Posts Tagged ‘Captions’

Flipping the Script on Audio Description: NO ONE WILL SAVE US

Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Graphic: Amidst the isolation of a barren island and beach, an eerie scene unfolds. The darkness is punctuated only by the desperate silhouette of people, grasping towards a distant beam of light in the starry night sky. The text reads: NO ONE WILL SAVE US.

Going beyond the mainstream audio description conversation is the objective of Flipping the Script. But if that conversation is promoting advocacy, then it just makes sense for the podcast.

In this two part series we’re looking at what we, all of us who appreciate AD and want to see it improve, can do about those things jeopardizing it’s future growth.

Today, we deal with what seems to be the inevitable comparison of audio description to captions. Michael McNeely, a Toronto based Deafblind lawyer, joins us to talk about captions. Are they really the North star that should be guiding how we advocate for audio description?



Show the transcript


What’s up Reid My Mind Radio family.
Thanks for joining me this week.

In thinking about this episode, I decided to open the vault.

— Sound of a large vault door opening/ closing

— Music begins; a joyful fun mid tempo groove.

This podcast has been in existence since 2014 so yes, I’m referring to the archives as the vault because I think there’s value in what’s going on 9 years of episodes.

In 2015 when all of the episodes were really being produced for Gatewave Radio, I produced a couple of episodes on audio description. One was about Marvel’s Daredevil and what many believed was a bad move by Netflix in releasing the series without providing access for Blind viewers in the form of audio description.

We learned later that behind the scenes, even before the release of Daredevil, there were conversations taking place that helped lead to the success we enjoy today.

Less than ten years later, the future of AD doesn’t feel as bright as it did back then.

Who do we turn to? What do we do?

Sometimes it feels like “NO ONE WILL SAVE US”!
That’s up next, but first let me protect the archive and close the vault!

— Sound of vault closing as the kick drum of the intro music.

— Reid My Mind Theme Music

Today’s conversation, ultimately is about advocacy.
And we know this isn’t new.
It feels like so much of what we as disabled people want;
access to employment, art & culture, transportation… you name it, requires a significant amount of advocacy.

This is Flipping the Script so we’re specifically talking about audio description,
but personally I feel there’s lessons that go beyond AD and apply to us all no matter the specific disability.

One form of advocacy is making space for the conversation.
That’s not a one time thing. It requires re-visiting and hopefully bringing in new people and new ideas.

Sometimes, we have to challenge the ideas that are put forth.

Like when in conversation with other Blind people on the subject of improving and increasing audio description, someone inevitably says something like;

TR in Conversation with Michael:
Why can’t audio description be more like captions?

What’s your response to that idea that oh the Deaf community has it all together captions are great, blind people need to learn from that to get audio description, to meet that same sort of level?

Yes. That’s a great question. I think, first of all, it’s one oppressed group talking badly about another. I think an oppressed group is doing better than they are, which, unfortunately, is one of the hallmarks of oppression in general. So when jealous of someone else with a disability, then that’s part of the problem. Secondly, I don’t think captions are as commonplace as they should be. I really do try and advocate for both captions and audio description. And both of them just need advocacy throughout.

That’s Michael McNeely.

I live in Toronto, Canada. I work as a lawyer for the Department of Justice. I’m also a filmmaker and a film critic. I provide film criticism for AMI TV, which is a new station in Canada.
I have about 6000 listeners for my film criticism. And I have also released a film today. It’s called advocacy Club.

TR in Conversation with Michael:
Tell me about it.

It’s a documentary about my former work place which is called Canadian Helen Keller Center. It’s also located in Toronto. It’s a training center for people who are Deafblind. And it’s a residential center.

I was an advocacy instructor. And now I’m just a lawyer on consult.

I was helping clients with any issues that they had with regard to just standing up for themselves, or advocating.

It’s about why these people need to stand up for the issues that they keep having in their lives, and how we became closer together as a result.


According to the film’s web page, Michael is the first Deafblind person to direct a film. You can learn more about the film at

TR in Conversation with Michael:
Tell me a little bit about your relationship to disability. I don’t get too much into the diagnoses and all that, but whatever you want to share around your relationship with disability.

I don’t even remember my diagnosis. I just remember that my geneticist is really excited about me, because she seems to have discovered a new disease. I told her to name it after me.

As far as I know, I’ve always been disabled my whole life. This is who I am. This is what you get. I’m actually fascinated by how other people perceive my disability.

So sometimes people think that being deafblind is the saddest thing in the world. I don’t think it’s the saddest thing in the world. There’s a lot of things that I do have privilege. And I’m happy to use my privilege for the common good.


If only more people thought about their privilege that way. That’s another story, but for now back to the question, are captions really the north star for access?

So in Canada, we have movie theaters that are mostly run by Cineplex, I would say they have a monopoly set up that uses the CaptiView machine, which is a device that you can put into your cupholder and watch captions that way. Not all movies work with this.
So it really depends on institutional knowledge, as well as the movie has been made compatible with the technology. Unfortunately, for a lot of people with vision challenges, the CaptiView device, would not be accessible to them, since it’s quite small. So you have to be able to read the words in the caption of your machine to gain any benefit from it. Let’s talk about open captions.


Open captions don’t require any specialized technology, they’re on screen for anyone to see.


Just like when you go to the gym, people can’t hear the TV. So you read the caption.

I think open captions will change the dialogue of captioning in general. Because you should be able to see a caption anytime you watch a movie.

That visibility normalizes access.
No longer is it hidden away and others will be able to report when captions aren’t working properly or even available.

Similar to many of our experiences with AD, captions aren’t always available. Sometimes it’s the technology, other times it’s a film that was delivered without them all together; in theater and at home.

TR in Conversation with Michael:
How about the streaming captions?
Good question. So I’ve been buying a lot of different subscriptions to streaming services, and I cancel them.
If I remember, within a trial subscription period, but I try and do that just to see how good the caption is, and how reliable it is. I think Disney plus is pretty good at that Netflix is doing captioning very well. Amazon sometimes does not have things captioned. But I emailed the customer service. I’ve asked them to put captions in. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they haven’t. I try and make an argument that if I pay for a subscription service, than I’m paying for 100% accessibility.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Amazon’s subscription service is tied to Prime. Nor do I think it’s a coincidence that Michael has experienced a lack of captions on the platform.

For many disabled people however, cancelling a service like Hulu is much easier than cancelling their Prime account.

The latter makes purchasing all sorts of products accessible and extremely convenient. And I don’t doubt that they are fully aware of this.

We discussed access in movie theaters , at home on television and streaming… film festivals?


Some are better, and some are worse. I’ve actually filed a human rights complaint against the film festival that was not attempting to be accessible.

You just want to know how much of the content is accessible. So if you can say 100% of the films have closed captioned in 30% have audio description now might be a good way to advertise before buying tickets for it.

One of the recommendations I’ve made was can film festivals to provide discounted passes for people with disabilities, not just because people with disabilities t to make less money, but also because the content is less accessible. So for example, if the Toronto International Film Festival has 300 movies, but only 200 of those movies are accessible , I suppose then should only be paying for those 200 movies instead of a full market price.


Advocating with our dollars as well as our voices. I support it!

I’m starting to think that ubiquitous captions aren’t actually a thing.
And even though captions which are indeed more widely available in comparison to audio description, similar to AD, it doesn’t guarantee quality.

Yes, quality and consistency isn’t now. But I know it’s not the captionist fault.

I have great respect for the Captionists.
I’ve seen them work in person, especially in the court system. They probably don’t have time to think about the content. They just have time to type in as fast as they can.


It’s not about blaming one party. Every role in the process plays a part. Executives set the standard by creating a climate of inclusion. Insisting that access is a part of the culture from the beginning. Making sure to include the community to determine what’s good access.
Choosing not to procure services solely by price and paying attention to quality.

As Michael said, we can use the power of our dollars by not supporting services offering poor quality. And sometimes that just means walking away altogether.

I stopped watching reality TV, and I stopped watching news, because the captions wasn’t doing it for me.


One of the things with watching live entertainment is that the captioning doesn’t keep up.
I was watching the news. And I was reading in the caption that a serial killer was on the loose and had killed a few people. When I looked at the TV I was interested in what the segment was about. It was a senior quilting festival so I thought maybe there was a serial killer loose at the seniors quilting festival.

I haven’t been able to watch the news since.

TR in Conversation with Michael:
Wow. Wow.So the captions were that bad, frequently?

it’s better to watch a documentary. Because you know that there’s been Yes. post production done with it.

TR in Conversation with Michael:
What about automated captions?

Oh my goodness. We use the automated captioning on Zoom. And I can tell you that it never gets it right. It is one of the most distracting things I could ever imagine. It comes up with the most ridiculous things that I’ve never said or would ever say.
For example, it said something about a whale’s anatomy. I wasn’t even talking about whales or anatomy.


One of the problems around automated captions is context. Even when it does properly transcribe what someone is saying, it doesn’t include the speakers name.


So that can be hard sometimes. As a lawyer, I need to know who I’m speaking to sometimes.

as you probably noticed, I have an accent, I have a deaf accent. So sometimes the captioning doesn’t understand my accent. And it can be insulting. Because it reminds me that I have an accent, it reminds me that I have speech problems. So it’s one of those things that makes me feel like I’m taking a step backwards.

On another note, if you’re asking someone who’s deaf or hearing impaired to try and interpret the caption you’re asking them to make themselves tired before 10am.

if I play , let’s guess the word Thomas said, the game gets pretty old, there’s no prize. I don’t know if I win or not.


I feel similarly about watching content without AD.

I can try to follow along as best I can but I won’t know unless I’m in conversation with someone who had full access or research online. Not really the way I personally like to watch movies.

My choice? Well crafted culturally competent description written with love that centers the Blind community. And the best way to make that happen?

Making the film at the beginning with an awareness of descriptive audio.

Let’s say I was going to make a slasher film. And what I did to ensure that my audience understands what’s happening, I’m probably going to put in some pauses, I’m going to put in some reflective periods, I’m going to not have that action happen all at once. It’s never going to be a bit longer movie, but it’s going to be more accessible. And it’s going to make the point that everyone can enjoy this kind of film. We don’t expect blind people to go see this slasher movie, but perhaps they can if it was accessible for them.


That’s audio description not only as access, but something we promote here quite often; seeing audio description as a creative tool rather than a mandated requirement.

When you’re talking about compliance, it’s already too late to actually make much of a difference.

If you’re talking about compliance, it sounds like you’re leaving it to the last minute. it just comes off as not caring enough about people with disabilities. It’s just checking off something. It’s just doing something that a computer does, by itself. It’s not actually useful unless you go in and check it yourself.

See how the lines just got blurred?

This is true for both audio description and captions.

We talk about the opportunity to be more creative with AD and have seen a range of examples of that. Opportunities exist for captions as well. For example, color coded fonts to represent different people or emotion. However, some of the creative ideas like moving the captions off the bottom third break access.

Because if you don’t know where the words are on the screen, then it’s not really helping anybody.

Imagination is unlimited. But one of the challenges is, how can you be creative and accessible in the center?

TR in Conversation with Michael:
I also heard about the lack of description of all things sound in captions, would you say there’s like a need for improvement there? So for example, when music plays how descriptive are they about the music that’s in the background? Do you get that at all?

If there’s a fight scene, and the caption says birds chirping in the background, I’m like, who cares? Unless the bird is actually involved in this fight.

I’ve seen captions that when there’s a person walking on the street, it says street sounds. When the person driving, it says driving sounds. Obviously this person’s driving, and obviously that’s making sounds so give me some new information about that.

It’s that classic philosophical question. How do I describe blue to you as a person who is completely blind? How would you describe sound to me?
Not every person is the same.

TR in Conversation with Michael:
Right. Depending on what the film is, when he’s talking about describing blue, is the color blue important? Or is it more about the feeling?
Is this relating to the Blues as in sadness, or is this something else?

100% I’ve just been learning about the color aspects of filmmaking. If you want someone to feel relaxed then they use lots of greens and blues. If you want someone to feel angry or violent you’d probably use red. That kind of thing.

TR in Conversation with Michael:
So, what would you like to see more from caption writers?

Let the caption writers introduce themselves at the beginning and provide a contact.

I think that’s always something that made me feel better when I was at court , because I knew it was Joanne that was doing the captioning. And Mark , that was doing the captioning. And it was a human being.

It’s not surprising that those companies producing solid AD t to include their company name and both writer and narrator in the credits. One has to wonder why this isn’t standard practice for both AD and captions.

I think it’s about accountability, providing the service.

I think we just get this tendency where people with disabilities are supposed to just accepts what’s given to them, just because we don’t have anything better.

We assume that everything we receive is okay, everything that we receive, gives us the equal playing field, it gives us better advantages than other people in life. That’s definitely Because there’s a lack of transparency and communication about the accommodations that have been delivered.

Michael even suggested a feedback form where folks could comment on the quality of the captions.

I talked about something similar for AD during one of our BCAD Chats.
That’s Blind Centered Audio Description Chats which you can find in this podcasts feed or head over to

Shout out to my fellow BCAD Chat partners Nefertiti Matos Olivares and Cheryl Green.

I have some pretty good ideas around how such a feedback form, well really a full website could function. Providing not only a means for feedback but community as well.
Anyone wanting to finance such a project, hit me up at

Now that we heard from someone quite familiar with captions, do you think that’s the bar we as advocates for audio description should be striving to reach?

Think about that while I bring on our next guests

— Music begins, a bright mid-tempo beat!
Hi, my name is Eric Wickstrom. I am the director of audio description for international digital center. pronouns are he him?

Hi, my name is Rhys Lloyd. I’m the studio head for Descriptive Video Works. My pronouns are he him.

When anyone asks me for examples of quality audio description tracks for networks and streaming platforms, IDC and DVW are the two I tell people to check out.

Are their others? Yes. But they don’t check off the boxes that these two do.
Let’s keep it real! IDC helped kick off the inclusion and hiring of Blind narrators. Their not the first, but to my knowledge they’ve done the most. If I’m wrong, please educate me –

DVW also is doing the same and employs Blind QC.

I asked each of them to bring three to five issues that most threaten the future of AD and some thoughts as to what we can do about them.

That’s next in part two of this episode of Flipping the Script on Audio Description I’m calling;

Big shout out to my guest, Michael McNeely , for shedding a little light on captions.

Make sure you tune back in for part two of this conversation.
The best way to do that;
Follow or subscribe to Reid My Mind Radio wherever you get podcasts.
There’s transcripts and more over at
Remember, you got to spell it!
That’s R to the E, I D!

Sample “D, and that’s me in the place to be!” Slick Rick

Like my last name.

— Reid My Mind Radio Outro

Hide the transcript

FTS Bonus: Andrew Slater Making Sound

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

This is the last bonus episode which stems from the Flipping the Script on Audio Description: What We See episode where I linked visual hallucinations, trust and the participation of Blind people in audio description.

