominated scene. I stopped browsing the web and listened carefully. Unfortunately, by that time, the winner was announced and I didn’t even hear which category. I thought to myself, “Wow, do they actually have a category for best description?” I went back to the web. A few minutes later, once again I hear what sounds like audio description. This time coming from no other than Russell Crow. I know that voice, that’s Gladiator, I can tell you details about the day I saw that movie – if you have a lot of time to spare!

So by this time, I was getting excited. Yes, I get pretty happy when there’s an effort made to include access for me and others with vision loss. I’m a fan of movies and now I almost only watch a movie if it includes audio description.

If it weren’t for the Oscar’s lack of diversity as in #OscarsSoWhite, I wouldn’t have heard about the inclusion of description. I’m pretty in tuned to the blindness community and things related. Shouldn’t I have heard that the Academy Awards were offering audio description?

I sat up, grabbed my digital recorder in anticipation of the next category. I’m going to express my gratitude, I thought. I want to publicly congratulate the Academy for including me, including us! The next category is announced and I hit record…, nothing! No description. “Ok, that makes sense, “I think to myself, “way too much dialog in the scene to include description.”

Fast forward through the next few categories…, nothing!

“Ouie, What’s up with that…!” – Keenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

So was I the only person hearing voices that night?

Nope. From the clip above someone else heard it.

 

2016 Oscars Audio Description, What happened?

  • You missed the other categories including description (0%, 0 Votes)
  • The description included was only applicable to the first two award categories. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • This was a test for some future project. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • It was a tease! (0%, 0 Votes)
  • You are hallucinating. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 0

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As with every under represented group of people…”We just want to be included”

I Want To Believe

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

I was planning to write a post on the return of one of my favorite shows, the X-Files. My idea was to either write a post or record an episode of Reid My Mind Radio on the experience. As the days moved closer to this past Sunday January 24 which was the premiere of the new revival, I reflected on how I used to enjoy this television show through most of its time on the air.

When the 6 episode series was announced I was excited but automatically reserved my excitement until I could determine if audio description would be included enabling me to fully enjoy and understand the story line. X-files like other shows rely a lot on scenery, facial expressions, visual clues and more. While my wife and I enjoy watching this together as we did years ago, I prefer not to rely on her or anyone for the descriptive information. Well, anyone other than the narrator providing the professionally produced audio description. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the effort; I just don’t want to feel as though I am stopping anyone from fully enjoying their own experience.

Once I confirmed that Fox would include audio description I allowed my excitement to take over. I have watched other   broadcasts of audio described content on my home television. Most recently my family and I watched the live performance of the Wiz in December on NBC.

After waiting for the NFC Championship game coverage to finally wrap up, my wife and I were extremely disappointed when it was clear that the audio described track was not being transmitted via my local cable provider.

My original assumption was that the Fox affiliate, FOX-56 WOLF – Hazleton, PA, carried by Blue Ridge Cable, my provider, was not in the top 60 markets. As per the regulation stated by the Federal Communications Commission:

“FCC rules require local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC located in the top 60 TV markets (see list below) to provide 50 hours per calendar quarter (about 4 hours per week) of video-described prime time and/or children’s programming. “

Any thought as to who ranks 55? Yep, Hazleton, PA which means FOX 56-WOLF is required to pass the audio description track via SAP.

I contacted Blue Ridge to determine what can be done to resolve the problem. My issue has been elevated to the next level support and I am waiting for a response. My hope is that they will be able to resolve the issue. Otherwise I may have to contact WOLF – and let’s hope this one isn’t big or bad!

The title of this post, “I want to believe,” is borrowed from the X-Files. While this refers to UFO’s and other paranormal activity, I simply want to believe that a time will come when I don’t have to always be concerned about accessibility. In this case it’s access to the non-spoken content of a television show. Last week the accessibility challenge presented itself in a work related application requiring a CAPTCHA – the graphic that contains a picture of some letters that had to be entered in order to continue with a specific process.

I want to believe that tomorrow, I will just have access! And next week I will enjoy the X-Files with audio description.

**UPDATE*

I received a call from the support representative – there was a technical issue with a receiver… the problem seems to be resolved. I’ll report back after next Monday’s episode!

Reid My Mind Radio: The Super Hero Behind Marvel’s Daredevil

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Netflix launched their new series Marvel’s Daredevil earlier this month. While they received some negative feedback from the blind community and others for not including audio description, this piece doesn’t address that. However, be sure to check out the piece I did for the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind’s Talking Advocacy & government titled Behind the Scenes of Netflix Advocacy.

 

I was fortunate to have a chance to talk to Joe Strechay from the American Foundation for the Blind. He is the man behind Daredevil…well hit play and find out what I mean!

 

 

Reid My Mind Radio – What is Blind Sighted

Friday, April 24th, 2015