Andrew Slater and I talk about producing audio description, hallucinations, synesthesia and more.

A couple of standout Quotables that I hope will resonate with those new to blindness:

“There’s no shame in the cane”
“That’s not a chip on my shoulder. That’s just my reaction to ableism”

Check out this article from the Washington Post that features Andrew following his public request on Tick Tock for someone to describe the Alabama Brawl.


Show the transcript

What’s up Reid My Mind Radio family?
Can you believe the summer is almost done?

Usually that would also mean we’d be wrapping up the Flipping the Script season. Not this year.

Today, I’m bringing you the final FTS bonus episode.
As a reminder, each of the bonus conversations were used in the What We See episode where
I linked discussions about visual hallucinations, trust and Blind participation in audio description. Hopefully you checked that out and you dug where I’m coming from.
I decided to share these semi raw conversations because the three gentlemen Carmen Papalia, Collin van Uchelen and Andrew Slater had lots of good information and ideas to offer.
Semi raw because I did just a bit of cooking or editing to make it a bit easier to digest.
But these episodes aren’t representative of what we usually do here at Reid My Mind Radio.
Meaning, there’s no narration or analysis, sound design or music.

Today’s episode features Andrew Slater.

By the way, shout out to Andrew who was recently featured in a Washington Post article following his
public request on Tick Tock for audio description of the Alabama brawl.
The result proves to be some awesome examples of creative description.

I’ll link you to the article over at this episode’s blog post at

Since we’re in the middle of celebrating 50 years of Hip Hop, I’ll drop another little reference for those who know…

Now, Reid My Mind Radio is this podcast’s name
Andrew Slater is his…
I’m T.Reid It’s like that and that’s the way it is!

Reid My Mind Radio Intro

Andrew 00:00
My name is Andy Slater. I am a sound designer, composer and accessibility person professionally. My pronouns are he him, I’m a middle aged white man with dirty blonde hair, a full red beard with some gray. Right now I’m wearing a red t shirt with white lettering that says I am not Daredevil. One of my favorite personal traits is that my left eye turns inward. So I see double a lot and I’ve got big bushy wizard eyebrows.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 00:32
Two things. Number one, love the t shirt. Just letting everybody know. Do they stop you and ask you, “Excuse me?”

Andrew 00:40
Just point to the shirt.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 00:45

So Sandy blonde hair and red beard? I’ve never heard that.

Andrew 00:49
Yeah, yeah, it’s uh, I mean, when I was a kid, I was strawberry blonde, I believe was the term which is kind of a reddish blonde, and then my hair got more brown, but I’m a ginger from like, the ears down. You got the salt and pepper beard. But mine’s like, salt and cayenne.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 01:11

You know, I don’t get too much into this. But briefly, tell me a little bit about your relationship with disability,

Andrew 01:16
oh, gosh, well, my relationship with disability, I like a lot of visually impaired people that maybe their sight has, has gone downhill gradually took a while to not necessarily, I don’t know, admit or accept my disability, but to realize that I was disabled. You know, I realized when I was a kid, I couldn’t see. But I didn’t really know what any of that meant, you know, it was the 80s. Right? It kind of wasn’t until I was a full time cane user, which was about 2009 When I started just never leaving the house without it. And kind of fighting with that stigma, having the white cane and people messing with me telling me that I’m not blind or, you know, faking it and that kind of thing. And realizing that I’m not going to be able to avoid or ignore this. So I started becoming more of an advocate for myself. And still not even necessarily knowing anything about people with other disabilities other than blindness in my own relationship to the lived experience of other people that I’ve met. And I’d say like, about 2014 15, or something. I met some people local to Chicago, that are involved in Bodies of Work, which is like a disability arts culture sort of organization that does a lot of arts events, and, you know, some support, and they work with through the University of Illinois Chicago Disability Center there. And I met somebody named Carrie Sandor and Sandy Yee, who are both disabled scholars, and artists and stuff. And they were like, You got to come and meet some of our folks. And so I met a whole bunch of really cool, sort of rowdy radical disabled people and was like, these are my people, I can swear and drink and be just myself and say, you know, screw this and screw this person and all that other kind of stuff and just learned about ableism and then the, the aesthetics behind being a Crip. And that sort of thing, which, you know, made me realize, you know, what, man, Andy, you are who you are, just keep doing that. Since then, I’ve been a loudmouth for myself and others really big on access for everybody. I collaborate a lot with people with disabilities different than mine. And then, of course, you know, other blind visually impaired folks. So now, I, you know, could have said 20 something years ago, I’m 48. Now, maybe yeah, 20 maybe even earlier, I would have been praying for a cure every day. And now it’s like, I’ll wait. I’m happy with my life. I have a career doing what I do. And it’s a lot of it is based around my lived experience. My own disability knowledge and being cured isn’t as important as it once was.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 04:13
Awesome. That was a great answer. You know, every time I hear someone who has the, what I’m gonna call now the luxury of being around a Disability Cultural Center. Yeah, I’m just like, always fascinated, man, because I’ve never been in that space. Like physically. I’m involved with disability culture online, but it’s like, wow, that just sounds fantastic to be able to just be in that space physically.

Andrew 04:41
Chicago’s got a we have a bunch of different resources in groups. I mean, even like, the Chicago the Mayor’s Office of People with disabilities have some real radical cool people in they’re not just like, people that pity who their clients are and like the mayor’s are office isn’t like that. And there’s also a place called Access Living, which is not at all like that either Bodies of Work and like the Chicago disability art scene here is just, it’s just so dope. Everybody here is so supportive, not one person would have, like a gallery show or a performance or anything, like a reading or something that wasn’t accessible. Nobody does an art show that doesn’t have image description. Nobody does a performance or theater that doesn’t have audio description, or ASL or CART. Often, there’s like sensory chill rooms. You know, we all got each other’s back. And I think it has to do with a lot of people that like, we’re involved in that sort of like, disability rights and advocacy in art and stuff, like in the 70s and 80s. But you got to city, not up in the mountains. Yeah, got a lot more people. Were going to places much more mobile. But yeah, these kinds of spaces, you know, I’ve run across them, like, even internationally. And usually, it’s like, you got the cool people in there. You go into like, a blindness convention. It’s cool. But the biggest problem is that there’s an agenda and there’s no chill time. These spaces are, are wonderful. And even, like, virtually, but like, having that personal local connection is like, this is real important. Yeah. And it’s total, it’s a total privilege. You’re right, total privilege.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 06:23
Tell me a little bit about your work, how you came to work with sound and, and everything that you do.

Andrew 06:28
I was like, 15, or 16, right. And I got a Tascam, four to seven, like multitrack cassette recorder. And I was in this really horrible industrial punk band. I was like singing and my parents wanted to buy me an instrument, for whatever reason. And I was like, I want this tape deck. And I got that and I started messing around with like, doing sound collage stuff and more like what I found out to be like, you know, music con Cret, sort of like, using a bunch of like, found and appropriated sounds I took from like, sound effects records and audio books and TV, I used to draw and paint a lot when I was a kid. And when my, my vision in high school started getting to the point where I could no longer do what I wanted to do, I got discouraged, but then I realized, like, oh, I can just make some weird sound art stuff, you know, without really known what that was. And so I started doing that. Eventually, it was time for me to get up out of Milford, Connecticut and move away and go to college. And so I moved to Chicago to go to the school, the Art Institute, because I had a sound department and learned all about audio, more so on the creative side than the vocational side at the time, you know, like using a lot of like analog synthesizers, and early samplers and learning on reel to reels and going through like a dat all the way up to Pro Tools. And then you know, a whole bunch of other stuff. I realized now that my work was, you know, informed by my visual impairment but not about it. And I dropped out of college and I went back like a decade later to get that degree, and kind of picked up where I left off, but started thinking more about like my disability because my vision had gotten I guess worse. It started also thinking more vocationally than creative, like paying more attention on how to maybe go and record a band in a way that was more organized and more professional than whatever I was doing with my dirty four track and some basement, right. And I started getting more into sound design for like filming videos, collaborating with some other, you know, with some artists, friends of mine and doing stuff, recording a band that I’m in, started experimenting with, like, you know, what, how do you make a psychedelic funk band sound the way that it should? By yourself without really knowing what the hell you’re doing? And I figured that out, right? And that was like, oh, yeah, music is cool. As long as I have like, complete control over it. At that time, I was just doing what I wanted to do. And then having a really hard time navigating Pro Tools, which I use, you know, zooming in a lot magnified, and never even like, tried to use it with the screen reader because I wasn’t even trained in that. And eventually I did. I got training from this program called IC music on how to use Pro Tools with VoiceOver. And my workflow was like super fast, I get all this stuff done. And I started realizing that I no longer have headaches from zooming in all the time. I can just get all this stuff done so quickly and started thinking you know what, I really need to consider this more as a career and not just weird Andy stuff. I started doing a lot of field recordings with my cane, going from one place to the next using these sounds, activate acoustic spaces and just do these kinds of weird collage sort of things composed from these sources and then realizing that I don’t know anybody else that does this. You know, I don’t know any other blind folks that use their cane sort of like as a sound maker or an instrument or even just to kind of end up using like the acoustic space at As an instrument itself, and since I realized that Shure microphones makes an app that’s accessible on iOS, it’s when I started doing field recordings again, you know, all that digital stuff, like all the early zooms, and everything like that, where everything was digital, and I could no longer see that little box and menu dive and stuff. You know, I was kind of like, you know what, I got the Shure MV88 plugged in into the phone, walked all over the world with it and made these recordings and thought I was, you know, I was happy doing that. I’m doing really, you know, crappy jobs, but getting social security at the same time, then I kind of found out about like, Ambisonics, unlike immersive spatial audio, stuff for like VR, and extended reality and all that other stuff, I decided I wanted to go and get a degree at Northwestern. And so I went and did that in the sound arts and industries school with a focus on the sort of like immersive, more media arts sort of stuff that is a medium itself that’s still growing and progressing. And then wanting to work in that finding out all of these like access barriers, finding workarounds and such. But then realizing that it would be really cool if I learned this and then got in the industry. And as all this tech and all these, like, you know, this Metaverse or whatever they want to call it. Now, as that grows, I want you to like want access to kind of grow parallel with it. So in my current job, my job job not like my personal private commissions and stuff, I work for a company called fair worlds. And I do you know, sound design stuff, whether it’s from like, user interface, like UI, like bleep blurb, sort of dunk, dunk kind of things, like you press the button, and it makes that sound kind of thing to compose and music to sound effects to you. VoiceOver and dialogue, editing and all this stuff for our apps and videos and whatever the projects may be. And then also working a lot on like spatial audio and applying these to the apps where if it’s gameplay, and the audio spatialized, it’s kind of easier for a blind or visually impaired person to play these games based on where the sound is, you know, all those kinds of things, being able to work within the industry where we have clients, and we have some of the companies that we work with, using their software, beta testing their software and stuff, having the ear of those people in those companies on how important access is like, you know, you could make your thing accessible. And all you got to do is this, having those conversations and some sometimes they go somewhere, sometimes we just got to show them like No, no, here, you know, it’s really, really kind of easy, you just really need to know what you’re talking about. And trying to get in there as a as a creator. And then also, as a consumer of like, this is accessible tech and these sort of things being both, like you know, trying to play video games, but then also trying to make the video games kind of gives me a this perspective that not a whole lot of other people have. But then some of the other stuff I do is like for my own art commissions, I’ll do stuff for performance and gallery, I exhibit a lot. And then I’m also doing like accessibility audits for some websites and museums and stuff. And then I’ll also work on creating like access content, like image description and audio description for like film and museums and, and that kind of thing. So it’s like, that is also still a big part of like my art practice. My art is now like, becoming access for somebody else’s project, but then also also for other people’s products. Our last project, this app that’s launching next week called Space Time adventure towards like, it’s specific to the Seattle Center. It’s about like the 1962 World’s Fair. My sound designs are all vintage retro sci fi like using the Theremin and then all these robot sounds and all this like really fun sort of stuff, and, you know, cool jazz and surf music and stuff, all the stuff that I used to do in the 90s at school or even as a kid. I’m now getting paid, paid to do this. I was always a kid was like, making these sounds just because, you know, undiagnosed ADHD and such. But now I get paid to do that. It’s really important. And it’s really cool. And it’s like, Man, how did I do this? Oh, a lot of it has to do the fact that I decided to go to grad school against my, well, at the time, I was like, this is going to cost an arm and leg. I don’t know. It’s gonna be really bad. This is going to break me. But I went and you know, the place I work for now is where I had my internship in 2020. So I’ve been there for like three years and the house is wonderful. And I wish that more blind folks have these kinds of opportunities and I think they’re there I think we just need to get that tech right to where it is and then get people that like education and training like like it I see music. I learned Reaper too all the key commands conflict with my Pro Tools. My memory, so I just like, I know how Reaper works. But you know, you know, I chose Pro Tools, but, you know, it’s like the Reaper community is huge. And and these are things that, you know, I think if we you know, we get more and more these sorts of tools into blind people’s hands and, you know, get them to be the creators because you know, I mean, I don’t want to say we’re the experts in sound, but I would trust a blind person with sound more than I would a sighted person. And I’m biased, but I truly believe that. So I’d love to see more people get these kinds of jobs. That way, I don’t have to take everything that’s offered to me, because I’m afraid it’ll never get done. If I don’t

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 15:44
tell me about your your first experience with audio description first, as a consumer.

Andrew 15:49
You know, I was thinking about that the other day, like, what was the first film that I ever saw in the theater, and I don’t remember now, but I do remember my first experience was, like Christmas time, I want to say maybe 20 years ago, maybe even longer than that. The Foundation Fighting Blindness used to show It’s A Wonderful Life with open audio description, on TV, whatever channel and I always thought that was wild, I thought that was great. At the time, I could see well enough where I didn’t think that I needed the audio description, but I paid a lot of attention to it. It was an old movie where the sound was at this big Boombastic. Michael Bay mess, the audio description didn’t really mess with the sound of the film, and it kind of like elevated over but still mixed in kind of thing. And I really took to that. And I think that one of the first films I saw in the theater had to have been, I want to say 14 years ago, whatever it may have been, the movie theater made me give them like my ID or something like that. And I was like, Oh, this is cool. I’m digging this in those early years. And I mean, I guess still to this day, you still got to always double check with the theater, like, does this thing work? Do you have the right one, give me two Behling the listening experience hasn’t really changed much other than I think the quality of the audio descriptions better, I still have to cover an ear sometimes to in order to like hear the description. But I can go and do that stuff with my family. You know, um, it might have been something like, Captain America movie or something like that. That’s why I was loving going into the Marvel and then Disney movies and stuff like that, because it’s like, I know that their audio descriptions on point, like Pixar, they really kind of champion that stuff early on the stuffs on point. And it’s always gonna be there. So okay, brand loyalty to, you know, corporate overlords. There we go. It’s like I love apple and Disney and Marvel and such because I feel invited and I can use it. And then, you know, I kind of got into these opportunities with working with other artists are navigating, like, Hey, Andy, how do I how do I do this? For my own work? But the time I didn’t really know how, what if there was a book of what to do and what not to do. So I just started being like, I don’t know, this is art, let’s be weird. You know, you can be subjective man, like, make it another art piece and play a parallel or whatever, keep experimenting, the ACB audio description project, really great examples there, love that database and stuff. But I’ve also come across people citing that as the end all be all, you know, and it’s like, yeah, it’s to the point, it just totally depends on what the project is. My favorite experiences is watching like, The Video Game Awards, or the Game Awards, or whatever that thing was called, like, two years ago. And they had to describe stream, which was live and the woman reading it or narrating it was just having a blast. Here’s the animation of Mario and like, Mario is on a turtle. Oh, and then laser, you know, like that kind of stuff. But then they had like a category for most accessible game. And I think that’s when the last of us to like pretty much won everything, but the fact that they have that, that was kind of an audio description joy for me. You know, that was like the next level of oh my god, audio descriptions, you know, the movies. And then here’s the game that’s accessible. It’s a little too damn hard. And I got I’m like, you know, read a book on how to play it. But here’s the Game Awards, taking this thing seriously. And, you know, and then trying to get gamer culture involved in it was like, you know, a real cool step.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 19:38
You mentioned that you were soda invited to start thinking about it from the perspective of a creator creating audio description. Can you talk a little bit about the roles that you fill in the process of creating ad?

Andrew 19:52
My roles originally just started kind of as a collaborator or an advisor on projects. I wasn’t comfortable With maybe recording my voice, I’d work with other people to write stuff down. Since my vision is impaired, sometimes it’s a boundary. Sometimes it’s not. There’s a guy locally named Victor Cole, who does a lot of like audio descriptions for local performances and like award ceremonies and all these other cool stuff that the Chicago disabled arts community employ him to do that, started talking to him about his process, and like picking up on that, and then realizing that my role as a blind person to create this is probably going to be different than how Victor approaches it. Which is cool, because that means you have like more voices and more opportunities to give different perspectives of stuff. And so there’s some like, performance artists and dancers and choreographers and stuff locally that were like, you know, we want to do this live. But we also want to, like pre record some stuff, mess with the stereo sound for AD and kind of move the AD around in like an open audio description sort of situation, which I think is cool, because I wish I could control where I wanted to place the ad when I’m listening to it right in the stereo field, and then doing sound design within the AD. So kind of going from that direction of making sure that the people that I work with understand that access from the get go is the way to do it, especially when you’re coming around with like audio description, right? It’s like, think about the amount of space that you can take up and how much you can maybe need to cram in there with the ad, as long as it’s either on your mind or even just part of the script or something like that, then it’ll just be so much easier to complete, as opposed to like, oh, no, we got an audio describe this thing. Now, here, you got three days kind of thing. And I’ve been in those situations. But I’ve also been in situations where I’ve had a very long time to kind of digest and work and stuff. So first started off as me being like an advisor, and then you know, like a collaborator and then helping produce an edit, and mix AD tracks, maybe early as like 2017 or something like that I started, you know, doing this kind of stuff. But at the end of last year, I got the opportunity to write and record the audio description for feature. And that was a film called the Tuba Thieves. By Allison Oh, Daniel, who was a deaf hard hearing director. And that thing debuted at Sundance. And so that was really cool. A great experience, because 95% of the film, the dialogue is ASL. So like my wife, and I, my wife is autistic, and I’m visually impaired. And we wrote the AD and I narrated it, I was able to hire these three disabled voice actors to read basically the subtitles in the captions, and kind of, you know, bring them into this where they had done some some of this work on before. And they’re all actors and performers and stuff. But never for something that was essentially, I don’t know, everybody is disabled on this on this thing. So it’s like, yeah, you know, we brought, you know, we’re, we’re all showing up as we as we should. And so what was cool about this film is that this film is, like, the sound itself was so incredibly descriptive, and all very referential, and all sounds that I think, you know, so many of us would, would get that, you know, the, the actual audio description that I read and recorded, was real minimal. And there’s a lot of silence in the film. So I kind of shut up, you know, it was like, it’s like, oh, I have to make these decisions. Now. This is a weird experimental, sort of almost documentary style film. I have done so much like experimental audio description, sort of stuff with like, I don’t know layered voices and sound and sound design and weird, poetic sort of approaches to stuff. And I could still bring some of that energy, but certainly didn’t want to, you know, make a huge mess out of it. And I’m happy with how how it worked out. It was really cool. Knowing that as it travels around on tour, it’s playing in theaters that offer audio description, and all the promotional stuff that I see for it says, you know, audio description is also available and also has open captions. So it’s really this kind of like, cool thing where it’s like, hey, here it is. We’re all here, right? People asked me if I’ll work on their films, and it’s like, it’s so time consuming, as you may know, especially if you’re asked to do everything, the literacy of this sort of like audio description, these other access points. A lot of the times people come to me not knowing enough, and it’s like, do we want to sit here and have a four hour meeting of me explaining what it is that you need to do? Or do you want me to do at all because you still don’t understand what it is I need to do. And then when it comes to like, compensation, it gets kind of hairy. You know, but I mean, there are a lot of people that really want this filming. Viewers, especially disabled filmmakers, but for whatever reason people are afraid to do it. It’s funny when I see, you know, other disabled artists and filmmakers and stuff, afraid to do this, because they don’t want to mess it up. It’s like, look, I understand that, but we have the same, you know, lived experiences on a lot of situations, right? And just think about it like that. It’s like, experiment with it. It’s it’s common sense. I honestly think just, you just got to watch like, you know, a handful of different, you know, films with audio description to really get what you want to do. I don’t want to have to explain it a million different times. I know I sound crabby, like crabby old man over it. But it’s time consuming. And, you know, you want me as a consultant or an artist, or what, because there’s a different pay rate. Yeah. You know, you know, and it’s very true, absolutely. Sound like capitalist about it. But you know, it is kind of
TR in Conversation with Andrew: 26:08
it’s your time.

It’s my time,

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 26:08
you said that you and your wife wrote the AD for the film. So you were participating in that process? You were you a writer?

Andrew 26:17

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 26:08
Okay. Cool.

Andrew:Yeah, yeah, we watched the movie. And then we kind of went, we didn’t have a script for this. So we kind of, we watched it, we took notes, you know, put it on the timecode. And that sort of thing. Yeah. And I don’t know if this is a process that other people do. But you know, we just got, we sat down here. And you know, we put it on the big monitor. And based on how Tressa would describe what’s on screen, sometimes I could see it because a lot of the movie is slow, we take notes of what’s on screen, we’d go off some of the notes that the producer gave us, I would just kind of reword it, you know, or edit it. So it was more interesting to kind of match the energy, especially the energy of these captions, these captions were out of control, awesome, and weird and abstract at time, I didn’t want to be just normal sort of insights as interpretations as to what was going on on screen. But then also using like, my own artifacts of my vision, also where it’s like, I got tunnel vision. So I can see like, what’s up on the right side of the screen. I could focus on some weird thing here. And then Tressa would point out what else was going on? You know, and it’s a cool film it has people talking about when Prince and the revolution played Gallaudet University to have like a whole hundreds of Deaf folks.
TR in Conversation with Andrew: 26:08
Oh, wow.

Yeah. And there’s like, there’s these photos, because there was no film. You know, nothing but like photos of it, being able to describe these photos. Like this one, I think it’s black and white. I don’t know, you know, it’s from like, it’s from the Purple Reign tour. On the left is the band rocking out. And you can see that Prince has his like white Stratocaster up high and he’s just jamming and you know, he’s wearing purple even though it’s black and white. And then to the right is like, it’s like hundreds of deaf people all signing I love you, you know, with the with the index, the pinky in the thumb up. And like, being able to see that spend time just like even zooming in and like pausing the film and then zooming in. Like that photo and another one of prints where he’s, you know, given I love you sign with this, stand next to this kid, this huge grin on Prince’s face where you just like, Man, I got like, all emotional How do I describe this, because this is just beautiful. And it’s like a still photo on screen for five seconds. And that’s something that I realized, like, this is really, this is got to be really, really tough for people. When you have like this wonderful photo that you want to spend a lot of attention on that you got, like, five seconds. Yeah.
TR in Conversation with Andrew: 28:58
You know what’s crazy? I have a Purple Rain shirt on right now. (Laughs)

Andrew 29:03

That’s not crazy. That makes a lot of sense, you know, it’s like, of course…

I don’t really know the process of people, you know, like down the line where you have, you know, a sighted person, kind of write it and take notes. And then I know blind folks like Robert Kingett, who like takes those notes and kind of writes it. And then somebody else like reads that or edits, like whatever that chain of events is, I just kind of was doing it intuitively thinking like, you know, this works. This works for this application of a weird art movie. And that’s the thing is a weird art movie. And then you have these other elements. It’s like, I have to be serious because this is some serious shit. And I don’t know how people that do that sort of thing more often than I do professionally. Like, I don’t know, I don’t know how that works. You know, I don’t know if the studio is like, Nah, don’t pay attention to that. But you need to pay attention to this or if people are just given you know, blank check to go and create it however they want.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 29:58
No, yeah. I think that first I mean, there’s a combination, right? There’s the the decisions that they’re making, and it’s following the plot. And but it’s somebody’s it’s somebody’s decision. I think what changes is that is the approach, right? So you were mindful of the, the tone of the film, right? And following the aesthetic of the film and all of that. And I don’t think, especially if we talk about mainstream aging, right, it’s just about the film. And I’m not saying anything bad. I mean, there’s, you know, there’s, there’s levels to this, right, the good ones are, they’re putting in some time and figuring out what the plot is. But I think some of them that I’ve spoken to, at least, you know, really do similar to you wanting to describe that Prince pitcher is often those times where they’re like, Man, I wanted to spend a little more time on this, but yeah, you know, it’s sort of a side thing, and we just can’t do it. Yeah.

Andrew 30:48
And, you know, I mean, when you got a broader, you know, mainstream audience, you can’t get super weird, right? I mean, you can, but one of my favorite audio description moments is Deadpool movie, which has a character Blind Al. She’s not played by a blind person. She’s played by Leslie Uggams, who is a wonderful actor. So Deadpool, so he’s a jerk. And it’s a really raunchy film. And so he goes to Blind Als house, she’s talking and while she’s talking and not clearly not seeing him, he lists up a trapdoor on the floor. And there’s three items in there. One is a, like a pill bottle, and other is a bag of coke. And another is a gun, Deadpool opens up the hatch, and there’s a, you know, a bag that says dead pulls cocaine, and then there’s a gun. And then there’s a pill bottle that says “The cure for blindness”, he takes the gun and the coke out shuts the door, and I’m laughing my ass off and the film, and my wife did not know that. That’s what you know that that pill bottle said, the Z sort of things where it’s like, I’m glad for the comedy that that was, you know, that was that was put in there, right? And that’s when I realized like, oh, not everybody gets these details. Yeah, there’s another show. My flag means death, which is a funny movie, or a funny show about, you know, pirates and stuff. There’s a character called Calico Jack. And there’s a seagull named illite that they call Olivia. And he’s like, floating away in the water. And he’s talking to Olivia, and he says something stupid. And then, you know, the audio description, says Olivia. Olivia gives him the side eye as like that seagulls not giving them the side eye. But that was a great use of, you know, nailing down the tone of that thing. And I want I want more of that.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 32:34
When you creating AD and you work with a filmmaker, what role does trust play? In your process? I think of this as with AD, like, as blind people, we’re forced, in a way, you know, we have to trust, we have to trust that this Narrator This, this writer is giving us the information that that we need. As blind people, we trust that our technology is giving us that information that we need, right? Yeah, but I feel like as creators, especially around audio description, we’re not given trust. I don’t feel like it overall, we’re questioned when it comes to blind folks doing AD, we’re very much questioned. We see that right now. There was this whole certification, this whole thing about blind writers like figuring out if we are allowed to do this. I mean, that’s the way I’m gonna interpret it. Yeah.

Andrew 33:25
Let’s say like, in my situation, working on the Tuba Thieves with with my wife, right? We were there was no NDA, right? We actually got complete trust. And I’ll talk about that a little bit. But it’s like, say you gotta sign an NDA. People are like, Why don’t want this, you know, this other person that’s going to help you this like sighted person to help you work on this. We don’t want them to leak these secrets, either. It’s like, well have them sign an NDA. Have somebody within your studio work with the blind writer? It’s just another case of like, they don’t trust us to do something for us. That’s wack, you know. And it’s like, they don’t trust us to the point where you’re going to be underbid to somebody that knows how to type, you know, like somebody that can do like the the text to speech thing. Or somebody who’s a voiceover artists or actor or whatever, and gets all these commercial gigs and stuff and just kind of like, oh, yeah, no, I can do I can totally do right audio description. It’s just what’s on the screen, with no training, you know, it’s like you, you still need to know how to address this. The fact that this medium of the industry isn’t yet, I guess, run by us, the people I know involved are, you know, it’s, it’s probably just, you know, it’s just a different side of things because I know, I know them all from being blind. And they, you know, they’re not just like, here’s a gift. It’s like, Hey, I made this in community and collaboration with blind people. If I’m sighted there were blind people involved in this where A lot of the times he feels like it’s, it’s like, oh, what you don’t like sound quality? Oh, you don’t like how it’s written? Well, you know, you should be even lucky that we’re doing it. You know, like that kind of thing. I don’t like that attitude. I feel like people don’t trust us with anything. When people don’t trust that I can cross the street. People are like, don’t even trust that I can tie my shoes. You know? Like, like, wait a minute, let me ask you sighted people. Do you look at your shoes when you tie them? Do you look at your teeth when you brush them? Because that’s just weird. But that’s, that’s the answer people give me. Um, but you know, it’s like, so what was cool with working with with Alison Oh, Daniel, is that since she’s deaf, she’s a disabled artist and filmmaker, she just trusted that we would do what was best, and that we would do it and it would be cool and creative and not some rope, sort of boring ass thing. And so like we got that trust, because the person who hired us was cool. I don’t think I could say that somebody from Paramount, or whatever would sit down, meet me and be like, yeah, no, you know what you’re doing. I trust that you’ll get it done. Because studio people are used to given notes, right? And they want to have control over everything. And it’s just like, man, just just let us do this. We’ll get it done. We all realize that we don’t want to send out some jalopy sort of audio description out for our community, because it’s just a sellout move. Or just cynical, like, you know, I was under the gun, I had to get this done in a day. And it’s like, yeah, well, you could also say, No, you need more than a day, a job as a job. But it’s also kind of like, we all have our convictions. And all the people I know that work in AD, just like, will keep that in mind. When you’re doing work, like who comes to you who in like the studio chain, or the production chain hires the audio describers,

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 37:06
there’s usually an AD director, usually, that will probably be the title. That’s the person who’s sort of making the decisions. They’re serving as a project manager at that point. And so they’re assigning it to a writer, they’re assigning it to a narrator, etc., etc. For blind narrators, it’s still that level of trust, because not everybody wants to work with blind narrators. And some of them use the excuse that they have specific software that they use, for example, where maybe you have to dial in and whether it be to download the script, or whether it be to use the recording something I think you can record, right there even remotely or something like that. But whatever they say the software isn’t accessible. And so you know, we know that’s not the only way to get something done, right? Because these other places where you don’t use a software, you email me a script, I send you a link to the file that I just produced for you. It’s not a big deal. That’s excuses.

Andrew 38:03
Sighted people are so narrow minded, where it’s like, it’s like, Yo, if this was a disabled person, they’d be like, Yo, you know how to adapt, you know, that workaround? Right? It’s like, I know, you can’t see that street sign up there. But you know, how to get around whatever’s going on here. And maybe it’ll take you next day, maybe you’ll get it done sooner than any other, you know, and those folks in those positions don’t have don’t understand those aesthetics. Right. They don’t understand that way life. Yeah. And that’s just that just kind of hurts.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 38:34
Can you talk about, like, your thoughts about sort of experiencing the world, non visually, but and when I say non visually, I’m not coming from the place where I’m trying not to use the word blind or anything like that.

Right. Right. Right. Right.
TR in Conversation with Andrew: 38:34
Right. I’m coming from that place where specifically, you’re not censoring vision. So for example, like the piece that you did, where you specifically had the image description, and, and there was no image at all. That was like not censoring their vision.
Right. Right.
TR in Conversation with Andrew: 38:34
That was just totally saying, This is how I experienced it. This is how you’re gonna experience it.

Andrew 39:13
Oh, yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, it’s just kind of like, look, if I tell you that this is what’s going on, this is what’s going on. That piece is like I wrote down a description for a painting that doesn’t exist, it was just something that was in my head, a lot of blind people may not be able to, you know, I talk about color and stuff like that. But you know, some folks may not have reference points to it, and that sort of thing. But it’s like that kind of work is meant for a sighted audience. Talking in their terms, using color is basically like an access move. So that sighted people can be engaged in the image description for you know, the invisible ink, they can see like, yeah, you can you can kind of have fun and do weird stuff when you’re describing things. So it’s totally like visually centered for that. But then when I do this Questions of some of my sound work, it’s never visual. But did this recording what I did texture, smell, touch, vibration, you know, an emotional sort of stuff with a lot of metaphor, because, you know, that’s how you got talked about sound some time, but I still think visually sometimes and describe things with sight in mind and image in mind. But that’s mostly just for communication. We’ve all trained ourselves to, you know, use sound for you know, navigating, and, you know, cooking and you know, whatever our daily life is, I rely on and trust my ears, obviously, more so than I do my vision. I have all these like weird, like artifacts and like flashes and like hallucinations and stuff like that. I don’t care anymore. I used to care that I bump into stuff, I’ll go to the bar that I know where everybody knows me, and I’ll know that they’ll tap me on the shoulder or say my name when it’s time to order, right? And if I go someplace, and I’m ignored, then, you know, I’m ignored. I’ll do what I what I can, but it’s like, I try not to rely on my vision. Even though sometimes I do have my eyes open. And I might be seeing something, but it doesn’t always process right. So it gets kind of like psychedelic and weird or these Oh, there’s lights in that corner of the room. But I kind of see a blob, I kind of see that still doesn’t help me with the perception of where that corner is. Or if that’s a person or a Christmas tree or, you know, can of dog food. I go Mr. Magoo style kind of thing and just like bumble around sometimes and figure it out, knowing that this is normal for me, a sighted person might be, you know, watching me like what is this crazy blind person doing? They’re going to break everything. I better make sure that they don’t knock something over. When in reality, it’s I’m pretty nimble, like I’m a big dude. But I’m pretty nimble. Like the only time I bump into stuff is that my house because I’m overconfident. Like, listen to my phone, I’m cracking open soda, and then also telling the Echo to play, you know, Run DMC, and then I’ll walk into the wall. I hate feeling like I’m on display. Yeah, you know, to the public, but at the same time, it’s like if I hid, if I didn’t do anything, I’d have no joy in life. You know, like, there’s no shame in the cane. No shame in me, you know, doing what I got to if I come off with having a chip on my shoulder. That’s not a chip on my shoulder. That’s just my reaction to ableism

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 42:32
when you were describing, like how this painting didn’t exist, sort of reminds me of talking about these hallucinations, so not necessarily that blob well that could be the Christmas tree or the really big can of dog food by the way. (Laughing)

Andrew 42:46
Real big, like Costco like

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 42:51
you experience hallucinations as well. Talk to me about what you see.

Andrew 42:55
Okay, and I’m gonna preface this with yesterday was 4 20Oh, and I live I live in a state where it’s legal. Carmen visited Chicago a couple of weeks ago and he gave me these THC capsules that he made with a strain called LSD and he was he was like this he’s like this to me inhibits some of the hallucinations I have a times when they may not be happening because you know like we both have RP and sometimes you know our eyes aren’t doing all of this like right now my eyes are doing some things so the scribe that he gave me this weed these edibles because he’s working on he’s working on some stuff where he’s trying to to create a strain that kind of emulates the hallucinations that he gets him and his brother’s brother also has RP and went to band practice and you know had one of these you know, Carmen edibles as little capsules. And it cleared my vision up. issues I was having. Yeah, I was like, Oh, well, okay. It gave me like this. This like kind of awareness of the space of the room and sometimes like feels like my field of vision is widened. And I’m like really confident or like get up like, oh, I don’t have my cane. But I’m outside now what happened right? I don’t necessarily like taking edibles because they will totally obliterate what I am seeing and not in a fun way. stuff. Like when I’m exposed to a lot of light, you know, like it’s my pupils are dilated. So get the sort of a lot of after image you walk into like a camera flash right for me that will stick around forever, like at the strobes, right? These these sort of strobe flash are sort of things and then everything is kind of like a I’ll say like an electric Deep Purple, or some weird kind of green like neon but kinda like the echo from Ghostbusters and stuff and I’ll get these other things that I’ve seen like my whole life. aren’t that they’re, they’re kind of gray, purple, green, whatever this weird thing that’s like the shape of like a Cheeto Puff like a sea kind of thing. And they move from one eye to the next. And when I close my eyes, I still see them. And it’s kind of like, how’s it going through both eyes is this is something where my brain is shooting off, you know, like, I don’t know, weird electric shocks into my eyes, I have no idea. I don’t consider them like interruptive anymore as I did when I was a kid. When I was a kid, I was really, really, really night blind right now it’s kind of flipped, where I’m totally photophobia like light. I hate it. I hate the bright light and like a gremlin or something like, when I was a kid, I think it’s something where your color preceptors or your light preceptors can’t do what they’re doing. So I would get these weird visions that kind of look like fireworks or something like that, right? Like when you rub your eyes real hard. People experience those kind of colors or like flashes or fireworks sort of explosive sort of like weird shapes and stuff. Those just kind of pop up for me, and it’s cool. But if I’m trying to do something, where I am needing to use my vision, this just misses me off. They do kind of become a hindrance. And I know that Carmen invites them. He likes them. But for me, sometimes it’s a reminder of, oh, well, you know, that thing you were gonna do? Now you’re gonna be distracted. And you might as well not do it, because it’s totally distracting. But sometimes they’re cool. I like doing mushrooms. Do those every once in a while and I do a lot of writing. I’ve done a lot of like sound descriptive work, writing about what I hear in my own work. And then some other artists have commissioned me. And with that, it’s like, have these different hallucinations. I don’t know if they’re different. I don’t know if it’s something where I’m having the same kind of effects that I always have. But psychedelics start to make the move and take shape and dance around and all this kind of stuff and, and that’s cool. You’re not a narc, right?

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 38:34

If you’re a narc, you got to tell me like, yeah, I find it really, really cool. And it really kind of like makes it so like, oh, I can I can actually enjoy this. Yeah. So these are just like I said, like artifacts of like my retina probably imploding. But sometimes back to the giant dog food that’s like my brain trying to process what I’m looking at. But sometimes they’ll just be stuff that I think I see that isn’t there. And that’s kind of new, like within the probably the past 10 years. I don’t know if it’s the Charles Bonnett stuff. I don’t know if it’s shadow people. I don’t know if it’s like there’s a tear in that space time, whatever. But sometimes there’s stuff that’s there. And sometimes it’s not. I’m into it, because I don’t know what it is. Yeah,

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 47:56
so you question, do you have to question a lot or you know when, ok, I need to question this. Well, obviously a big ol’ can of dog food, like that you’re gonna (laughing) know. (Laughs….)

Andrew 48:05
Yeah, I’m just gonna put that in my bag to go home with it. Like, this is my Yes. Sometimes. I’m like, if I’m by myself. A lot of times I won’t question it. And then you know, it’s like, like, let’s say it’s a street at night and under a streetlamp. There’s something whether it’s like looks like it might be a box, or person and it’s not moving. But I’ll just assume, well, it’s supposed to be there, whatever. Maybe that’s my neighbor. And then I’ll like walk five, five feet up. And yo, that thing isn’t there anymore? Was my brain trying to say that it was there when there really wasn’t, you know, or am I being hunted? You read all the Oliver Sacks in the world, and he’ll explain it as plain as possible. But I still don’t know if it’s my brain or if it’s my eyes. It’s cool. But it’s also disarming at times. But you know, I’m I’m a strong dude. I guess. I’ve never experienced any paranormal anything. You know, so like, I don’t I don’t know if that’s if that’s real, real or not. But yeah, so know if it’s a lost memory.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 49:19
It sounds like you do sometimes think a little bit more about them as opposed to just okay, this is just something medical happening with my eye. Like when my child has been a for example, and I know it’s not because somebody ruins it for me and gives me the medical explanation but I’m like, wow, I should I be looking at these shapes and these things that I’m saying and really thinking about it. How does this relate to my mood right now? Wait, is this some sort of internal communication and I talking to myself through these images, like am I trying to tell myself you know, it’s I get into it. It’s like, and it’s quite enjoyable. Again, mine is Charles Bonnett , and I never heard anyone who has that. The experience of Charles Bonnett is usually it’s those people usually report little monsters type images.

Andrew 50:06
Yeah, terrible.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 50:09
Yeah. That was like waking up from a bad dream. I could wake up gradually, and then I’ll see a face. And it’s usually like a creepy looking. It’s not a real face, right. But it’s like a creepy looking animation or something like that. And then it might be like you described sort of neon ish electrified. And it’s just, and then I just stare at it. And then it goes away.

Andrew 50:31
You ever had sleep paralysis? Oh, no. Yeah, when I was a kid, it was, it was kind of bad. And I would experience something very similar to that. But I think it was, you know, in a dark space where like, the color receptors or whatever things would swirl around, you know, and then like, maybe there’d be a shadow of a tree. And I would just be like, sleep paralysis, but I’d be seeing this stuff. I mean, that sounds a lot like the situation where if you wake up from a bad dream, and there’s like, this, you know, image that you see that, you know, looks like a face to you. And you were dreaming about maybe falling through the ice. But then there’s like this face, it’s like, Are you being faced with this being that’s controlling your mind? I mean, there’s like, so when you start thinking like that, I mean, cuz, you know, thinking scientifically, on what all that means is, yeah, yeah, whatever. But you think holistically or like how your body’s reaction is, maybe it is your mood, maybe it’s your body communicating to, you know, like, how the hell the science? No,

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 51:35
no, I definitely think there’s a relationship. I know, there’s a relationship between my body and what I see. Because when I’m tired, it’s hazy, it’s very blurry. And when I’m, wake right up, I’m like, if I took a little 20 minute cat nap, it just starts to get just really clear and vivid. It’s like, Okay, I’m ready to go now. I’m good.

Andrew 51:53
Yeah, when I’m tired. I mean, that’s the kind of stuff that you know, my, everything’s hazy. And, you know, it’s, it’s, I started thinking, like, it’s just like a visual migraine. I heard people talk about those. So I started taking, like, prescription strength, aspirin or ibuprofen, or whatever, and it cleared it. So I’m like, wait, maybe this is a migraine? Or maybe I just convinced myself. It’s really psychedelic. It’s also disarming, but then at the same time, sometimes you feel like you have control over it. And you can change it. Yeah. And I can’t explain it. Other than that, you know, it’s like, you know, so many of us have these experiences, and they’re all different. But like, are they based in memory? Are they based in like, the degradation of your, you know, the cells in your eye or your brain? Or, you know, the substance that you may have ingested? Who knows, but, I mean, it’s definitely something that would scare the hell out of somebody who’s never experienced that to wake up and say that someday?

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 53:06
Do you have synesthesia by any chance?

Andrew 53:08
I do. That’s another thing that I never really get to talk about. The only person I ever talked to about synesthesia was this woman I went to school with their reaction was numbers, they would get these hallucinations or visions of different numbers. And with me, it doesn’t happen as often, which I’m bummed about. You just see colors, or you sense movement, and all these things based on sound in music, like when I hear something, there’s a color. In my head, I don’t necessarily see an image all the time. Sometimes I do. But it’s like, I was listening to Underdog by Sly and the Family Stone earlier. And it’s like, every time the horns hit that was like a yellow, like a fire yellow with like an orange bass. And then that drum came in. And it was kind of like, headlight white, pulsing on that beat and that sort of thing. So like these kind of like Sonic qualities, and these tambours to me, sometimes relate to color. And I don’t even know if it’s the right color, because I do have some colorblindness, but I’ve done stuff when I used to work in the studio, especially when I was recording my band, I’d be in this room for hours, and sometimes other people would be in there sometimes not. And I’d listen to stuff like what does this mix need? This guitar needs to look more like a paper bag. I need that Brown, I need paper bag Brown. And like, you know, that’s what’s in my head. And so I’d mess with it like with the EQ, or whatever kind of processing until I felt like that color was attached to that sound. It’s how I started thinking and it was like a wonder if I knew how to blend color and I understood color more if that would affect how I mix or listen. It’s pretty cool. It’s really wild. So

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 54:48
when you were looking for the paper brown bag, you were just sort of changing EQs you were playing with different ones or do you know to go to certain places?

Andrew 54:54
At that point, it was I was just messing with EQ and I was using the EQ on the eye On the board like the parametric EQ, I was trying to do it physically because this place had some outboard stuff. But sometimes you know if I’m like mixing something I’m putting like, like a reverb on it. That’s color coordinated. As far as I’m concerned, like space, whether it’s like real space or it’s like, you know, synthetic space like a reverb, there’s color, I was working on something earlier. And I was like, eating an ice cream sandwich. And I was listening to the reverb chain. And I was like, this seems cold because, you know, sometimes you have these other sort of like, emotions to music, or, you know, sensory reactions. I finished a sandwich it no longer seemed cold. But then it was, it was like, thinking about it as like a strawberry in a pool of lavender is what I heard this reverb chain of just this like Drum and Bass silly thing that I was doing. And I started thinking about maybe I gotta figure out what colors go with strawberry lavender, and then try to mix the rest of it. So it looks in my mind like that. And if that would be at all interesting, you know, it’s like, Pharrell did a record. That was all based on his synesthesia. I don’t know if it was a Neptune’s record or if it was,

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 56:10
I think Kanye is also supposed to have synesthesia.

Andrew 56:13
Yeah, and you know, weirdos, you know, that happens. A lot of times people don’t even know what it is. Yeah, you know, you can always you can have any kind of like sensory, like experience like referential to anything. But then when it’s like, you start getting deep and thinking about and studying it, it’s like this is actually kind of kind of magic. And really fun. I wish that there was a more natural way to kind of activate my synesthesia, but it seems now it’s really, I mean, maybe I need to eat more of these ice cream sandwiches, but sometimes it seems….

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 38:34
Talk to Carmen. Talk to Carmen to make you a strain. (Laughs)

? Yeah. get some, get some some that LSD hash oil or whatever, in my sandwich. Good lord. Like in 2013. I was doing a lot of sound work and mixing based around that because it was really active at the time. And I don’t know if it’s something where I just not allowing myself to do it. So overworked and stressed about stuff, like maybe that’s the thing, maybe I need to just chill and I can let my body communicate the way it wants to. Yeah. And like Andy has some have some fun here. Just listen, listen to this, as a case record and just listen to the color.

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 57:25
That’s funny that you chose that you said Isaac Hayes, because we were doing I do some classes with Cheryl. And we did this thing where I wanted folks to describe so we you know, we talk about audio description in a creative way. And so I said, Well, I want y’all to describe a song. Right? And so I used Isaac Hayes, because I love it. It always works for me, “Hung Up On My Baby.” And the Ghetto Boys use it or whatever. They’re so different. And that was part of why I chose that song because that same riff, the interpretation when you hear it in the Ghetto Boys, it doesn’t give you that same feeling. As “Hung Up On My Baby”.

Andrew 58:01
Their . Narratives are so much more descriptive than what was going on at Stax. Yeah,

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 58:06
I wish I had those colors because I always try to match it with what I’m seeing. And I don’t, I don’t find any sort of relationship except for the clarity. That’s the only thing that the relationship for me is that clarity.

Andrew 58:18
Clarity is something that I mean, that’s definitely something to strive for. You know, it’s like you got clarity. I mean, damn, I wish

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 58:31
Where can folks, check out what you’re doing and stay in contact with you.
Andrew 58:35
Yeah, my Instagram Tik Tok website, YouTube, everything like that.
TR in Conversation with Andrew: 58:42
You’re on Tick Tock huh, what are you doing on Tick Tock?

Being an asshole!

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 58:42

Andrew 58:45
I had a viral video like last year like million something like maybe three or four

TR in Conversation with Andrew: 58:55
Oh, yeah. See, I don’t do tick tock. What are you doing?

Andrew 58:59
It was it was footage of a guy in the in the street in the middle of the night telling me it wasn’t blind. I shouldn’t be using grabbed it. And yeah, and so it started a huge discourse of people thinking that you know, the whole thing of like, how do you use tick tock if you if you can’t, you know, like all that stuff where they all came out of the woodwork. It’s like you’ll Google is free. My life is not a q&a.

I’ll put up fun videos of like, you know, me messing with like access stuff or just like me walking around and videotaping my cane on different surfaces and making sound.


I love that, “Making sounds on surfaces”.

Salute to Andrew Slater, I appreciate you bro!
Remember, we’ll be back in September and it’s always the second and fourth Tuesday of the month when we’re publishing episodes.

Reid My Mind Radio Outro

Hide the transcript

Flipping the Script on Audio Description: Describing What is Unseen

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023

Side profile shot of a bald young man with glasses wearing a black collared shirt on a sunny day

Set Hernandez is the producer and director of Unseen. In this documentary, he introduces us to Pedro, an undocumented college student who happens to be Blind.

Set’s approach to access was quite different from films in the past where even though the subject or the protagonist was Blind, the film lacked audio description.,

Both Set and Pedro join me to discuss the film making process, intersectionality, audio description and more. #NoMorePasses




Show the transcript



In 2020 I was invited to participate in a panel conversation with other Black disabled creators.

The panel was a part of the Superfest Disability Film Festival.
— Filtered voice – You know the best disability film festival out here!

The feature film that year was a documentary about a Black Blind artist, poet and writer my friend, Mr. Charles Curtis Blackwell.
If you haven’t listened to that episode, I highly recommend it.
It’s a little different from what I usually do here on the podcast.

Prior to the panel, the documentary was shown. It included “audio description”.
Can you tell by the way I annunciated audio description that I put that in quotes?
— Filtered voice – That’s because it didn’t even deserve the title.

I’m not going into the specifics of what made it awful other than,
it was obviously done on the fly and with no consideration for Blind viewers.
It was done because someone was told they had to have AD in order to have their film shown.
It’s an example of when the compliance approach to AD goes wrong.

I don’t place any blame at all on those responsible for Superfest. Rather the blame lies solely with the person responsible for creating that AD track.

— Filtered voice – or Maybe fortunately?
The recording of this specific panel is lost. It no longer exist!
If it were you would hear my rant about the awful audio description.

Oh well! I’ll sum it up for you.

Any film being made about Blind people or a Blind or low vision person that doesn’t include audio description is
— Filtered voice – Say it, say it!

If the protagonist or the main subject of the film can’t independently consume the content, that’s wrong.
It tells me that this person or those like them aren’t even considered as consumers,
rather just subjects to be put on display for someone’s entertainment

The recording may be gone, but I do recall putting film makers on alert.
Anyone, using Blind people as props in their films, videos or any visual content and not making that accessible via audio description, image descriptions, well you gets no more passes.
— Filtered voice – Don’t even try to correct my English)

I’ve accepted excuses in the past based on ignorance. “I had no idea about audio description.”
I get it, it’s true. How could someone know what they don’t know.

But come on, if your subject matter is in anyway related to blindness and you haven’t even considered how Blind people will consume your content;
I think it’s worth calling it out when we see it.
That doesn’t have to be publicly, but it needs to be discussed.
— Filtered voice: No more passes y’all!

But 2020 feels like ages ago.
Today, I have a much better version of this story.
That’s a film featuring a Blind person that not only includes access but
they pay special attention to describing the unseen!

So it’s the second episode of the Flipping the Script 2023 season.
— Sample: “Another one!”, DJ Calid

I’m Thomas Reid. Welcome to Reid My Mind Radio. Let’s get it!

Audio: Reid My Mind Theme Music

Meet Set & Pedro


My name is Set Hernandez. I use they them pronouns. I am a filmmaker, community organizer. And more recently, I am the director, producer of unseen, which is a feature length documentary.

I am person with olive complexion. black rimmed glasses, black hair, black beard, round face. Today, I’m wearing a striped shirt with light blue and gray.

The film follows my friend Pedro .


My preferred pronouns are he him, they them. I’m a social worker.

I am five nine. My skin is light brown, and I am bald. And I wear glasses.


… as he navigates the uncertainties of life being an undocumented immigrant who also happens to be blind.

The Meeting

TR in conversation with Set:

Pedro was your friend, were you guys friends before the film?


We met because I’m also an undocumented immigrant.

I’ve been doing community organizing since I was 18. I was involved in this program that was providing professional development opportunities for undocumented young adults.


Dream summer.


Pedro was part of this cohort that we had that year to do work around this area of healthcare and Immigrant Justice.


Part of Set’s role in communications for the organization included pitching stories to the press
and making YouTube videos about the work the cohorts were doing.

Set became more interested in Pedro’s story as his stood out from others.


that was the only person who we knew to have a disability in the program at the time.

I’ve come to realize how the experience of having a disability and being undocumented, are very much not discussed, often in the rhetoric of the immigrant rights movement that I have been a part of.

There’s often like this erasure, and maybe even like ableism in the narrative of the immigrant rights movement.
This idea that to prove your worthiness to become a citizen, you’re hardworking, taxpaying and all that stuff.
it kind of values a person based on their economic output, as opposed to their full humanity.
my intention really, was to uplift this experience of the intersection of disability and immigration, which hasn’t really been discussed much in the community in the movement that I’ve been a part of.

— Music begins: A bouncy, “Afro beats” influenced track.

The Idea

TR in Conversation with Set:
How did you approach Pedro with the idea?
“Hey, I want to follow you around.”
(Set & TR laugh)


I remember, I was driving home, and I got to my apartment building in the garage. And that’s when I was talking to Pedro about first reaching out to him for filming.
This was I think, maybe may or April 2016, when Barack Obama was still president. It feels like eons ago.


In this particular case, the spotlight comes with additional risks.


Each undocumented person weighs risks for themselves individually.


Back then, I was going through a really rough patch. I was barely in the middle of my undergrad and I thought I didn’t have anything to lose.


Within the experience of being undocumented, it’s almost like every moment is risky.

When I first applied for DACA years ago, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,
there was this idea that once you submit the information for DACA, it can give you benefits, but also, you’re pretty much telling the government that you’ve been here and documented, Here’s my address, here’s my information and I’m going to move forward with this application. If this program gets rescinded, then the government has your information.

Do I take this risk? Do I try to live my life and try to access the benefits that this program can offer me?


The greater the risk, the greater the return.


We were able to get DACA, because of the organizing of undocumented youth.

A lot of the tactics that we use was to tell our story. Eleven million undocumented people at the time – we’re like this statistic with no identity in many ways, coming out of the shadows and standing in our truth really acknowledging our experience and our inherent dignity as human beings in this country, who are part of our communities.

that act of telling your story is pretty much putting a spotlight on you.

I’ve been in the shadow all this time now I’m going to come out. What’s the risk that it has for me to tell my story? And what are also the prospective opportunities that I can gain from this.

There are risks in making a film explicitly about undocumented person. There’s individual risks, but also there’s a benefit for our community, and maybe ourselves that we kind of have to take into consideration.


I don’t consider myself an activist.

I have a great respect for activist doing all the grassroots work. It takes a lot of work, and it takes a big toll on your mental health. So because of my frail mental health, I honestly don’t think that I would be able to do it. I feel that I work best when I’m behind the stage.
Even in my line of work, I don’t really like to do group work. I do mostly working one on one with a client. And that’s what I do best. I like to have a more controlled environment.


Personally, I’m a card carrying member of the control freak club.
But there’s some real value in letting go.


I have been tricked into the idea of surrendering.
Back then I was very resistant of what was going on, not knowing that I didn’t have any control over my life. Because of my disability, my immigration status, my mental health. It put me in a position that I wanted to have control over everything. Because it felt very uncertain.

if I didn’t have control, my life was gonna spin out of control.
My life was gonna get into a rabbit hole. But the more control that I wanted to have in my life, the more that I was getting into that rabbit hole. So it became very counterintuitive.

When I started exploring the idea of surrendering. Just letting life flow and being okay with it, accepting that things are how they are and that life is not fair. But the fact that life is not fair, doesn’t mean that life is miserable, or life has to be bad.

I have come to terms with it. Somehow I got into this for a reason. And let’s make the best out of it.

— Music ends with track playing in reverse.


File that one under gems as we return to the film, Unseen.


unseen is a film about desire, wanting something really bad. And that you think that when you get that thing you really want it would solve all of your problems. But when you finally get it, you realize that actually doesn’t solve any of your problems. And if anything, there’s more problems that you have to confront.

The film traces Pedro’s story as he follows his journey to become a social worker, hoping that doing so would allow him to support his family and also provide services for his community that is so lacking, especially in the immigrant and disability community where he’s coming from.


I did ask him, okay, we’re gonna do this, but how am I going to see it? How am I going to experience it?
And that’s when he was talking all about accessibility.

TR in Conversation with Set:

Yeah, so from the beginning, you recognize that you wanted Pedro to actually be a consumer of this film?


Oh, my gosh, like, of course,.


Compare that to the story I shared in the intro.


Maybe part of it is like coming from being undocumented, being queer person of color. I feel like sometimes, we get spoken to, or people speak on our behalf instead of letting us speak for ourselves.


That’s when I introduced him to audio description.

I was telling him about the Netflix films and how now the originals from Netflix have audio description.
He started getting really into it, and started exposing himself into different projects, or talking to different people, film makers.

He started learning a lot because the goal was to make it as accessible as possible.

His main concern is like, I want you to have the full experience of the film. I want you to be able to fully access the film and make it so you can enjoy it and not be just guessing, like what’s going on right now?

Set on Access


I’m very much a believer in I don’t know what’s best for you.

Pedro actually, was in many ways my teacher and mentor also around so many things, accessibility, mental health, emotions, like beyond accessibility.

Pedro is truly one of the people that have taught me a lot about life and his friendship has really been so important to me.


That relationship comes through in the film as well as
in the attention to detail in the implementation of the access.


Toni Morrison, she has this interview with Charlie Rose, where he was asking her if she’d ever consider writing about white people, I think that was the framing of it.
Toni Morrison said, it’s like, our lives have no meaning without the white gaze.

I feel like you can apply that to the experience of many communities.

The stories of undocumented people have no meaning without the gaze of citizens.

The stories of people with disabilities have no meaning without the gaze of the non disabled.


Assigning value only when it reaches a standard set by a dominant group.
As opposed to being a full participant in telling your story.

For marginalized groups, historically, that just hasn’t been the case.


People in places of power speaking on behalf of other folks.

In documentary filmmaking, I think it often happens that way.

The people who have a lot of resources are often people who are not from our communities.
To be honest, white filmmakers telling stories of people of color and like non disabled people telling the stories of people with disabilities.

I’m very much a person who likes really honoring, and preserving relationships and friendships.

I have a lot of people in my life that I love and cherish.
I wouldn’t want to cause any harm to Pedro.

At the end of the day, Pedro, this is yours. This is your life story.
How can I amplify the experiences that you have? Making sure that it’s as enjoyable for you when we finally get to experience it with an audience?

— Transition: Swoosh


I may be undocumented queer person of color having experienced all these marginalization’s, but being a non disabled person, there’s also certain considerations that have to be mindful of that Pedro experiences all the time

— Transition: Film Slate

Filmmakers have this idea that they’re going to change the world with their films, especially if it’s about a social justice issue, or a person who’s like navigating really difficult experiences in life. But how can you expect your film to change the world? If you’re like hurting the person you’re featuring in the film?

— Transition: Digital descending as in failure!

I feel like it’s important for every human being to just always be mindful that we are all humans. We’re all gonna make mistakes.

TR in Conversation with Set:

Sometimes it feels like folks, they lose their sense of humanity, because they don’t see other people as human.

If everyone can relate on that level, yeah, things would be a whole lot different.

What were some of your early expectations around audio description before even starting? What were you thinking about it?


Originally my idea was we’re gonna make this film and it’s gonna be so accessible in this really artistically exciting way and it’s gonna be amazing.

Ultimately, I like trying to reinvent things, but sometimes the wheels there already. don’t reinvent the wheel.

As a person who’s not usually an AD user, a non blind individual, I feel like, it’s not necessarily my place to reinvent that we’ll because I don’t even use description all that often. Who am I to say that I know better than 80 users?

this is the first feature I’m working on. I’m realizing that when you’re a director
part of the trick of directing, is recognizing when you don’t know that you don’t know everything.

Set sought out some assistance.

— Music begins: An up tempo, bright Hip Hop beat.


Bringing producers and collaborators that really understand and follow their guidance around these aspects of the project.

There’s many mentors like yourself, Cheryl green, a captioner from the film, accessibility co producer with you for the film.

Cheryl taught me that there’s no one size fits all for accessibility. Choice, having options, that can make things accessible.

Everyone has different access needs.

I’m also learning that sometimes people have conflicting access needs.

it’s really important to understand my own limitations, my own learning curves.

I should also share another mentor in this project, Matt Lauderbach.


In addition to AD and captions, there are several parts of the film that are in Spanish and include English subtitles.
Rather than having one voice read each, multiple voices were used to easily distinguish between characters.
Human voices along with an authentic Spanish speaking human narrator, Reid My Mind Radio Family member Nefertiti Matos Olivares.

As with any film project, description is constrained by the available time that doesn’t overlap with any dialog or informative sound design or music.

Often Blind and low vision AD viewers don’t learn of the visual aesthetics of a film.
In Unseen, the majority of the film is blurry.


The idea was how do we invite people to watch a movie by listening as opposed to by leaning into all the visual information that cinema usually does.

Also, Pedro is a social worker he spends a lot of his time listening to people what is it like for us to spend the next 90 minutes of our lives listening to this person who’s spent so much of his time listening to others.

We realized that blurriness can also imply uncertainty of life, the visual aesthetic had more thematic implications, but since the get go the idea was never to simulate blindness.

The intention might not have been that, but the impact is that.
I’m curious how that landed on you. It would be also great to know your perspective.

TR in Conversation with Set: 36:52
I had that concern. I was like, ah, the simulation thing.


If you’re interested in my take on simulations, check out the episode titled ,
Live Inspiration Porn – I Got Duped, from March 2020.
I share an experience I had where I observed a bunch of sighted folks “walk in our shoes”.
But as far as Unseen is concerned.

TR in Conversation with Set:

I thought it was more about undocumented, that Pedro is living this sort of life of being unseen.

From my understanding, Pedro is the only one who’s actually kind of in focus.
that’s a statement in itself. It’s like, you are the center of this talk. Like you’re flipping the script on this.


This and other information is passed to the AD viewer through the delivery of a pre show.
In the case of Unseen, it’s a prepended addition to the film and AD that
AD writer, Cheryl Green refers to as an on ramp.
Sort of gently taking you into the film.
— Pre-show Sample


details make a big difference …

little things,

since it’s a bilingual film, some of the characters having different voices, makes it more understandable
little details that may not seem important for other people make the experience enriching?

It is an art because you have to describe something in such a rich way for a person to paint a picture in their mind.


The thing about images and yes, audio description, it’s subjective.


I guess it’s all about perception. for instance

the scene with the traffic? how said make it seem that it was like I was about to get run over?


Oo! I just knew this scene was going to come up somehow in our conversation.

— Clip from Unseen:

Sounds of heavy traffic – cars quickly driving by and the sound of Pedro’s white cane sweeping back and forth.
Set: “Friend, you want to move closer to the left?”… Ok, so?
Pedro: “Uh, no!”
Set: Inaudible mumble. Uh, ok. Are you ok?”
Pedro: “Yeh, I’m ok”
Set: “Ok.. stick to your left. Don’t get run over!”
Pedro: “According to me, I’m still in uh, the curb, no?”
Set: “You’re still on the curb, yeh! Nah, I’m just like ahh! Fast cars!”
— Scene fades out.


Set’s concern while probably not warranted is something many of us have experienced.
It comes from a good place but can have repercussions.

It made me doubt for a second, I actually had to double check with my cane how close I was from the curve.
I was right. I was not that close to it.


When it comes to orientation and mobility we have to have trust in ourselves, as Pedro did.

When consuming AD, we’re trusting in someone else’s perspective.

While AD paints images from a pallet of words, it inherently leaves out those who speak other languages.
Which is a missed opportunity especially when television and movies can often bridge all sorts of gaps.

— Sample audio from a Tela novella.


Novellas in a way, it’s an excuse to just spend time with your family, especially with the older folks. It’s just one of those activities that allow you to spend time with your family.

In order to strike a conversation with my older folks, during the commercials. Okay, tell me what’s going on?

The accessibility is not there. And I highly doubt that is going to be there anytime soon. Because The stigma with disabilities the Spanish media are not putting our interests in mind.


Let’s be clear, that stigma, ableism, well we know exist in every community.
Pedro recognizes and acknowledges the work of the Spanish speaking disabled community pushing back.


It takes a minute to change people’s minds and to help them see a different perspective.

TR in Conversation with Set:
What conversations do you
really want to start with this?
It seems like there’s multiple


love, love this question. Yes, there are multiple

When we think about social issue films, the idea of impact that we have in mind is this macro socio political impact, we’re going to change laws, we’re going to transform society, we’re going to make it more just and equal.

We want to make sure that this film contributes to really bringing together the disability and Immigrant Justice Movement in the US to begin with maybe also in other places.

Historically, in the immigrant rights movement, we don’t really uplift the experiences and the needs of people with disabilities. And likewise, in the disability justice community, there’s not often a recognition that sometimes a person doesn’t have documentation, and something like the ADA might not benefit them, so how do we uplift these realities?


The first step is just to start talking about it.

The three issues can be very uncomfortable issues for many groups, immigration, mental health, disabilities,

Having an excuse to start conversation about those topics. Actually challenge the previous views about those topics.

If we can start a conversation and start opening up our ears and our hearts and our eyes more into those topics, and just explore them for what they are just part of life, part of an identity of a person. But it’s not the whole person, we would have done our job.


But in the course of making the film, I’m realizing that it also had a very personal impact on the people who are involved in the film, so many of our team who understand their experiences to be so similar to Pedro’s , whether they’re other undocumented individuals or their people with disabilities, finding a story that’s so much about the roundedness of a human being not just about the issues that they’re facing.

it’s like a healing oriented goal. And that’s not to say that the other goals around socio political aspects of the story no longer exist, because they’re very much still there.

TR in Conversation with Set:
Is there something that you would want to share about how this personally impacted you ? I mean, this is years of your life?


For the longest time, I was thinking so much about organizing, the world around me, the injustice that everyone faces, I minimize the pain and the struggles. I don’t know how I’m feeling emotionally.


I think being in touch with my humanity, allowed me to also understand the things that Pedro talks to, in the film, his own inner demons that he’s struggling with. Depression, worries, fears. Those are things that I feel also as a human being, but for the longest time I suppress them, because I was like, There’s bigger problems in life, why am I worried about my own tiny world.

I’m realizing, I have to open up myself to my own humanity, so that I can also understand the humanity of the person whose story I am trying to uplift with his film.

If I can feel it in this way, if other people from our community can feel it this way, how cool would it be for everybody to be reminded that what you’re going through as an individual, you don’t have to minimize it you are enough, what you’re going through is valid.

the film is also a story of love.
people have been so kind to us in making this film.
And it just gives me so much encouragement.

There’s so many filmmakers who are struggling to make their film. And of all these filmmakers how come our project gets to experience this love?

in our communities, there’s so many people who experience so much inequity every day, how come we’re the ones that get to have these resources?
Our project is just as worthy as everybody else’s.

— Music begins: A melancholy groove.

TR in Conversation with Set: 1:10:55
What would you like to say is the answer to that question? Why this movie?

Set: 1:11:19


Why this movie? That’s a good question.

There are so many serendipitous moments that happen in life. And sometimes, we just kind of have to take that opportunity and embrace it.

One of my mentors Sabaah Folayan with firelight media, she said, we only live once, when ancestors, community, choose us for a certain thing, we just gotta seize it.

That question of why me, there’s got to be a series of logical reasons as to why me.

Maybe sometimes I got to stop rationalizing. Maybe sometimes I just got to accept things for what they are.

TR in Conversation with Set:

I would like to think that it’s a combination of that energy. And yes, this was something you were supposed to do and the part that you’re doing is that you stayed the course and did the work and so therefore you’re rewarded. That’s what I would like to think.


my desire to be the best person that I can be every day is so that I can reciprocate the love that I’ve received from people like my family.

There’s so many people who go through the day, wondering if someone cares about them. And

maybe that’s why I want to do my best to do right by Pedro. He and his family has made me feel so much affirmation.

And in the course of telling this story with them, that the least I can do is to do right by them.

— Music fades out.


Unfortunately, our experiences with audio description, don’t always leave us believing that others care to do right by us.

That could mean;
– the listening devices in the theater that seem to never actually work
– movies and television shows released without audio description altogether
– Sitting in a classroom and the instructor announces they’re going to play a video and there’s no AD.

Pedro came to believe this was just the norm. But today, he finds himself constantly confronting that stigma.
And when the result is access, audio description for example, the results are quite different.


You feel that you are starting to belong more and you connect more with your You are a part of the gang. You’re no longer the outsider.

— Music begins: An inspirational opening synth leads into a funky up tempo groove.


Belonging, connecting, no longer an outsider… finally being seen.

As of early June, 2023 Unseen is steadily being accepted to film festivals including
Hot Docs in Toronto, L A Asian Pacific Film Festival and more.
And it was announced that it will also be a part of the PBS documentary series POV.


they are including us for season 36 for a national broadcast in the US and US territories for the film.

Every screening that we have, we’re making it explicitly named, that ad and Captions are available so that if you are an ad user, you’re not wondering, is this going to be accessible for me? We’re making sure that venues are accessible for wheelchair users, ASL interpreters cart and also bilingual interpretation if need be.

One of the mentors for the project was saying this film, in essence, is an invitation for folks who don’t often think of the film festival or the theater as a space for them.

this film is really an invitation for everybody, like hey come!

we’re making this theater like as accessible for you as possible, but also the recognition that accessibility is not a one size fits all. So please do give us feedback if there are things that we can continue to improve.

TR in Conversation with Set:

Congratulations set.


Thank you so much. Congratulations to all of us.

Thank you for making the audio descriptions. That sound mixing of the ad casting the ad voices everything like this so grateful for your collaboration.

I’m reflecting on when we first met. Over zoom.
This was 2020

TR in Conversation with Set:
was 2020. Yeah,

Three years later? Oh my God!

(The two laugh))


You know you want to checkout the Unseen!


@watch unseen film is our handle and all social media or you can also follow us on our website and seen that To keep posted about screenings and other upcoming opportunities as we get distribution for the film.


What a difference a few years can make.

Contrasting the film I mentioned at the opening of this episode and Unseen,
I don’t think the differences has anything to do with time.

Some say, it’s an awareness of accessibility.

I think Set actually hit on the fundamental difference;


“I’m realizing, I have to open up myself to my own humanity, so that I can also understand the humanity of the person whose story I am trying to uplift with his film.”


Big shout out to both Set & Pedro.
The latest additions to the Reid My Mind Radio family!

Oh, I’m mean, official!


As always, I hope you’re enjoying the podcast.
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Make sure you’re subscribed or following the podcast.
We have transcripts and more at
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Flipping the Script on Audio Description – Access 4 All

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

“I came to this country to start leading the project and start putting all the technicalities together to start doing captions and audio description in Spanish, serving the Latino community.”

Headshot, Maria Victoria Diaz
Maria Victoria Diaz PhD, an Electrical Engineer left Colombia to help “Flip the Script” not only on Audio Description but access in general for native Spanish speaking people.

President of Dicapta & Chair of Dicapta Foundation, her efforts continue to prove that creating access for one group can benefit others as well. In this episode hear about ;
* The struggle for Spanish AD
* Access 4 All – Dicapta Foundation’s solution assuring Audio Description can be shared across platforms.
* Go CC – providing access for the Deaf Blind to content and emergency information
… and more.

It’s fitting that I open this episode with my own Spanish translation.

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Reid My Mind Radio Family! Before we get into this latest episode, I need your help.
I want to take Reid My Mind Radio to the next level, that’s making it a sustainable venture.
But I need to know more about you, the listener. I’d really appreciate if you could take a few moments to fill out
a quick survey. Just go to and hit the link that says , hmm, what should I call it?… Survey!

— Music Begins A mid-tempo Reggaeton Hip Hop influenced groove.


Greetings, my beautiful brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to another episode of Reid My Mind Radio.
You know, the podcast featuring compelling people impacted by all degrees of
blindness and disability

TR in Spanish:
Saludos, mis hermosos hermanos y hermanas.
Bienvenido a otro episodio de Reid My Mind Radio.
Ya sabes, el podcast que presenta
a personas atractivas
afectadas por todos
los grados de ceguera y discapacidad.

We’re continuing with our Flipping the Script on Audio Description series.

TR in Spanish:
Continuamos con nuestra serie Flipping the Script en Audio Description.

By now, you should have an idea of where we’re going in this episode. If not, give me a moment for my theme music, and then I’ll introduce you to my new friend and she’ll make it clear.

TR in Spanish:
A estas alturas, debería tener una idea de hacia dónde vamos en este episodio.
Si no, dame un momento para mi tema musical, y luego te presentaré a mi nueva amiga y ella te lo dejará claro.
— Reid My Mind Theme Music

MV Diaz:
“I came to this country to start leading the project and start putting all the technicalities together to start doing captions and audio description in Spanish, serving the Latino community.”


That’s Maria Victoria Diaz.

MV Diaz:
I used to be Maria Victoria and now I’m just Maria, in this country.


I like people to feel at home around me.
And she said I can call her Vicky.

— Music begins –
MV Diaz:
I’m from Colombia. I’m Latina. I have tan skin and brown eyes, my hair is over my shoulders usually is how I wear my hair.

I’m the President of the Dicapta and the director of the board of the Dicapta Foundation.
I’m an electronic engineer. I’m hard of hearing.
My pronouns, she/hers.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
Tell me a little bit about you. And let’s start with how you became interested in audio description.

MV Diaz:
I started working as an engineer in a television company in my country.
The first time that I saw captions in my country was working in television, and I was like, What is that for?

I started to be interested in captions.
Specifically being hard of hearing, that was like natural to be interested in that kind of service.

Then I started working, specifically researching about accessibility features, specifically, to make television accessible.

That’s where I started like, 20 years ago, trying to push in my country for some policy or regulations for captions to be included.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
How successful was that?

MV Diaz:
It was just good luck.

At that time, I had friends in the television industry, some of my colleagues from school, were the technical director of different television stations there.


Actually, that wasn’t the so called good luck. Those friends in high places didn’t make it happen. At least not until the government got involved.

MV Diaz:

So they came to me suddenly, one day, like, oh, there’s this new regulation that we need to comply, then help us please.
I think that one person, the government had a child who was deaf, and then that’s how they became interested. Sadly, that’s the reason most of the time.

And so I started doing captions for every single television station in the country and training.


What began as a two person team in 15 days grew to 20 people.

MV Diaz:

We needed to cover all the regulation that came at that time.

We help them to install the technical facilities for captioning

So the sad part of the story is that that regulation came at still the same 20 years after just like, two hours per week one newscast in the per channel.


Soon after that work began with captions, she met a guy who was Blind. He had a question.

MV Diaz:

Have you consider doing something for me?

And I was like, what kind of service Do you need, or how I can serve your needs?

And so he was telling me about Kurosawa’s “Dream” movie. And
he was describing for me every single scene of that movie, and I was like, how you can tell me those details about that movie If you don’t see. So I was so interested in his specific process.


That movie, Dreams, a 1990 film by acclaimed film maker
Akira Kurosawa was subtitled.

MV Diaz:

It was like a team effort, in a way with friends from his university.

I started researching how I can be involved in that field. It was like 20 years ago.

It was aligned with my interest in I wanted to be a musician, when I finished my high school, and I couldn’t because according to my doctors, being hard of hearing, it was not a good idea to be a musician.
I was like, Okay, I have to fight to do something else to overcome barriers.


At this point Dicapta, Vicky’s team of 20, was working on caption and Audio Description
when she was approached by one of the 2 private Colombian broadcast company’s.

They wanted to buy her out and control the market. Her response?

MV Diaz:

No, I’m not interested.

I started looking for options to serve to in Spanish in other places. And I found out that in the United States, services in Spanish were like really nothing available, not for captions, not for description at that time. So I decided to write an email to the Department of Ed asking how I can participate in your initiatives. And they told me, no, you have to talk to the television stations or to the channels. And you have to ask them. We’re not the right source for business.


Vicky’s response set her on a path and in my opinion says a lot about her motivation.

MV Diaz:

I’m not looking for business, I want to know how I can contribute in the discussion.

So they just mentioned it to me that they have a television Access Program. I’m talking about 15 years ago, 16 years ago.


It’s government, so that means lots of paperwork.

MV Diaz:

I can tell you that I was in Colombia, in my office preparing a proposal for the Department of Ed,

I had no idea how to do business in the United States… the right words to use or how to fill these forms. And I just started reading the forms , filling them up giving my ideas there.

I guess that it was a really good proposal, because we just got funded,


Come on, you know it can’t be that easy.

MV Diaz:

They call me but you can’t run a project, serving the Latino community from your country, you have to be here. And I was like, okay!


In about two weeks, she gathers her belongings, leaves Colombia and is in
the states.

MV Diaz:

I just really thank the Department of Ed gave us the opportunity to just try to add value, and to discuss and to tell what we think.

It’s wonderful for me that I every single time that I try to do it, sometimes I have to work a little bit more. I can talk with whoever I wanted to. And I can, I can just at least try. Most of the times the answer is no, we’re not interested. But it is okay. Just to have the opportunity to share what you think.

Thankful for that opportunity, Vicky uses her voice to continue her mission.

MV Diaz:

I came to this country to start leading the project and start putting all the technicalities together to start doing captions and audio description in Spanish, serving the Latino community.

While Dicapta is a for profit company, most of the work being done has been through the nonprofit Dicapta Foundation.

MV Diaz:

We really have some new partnerships doing dubbing in Spanish but most of the work that we do in audio description and captions is funded by the Department of Ed.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
So accessing audio description for television, and cable here in the States requires the sap the secondary audio programming.
And it just happens to be that that’s the same channel that delivers Spanish translations in for shows in English. So does this mean that it’s impossible for a person who speaks Spanish to be blind? Hashtag sarcasm?

MV Diaz:
Kind of…

Spanish language television, They don’t have a Spanish in their SAP, they don’t have anything in the sap.
So we’re not competing with the Spanish translation in the Spanish television, we’re competing with the Spanish translation in the English television.

The big problem here is that the CVA didn’t include Spanish.

So the first thing is audio description in Spanish has to be mandated.

What I have learned is that the FCC is following the mandate from the Congress. So how to push for Spanish to be included? I don’t know Tom


Remember, the CVAA or the 21st Century Telecommunications Accessibility Act
requires local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS,
Fox, and NBC located in the top 60 TV markets
to provide 87.5 hours per calendar quarter.

How’s this for a regulation; AD on everything!)

MV Diaz:

Telemundo Okay, they are part of NBC. NBC is under the regulation, why? Telemundo is not under regulation?


Hmm good question. But, bad answer.

MV Diaz:

No, because it is not. Period.

But why, if they are under regulation and Telemundo is part of NBC? No,

I became part of the disability Advisory Committee of the FCC, and I was like, I’m ready. This is exactly the place where we’re gonna change the story.

No, no, no, no,. (Said slowly with lots of frustration)

When it comes to advocating for Spanish AD, it often comes down to priorities.

MV Diaz:

We have different problems in our community, bigger than the accessibility, I have to say that.

We are in a different place in history right now. Our concern is more, jobs, education and immigration. We are trying to fight different fights. We don’t have Latino consumers as organize. The Blind Latino consumers that we have been working with, it is not enough.

I don’t know, my grandma said something, but I can’t translate. How is your Spanish Tomas?

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:

— Sample Price is Right loser tone!

MV Diaz:
My grandma used to say just one little bird is not able to call winter.


There’s power in numbers.

MV Diaz:

The consumer organizations, they know that that’s a problem.

If you have to go to the Congress, or if you have to go to the FCC, asking for specific questions, is going to be like priority number 10, maybe or, let’s say, five to be more generous.

, but is never going to be their first priority. I kind of understand now

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:

I think that can be said about a lot of communities.

There are definitely people who say, oh, why are you talking about audio description all the time, we need jobs. I get that. I also see a relationship between jobs and audio description, education and audio description.


Couldn’t these lower priority issues serve as vehicles to elevate those considered higher priority. Especially when putting into context?

That’s what I mean when I say, “Audio Description is about much more than entertainment.

MV Diaz:

Our a Latino community communicates in Spanish. We are trying to have that. In here. We are trying to find our space and our beliefs, our roots, our culture alive.

It is incredible. The amount of kids that are Spanish speakers coming from different countries don’t speak English yet need access and they don’t have the access that they need.

We are working with the DCMP and they are doing a really great job. And we are trying to include some educational titles there. But in entertainment we are really, really far

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
I’m thinking about the streaming companies, they’re not obligated under the CVAA. But they do decide to go ahead and stream audio description, Univision, Telemundo, none of them are interested in doing it at all? Have you not been able to talk to them?

MV Diaz:
Yeah, I have talked to them. I don’t know. They think that I’m just a girl trying again.

But no, the thing is that, for example, Telemundo at the beginning, what they told me like three years ago, they didn’t have SAP in the whole network.
So they didn’t want to provide the service for this kind of part of the audience and not to others

We have been working with funds from the department of Ed.


Those fund enabled Vicky to have one request.

MV Diaz:

We’re gonna provide you with the description. You just have to put it on there.

Even that is really hard tom.

We included audio description but the cable companies. Don’t pass it.

For example, Channel 22. They are an international television channel. They are in DirecTV, they are in

we provided Audio Description. we created all the audio track.

Okay, DirecTV, No audio description. Spectrum, no audio description.


Cable companies, you had one job!

But regulations do really go a long way.

MV Diaz:

Caption is not that bad. I can tell you because of the regulations. The FCC regulation includes Spanish captions. So we are safe there.
Just because the regulation is there, they just know what it is. They know what it’s about.

In the rare event that the cable company does pass the AD, you better catch it that first time being aired because it probably won’t happen again. Whether on that same channel or another.
The problem, many of us have experienced.

we know a show or film has AD,
maybe we saw it on one channel or on a DVD,
but another broadcaster or streaming network doesn’t pass it.

MV Diaz:

Let’s try to do it ourselves. And that’s why we started working in a different direction creating technology and creating Access 4 All.

Access 4 All is a central repository for any accessibility asset.
That’s the actual digital caption, audio description and ASL files for example.
No matter the language! They’re all stored in one location.

Access 4 All serves as a clearinghouse.

MV Diaz:
Dicapta is a really small organization. We need influential organization or powerful organization to believe in the value of a clearinghouse the importance of sharing the resource that we have.

That’s why we are creating like a membership model under the foundation. The idea is for people to come and say, okay, I created this audio description and no matter if you are in Mexico or if you are in London or if you are in Italy, that specific program is going to be accessible.

So that’s the big dream.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
When you say a membership, so for example, Netflix would come in as a member, the BBC would come in as a member, Argentina television would come in.

so they would have a membership. And they would upload all of their audio description tracks to this repository.

MV Diaz:D

So who’s member of this repository right now?
New Day films, some movies from PBS POV and the Spanish content that we are creating with funds from the Department of Ed.


Plus, it empowers us as users to access the assets ourselves.

MV Diaz:

You just download the app. You just can watch the program with audio description, you can read captions, or you can do the ASL version of the program if it’s available.


The app developed with funds from the Department of Education, is free!

Check it out!

download the app…

Start the film, while your app is open… And voila!


Right now Dicapta is working on creating a searchable catalog. Already, they have over 300 hours of content.

— Dicapta audio icon


That little tune or audio icon was created by consumers of audio description and members of the Dicapta advisory committee.
It’s formed by the notes D, C, A, and G.
D for Description, C for Collaboration, and
A Accessibility.
The sequence finishes with a G major chord that stands for Go!

It includes a graphical element as well.
It’s formed by two purple triangularly shaped capital letters “A”.
The letters are thick and slanted toward each other so that
the adjacent sides are in a vertical position.
A blue number 4 sits over the letter A on the left.
The horizontal bar that goes from left to right on the number 4 matches the horizontal bar that goes from left to right on the letter A and also covers a small portion of the letter A on the right.

MV Diaz:

What we are proposing is to add that icon at the beginning of the program or during our in them guide, just to show that is in the repository.

I have tried to talk to the big players in the industry. But it is not an easy conversation.

my invitation is this Okay, so that if you don’t have a solution, we have one maybe you can use these one or you can start trying it and see if it if it works and if not someone come with a better one, right? But today we don’t have any solution. We are not sharing, we are creating the same track twice instead of Sharing the one that is already created.

— Sesame Street Cookie Monster shares with Elmo

Oh, Cookie Monster would share his cookie?

Cookie Monster:
Yep, it’s against my primal instinct, but you share with me, and me share with you.


There are some who understand.

MV Diaz:

Nickelodeon. Latin America, we launched a project with them using “Access 4 All” and they did audio description for some shows. And then they are promoting the show.

Maybe that’s kind of the support that we would need.

There’s more to be hopeful about.

MV Diaz:

the world is changing. And I see a better scenario for accessibility now that the one that I found when I came 15 years ago, the conversation is different. More people knows about accessibility and about the descriptions. So I think that consumers are more aware of that. Okay. Maybe it’s possible. I just have to say, Tom, I really thank Netflix. They are, they are they’re showing different ways. To support accessibility, and they are including Spanish, they are asking for audio description in Spanish to be included.

Hopefully, if they are showing that the assets are going to be there, or maybe somebody is going to decide to share.

It’s probably worth mentioning that Apple too offers access in Spanish.

I know there are decision makers or at least some who have the ear of decision makers
who listen to the Flipping the Script series, and
hopefully the podcast in general.

I believe many of them are sincerely about providing access because they see it as fair and just.

If you are an independent content creator, I encourage you to talk to Vicky and get your captions, audio description and any access assets on to Access 4 All.

MV Diaz:
it’s supposed to be a membership.

For now Dicapta Foundation, we’re not charging anything to independent producers.

We have a basic agreement saying that you are donating for the Clearinghouse and you’re not charging the user to use. And in case that someone else is interested in having that, that specific accessibility, they’re going to contact the owner to say like, Okay, I’m interested in this audio description to be downloaded to put it somewhere else

I think that we Dicapta, we’re going to concentrate our effort in educational programming and in independent filmmakers.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
Let’s talk about the work that you’ve been doing with a community that’s often overlooked, and that’s the deafblind community. Tell me how Dicapta is serving that community?

MV Diaz:
I invited the daughter of a friend of mine who is Deaf Blind to one of our advisory meetings. We were talking about television and about movies and about access. We were trying one app. We asked her for her opinion, oh, my goodness. She was like… Are you serious?

We don’t have access to television. I haven’t watched television in my whole entire life, how you think that I’m going to go to the movies. And it was really a bad moment in that room.


Come on, we know by now, Vicky turns these sorts of situations into good.
She reached out to more consumers for input.

MV Diaz:

And so we started trying to, to bring captions to braille displays in a in a way that that they can have some kind of access, those of them that are Braille readers. So that is a minority among the minority and the minority. But given access to the caption streams through braille displays, was the general idea to start working with. So it was like four or five years ago that we started working with that project, and we got funds from the Department of Health. And we were able to produce the solution but then again, the problems came and the industry and the practices


Of course they did!

Technically, captions on Braille displays is easy. The problem is when your captions don’t include the name of the person speaking. So it’s just an endless stream of words without context.

MV Diaz:

We try to push again, like, changing best practices just include identification of the speaker in the captions or streams just to serve the deafblind community. And so we produce documents and we spread the word in the industry in the caption providers to whoever is creating captions just provide identification for the speakers to make sure that no matter what technology is coming, captions are gonna serve the Deaf Blind community.

The service is called Go CC and provides even more for this community.

MV Diaz:

We work with FEMA to provide emergency alert information.

we work with the Helen Keller National Center. And that’s the reason why the product is as good as it is because we work with the consumers and they created what they needed.
It was not our invention, we just did what they asked us to do.

Next step in that is just to find a foundation or an organization that has all the capacity to share that into the community in a way that we can’t do.


Dicapta’s expertise is in solving problems and creating access.
MV Diaz:

We put together captions and audio description in stream text to make sure that the deafblind communities serve. So we’re doing that through Access 4 All. So if you use access for all you can use it from your Braille display too. And you can read captions, read the descriptions. And it is done. It is already there.


The challenge is the speed of that stream of information in relation to the actual film. It could be difficult to stay in sync.

Yes, someone could read the transcript and avoid the movie all together, if watching alone.

MV Diaz:

I don’t want you to go by yourself to the movies, I want to go with you.
Same thing with television, coming from our culture, we don’t do things alone, we do things with families all the time. So it is the idea is to have sync it with the movie, just to make sure that you can be part of a group of people watching the movie.

it is the experience of being with someone else. What is different,


Family. Friends. Community!
Sharing… y’all feel what’s happening here. It’s about more than access for Vicky.

That young lady who never had access to television, they’re on Vicky’s advisory team.

MV Diaz:

I’m here to show you that maybe I apologize. But we do we do better now and then try to do better things.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
Congratulations. I believe you got a television access award. Is that what it was? Tell us about it.

MV Diaz:
Yeah. It is wonderful.

I have to tell that that the Department of Education hasn’t been recognized enough for their support to access. So those who have been working with them, we know that they have spent I don’t know how many millions of dollars supporting captions at the beginning before that, the regulation of captions and then audio description for years too.

But it was really not clear if they had plans to continue supporting description, especially after audio description is already mandated by the FCC.

The educational part of it is not as regulated for the network’s.
So that’s why the Department of Ed decided to continue the program.

We got one of the television access awards. We are so happy.

We should all be happy!

At least those of us who say we care about access.

MV Diaz:

We’re going to make sure that Access 4 All is a reality. Not just for our community, we’re working with English language content two. So every single hour of audio description or captioning that we create is going to be shareable in our clearing house, and is going to be accessible, no matter if you are watching it in one television station, or in any other is going to be accessible using their app

It’s gonna be five years collecting audio description, collecting captions, and asking others to join this effort.
So at least for the educational programming, I think that we’re going to have very good news to report at the end of these five years.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
Okay, so this is a hard question. What are you doing? When you’re not creating all this accessibility?

MV Diaz:


Oh, I’m playing my flute. I’m learning piano. Okay. They pandemia show me my piano in the middle of the living room.

My daughter’s used to play piano because mom wanted them to be the biggest artists. They decided that they don’t like to play.

TR in Conversation with MV Diaz:
they said that was you Mom, not us.

MV Diaz:
Yeah. So I had this big coffee table in the middle of the living room. Coffee Table.

(Hearty laugh along with TR.)

So I have to decide I have two choices. The first one is just giving my piano to someone that is going to use it. Or taking some piano lessons. Yeah.

And I love the music that you play.

I think that we would go to the same party.


If you’re throwing a party and
you want to invite a strong advocate and someone who is dedicated to access or
if you want to learn more about the great work taking place at Dicapta, open your favorite browser and point it to;

Flipping the Script on Audio Description Part Three – Moving Beyond Just US

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

I’ve had conversations where people have said, Blind users don’t want to know about race, they want it to be completely neutral.
– >Elaine Lillian Joseph

Today we’re going beyond the US border to hear from two international describers. Rebecca Singh of Superior Description Services in Canada. A square yellow logo reads Superior Description Services in black capitals under a black dot containing a sequence of vertical yellow lines.
And if that’s not international enough for you here in the states we have Elaine Lillian Joseph from the United Kingdom.

We hear a bit about their AD origin story or how they came to description, the importance of centering Blind people in the process and more on guidelines for describing race, color or ethnicity.

And by the way, who in the world is neutral? Just US? Hmm!

Maybe not the final episode in the Flipping the Script series, but it is the last of 2020!



Show the transcript

Music Begins – A smooth, funky mid tempo Hip Hop beat


What’s good Reid My Mind Radio Family!

It’s me, your brother Thomas Reid. I hope you’re doing well.

Me? Why thank you for asking. I am doing well.

Today, we’re bringing you part three of the Flipping the Script on Audio Description series.

You know, this was never actually supposed to be a series. I originally planned for one episode but it was quickly evident that several people had something to share on the subject.

It got me thinking about Audio Description in two categories.
First, mainstream.

These are the writers and narrators creating AD for major television and film projects.

Then you have the independents – these consist of a varying degree of theater, live performance, museum and other sorts of description work.

Flipping the Script is all about promoting different voices, alternative views and Audio Description topics that are often overlooked.

As we’ve seen, this applies to both mainstream and independent.

I can’t say for sure this is the end of the Flipping the Script series but I can say it’s the last for 2020.

You know, just when I think I’m done with the topic…

Audio: “… they keep pulling me back in” Al Pacino in Godfather Part 3

Audio: “And here we go!” Slick Rick, A Children’s Story

Audio: Reid My Mind Radio Intro

My name is Rebecca Singh I am an Audio Describer also a performer. I’m the owner of Superior Description Services which is an Audio Description service which consults with the Blind and partially sighted community one hundred percent of the time. I am a cisgender woman of color and I live in Toronto Canada with my young family.

[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

How’d you get involved with Audio Description?


I got involved with Audio Description through the theater actually. I have been a performer for a very long time and just over ten years ago I saw an audition posting for this thing I’d never really heard about, Audio Description and it was a class that I had to audition to get into. I got the part. Started training, that led to something of a building up of the industry here in Toronto.

— Music Begins – A dance track with a driving beat!


That’s right Y’all, in this third part of Flipping the Script on Audio Description we’re going international!

What’s that? Canada’s right there to the north? Ok, let’s cross the Atlantic.

Audio: Airplane in flight.


My name is Elaine Lillian Joseph. I’m from a city called Birmingham which is the second biggest city in the U.K. I’m a proud Birmie! I’m a Black woman. I’ve just got my hair done. I’ve got long light brown extensions with cane row on top. I’m wearing a floral long just below the knee length dress. I’m sitting in my friend’s bedroom because I’m currently quarantining with my friend’s family. I’ve been doing AD for just under two years. I work for ITV which is our second biggest channel after the BBC. I’m also a freelance Subtitler so I do subtitles for Hard of Hearing as well. A lot of accessibility going on.


Subtitling or what we know here in the states as Captioning was Elaine’s gateway to Audio Description.

A fan of film and television, she studied English and German in college — oh my bad, University


It always seemed like a natural thing to want to go into media. Finding out that there was this whole kind of world of accessibility and it’s not just, it’s not just transcription I guess. Not that there’s anything wrong with transcription but that you can be a bit creative with it. Doing subtitles for Hard of Hearing for example, doing a Horror film and working out how to describe the sound of of an alien creature and what words am I going to use to do that. It seemed like a natural transition from that to also thinking about how to describe things in general.


Prior to working at ITV, Elaine was Subtitling at another firm, BTI. it just so happened to be the employer of an influential colleague.,


Veronica Hicks, who kind of really kick started AD in the U.K., certainly. She used to sit directly behind me and she has this velvety plummy (chuckles) voice. I was sitting subtitling and thinking what is it that she does because it sounds fascinating.


Elaine asked around and learned more about Audio Description. Eventually she left BTI.


Everybody at my company knew that I really really wanted to do it. A position came up; they kind of said go for it! I tested and I got the job and I’ve been very very happy ever since.


Such an important thing to keep in mind — let people know you’re interested.

Today, Elaine has written AD for projects including a remake of Roswell. She’s been trained on narration so we can expect to hear her post pandemic. She also narrates live performances.


I usually do kind of Queer Cabaret events. There’s like dance, spoken word, lip syncing and things like that.

— Music ends with a drum solo

[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

I’m wondering what was the experience from your other work that you brought to Audio Description?


I liked my drama class in junior high and I decided this is the best thing ever. I made my way to a performing arts high school and got bitten by the performing bug and was doing at first some film and television. As it goes as a performer, the work opportunities change.

Instead of just sitting by the phone as they say, I shifted over to doing more theater work, clowning.

[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

The whole get up, the makeup and everything? Or is that something different? (Chuckles)

I think that’s a certain kind of clown. I was living in Montreal, like the city of Circ De’ Sole. It was a little bit more movement, physical theater based kind of stuff. The acrobatic storytelling with the body. I went to dance school for a while. So it was really more about expressing myself through the body.

[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

Okay, so you’re not jumping out of cars with like fifty other clowns. (Laughs)




She’s a creative person who found herself doing more arts administration. After moving to Toronto she moved back into the performance space gaining even more of the experience she needed for Audio Description. That physical performance for example prepared her for her first AD assignment describing physical comedy. And the administration work was quite valuable as it gave her a community of people to talk to or a network.


There were people that had already worked with me in a different context and so I understood their concerns, what their fears were as producers. Everything from being afraid of touch tours because you’re potentially bringing a service animal onto a stage before the show. Rehearsal schedules, the time and space actors need. The types of conversations that are appropriate to have with directors if you’re having discussions. When is a good time to approach a designer if you have some questions? All of those things really help to mitigate any hesitancy that producers had in terms of adding something new to their palette.


Elaine’s love of reading & creative writing adds value to her description. But that merging of creativity with Audio Description has it’s challenges.


It’s a service and I think it’s important to remember it’s a service. There can be ego (Chuckles) in any industry and sometimes I think people forget the user and what’s most important to the user.


Rebecca has her own way of assuring Blind consumers are always centered throughout her process.


Paid Blind and partially sighted consultants. I get two different kinds of feedback. I learned a long time ago it’s definitely not a one size fits all in terms of description. I have a roster of consultants with different interests as well. I also try to match the interests of the consultant. Some people like Opera, some people like dance. All of their different expertise filters into my descriptions. And they ask those really deep and probing questions that I have to find answers to.

[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

What kind of differences do you find between the Blind and partially sighted feedback that you get?


One of the most striking differences is things like when I’m describing a set. With people who are partially sighted some people need to sit really really far up close and they want a different type of perspective in terms of what the set looks like. they may not be sitting in the same place. If they have a service animal they may be sitting further back in the theater. Maybe they’re closer to a speaker where that might cause some sound level things that need to be worked out. Sometimes light matters in a production, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I’ll get feedback from Blind consultants saying things like I really appreciated the fact that you called this thing almond shape because I know what an almond feels like. I really developed a sense of what words work better and what words are more inclusive over time working with both Blind and partially sighted consultants especially if they’re working together with me on the same show.

That’s the other benefit of having multiple consultants is that they can learn from one another and I always have a chance to bring in somebody new and widen my pool.


Inclusive language reflects all sorts of identities.


I’ve had conversations with people before about things like race. It’s wonderful that we’re kind of having a moment where we’re really grappling with that. And I’ve had conversations where people have said, Blind users don’t want to know about race, they want it to be completely neutral. I find that a really interesting argument because I’m like what does neutral actually mean and who are we assuming is neutral?

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

How do those conversations come up when writing description?


When I first started I remember asking questions like should I describe color? Should I describe that this rose is red or that this car is blue or whatever? And then moving from that I guess to should I describe race and the color of somebody’s skin?

So I’ll talk specifically about race rather than diversity I guess because there are other things that we can describe.

The industry standard was to not describe race unless it’s important to the plot.


By now, if you’ve been following this ongoing conversation on the podcast, you should be pretty familiar with this AD guideline.

As an example of the guideline, Elaine refers to a production of Hamlet


And Hamlet is Black. Then I should mention it. But that doesn’t mean I should mention the race of anybody else. We can assume that everybody else is white. I took that on board and then I kind of ignored it a little bit. (Laughs)

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]



Because I just found it really difficult. I was like, but why? (Laughs)

I found that I was working on shows where I just wanted to describe like the color of somebody’s skin.

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]




Because I thought, what’s it mean for it to be relevant to the plot. If there’s a conversation happening between sighted users and they’re saying oh did you notice how the policeman in whatever show it is is Black? I just kind of feel that means that as a Blind user you can’t be part of that conversation because someone’s decided that that Black policeman isn’t relevant to the plot so we’re not going to mention them. Also personally I know Blind users who I’m friend’s with who definitely wanted that information to be included because they’ve definitely felt like there are conversations that they can’t be part of because people are making these decisions.


Decisions being made on behalf of Blind people without our input. How does that make you feel?


Initially I wasn’t bold enough to say the Black man. I would describe the texture of his hair. So I would say the man with black afro textured hair. (Laughs) I think it should be fairly clear, but I still felt like I was kind of skirting around it.

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

Would you get any pushback?


We definitely didn’t receive any pushback. When my manager kind of reached out to a community of Blind users then it was an overwhelming yes! (Chuckles) Please do include that.

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

Okay. So you never got pushback from management.


No. My immediate manager was like a resounding yes! When I went into the kind of wider Audio Describer community that’s where I definitely felt pushback.


Like the time Elaine attended a conference where for the first time she heard a discussion of race and Audio Description included in the conversation.


There was a lot of why do we need to do this? What terms do we use? People not feeling comfortable saying the Black man – will the terms change. We might offend somebody, so it’s better if we don’t use any terms at all and just kind of ignore race. It felt uncomfortable for me being the only Black person in the room.


That’s uncomfort when people are either looking to you for the answer. Or one that I know I’ve experienced, giving the impression that you’re doing something wrong by raising the issue. (Oh well!)


Maybe it’s my British politeness kicking in but I found it very difficult to sit and listen to kind of put in my two pence. Imagine if a user is Black, maybe they do want to know about race (laughs… You never know!

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

Yeh, absolutely

It’s just as important for a Blind consumer who is not Black to know that there are Black people on the screen y’all, like this is real.



[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

I’m wondering if there’s an age gap here too. Is this the old guard that we’re talking about here?


I guess so, yes.

I have much respect for them. I feel like I need to put that disclaimer out . (Chuckling)

I really do and I felt like almost a young usurper at that conference and in some of these conversations I’ve had. I get that they’ve been trained in a specific way. If we look at the breakdown of describers in the U.K. it’s white middle age women.

Audio: “To be or not to be. That is the question” From Hamlet, Royal Shakespeare Company

Music ends with beat in reverse!


I feel like I owe it to the listener and the listener is not necessarily a middle class cisgender white female or a male and sometimes I feel like from some of the teaching and reading and some of the history from what I’ve seen of Audio Description and words, it’s really taking one particular perspective. That is exclusionary and also not fair to people who are Black and Indigenous or people of color.


In general, no matter what country, fairness, access, equity that should be the goal.

Rebecca, who thinks quite critically on this subject of inclusion presented at a conference in Europe.


The Advanced Research Seminar on Audio Description.

I, over the last, I would say five years or so, have been really been honing in on the idea of creating the Canadian accent for Audio Description. We here have had a lot of influences from England and also from the states. We haven’t had our own Audio Description culture in Canada. So I went and was the first person to present from Canada and I talked about creating the Canadian accent and describing race gender, class and recognizing our bias.

[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

And how was that received?


people were very interested. I think that there’s not a practice of using consultants quite as much as we do here in North America and specifically what I do. The other thing that was really well received was the fact that I presented it in a way that did not require any description. I described all of the images. I tried to make the entire experience inclusive to a point where the person who was operating the CART, the real time captioning, didn’t have anything to write. That was all just part of the example of how we can be more inclusive.


The responsibility of making media inclusive and accessible includes the role of Audio Description.


Everybody deserves the opportunity to see themselves in a story. We as people who are helping to tell a story have a responsibility to do everything that we can to not exclude people from seeing themselves.


So what exactly does that responsibility include?


even as Describers we need to understand what our own bias is. I live in a very progressive city. And I live in a arts bubble inside that city. I try and check myself against that as well. I don’t want to use language that is so open that only a very small amount of people with very specific references will understand.

We need to have more conversations with consultants and also understanding what the history is and what the perspective is of people who are heavy users of Audio Description. We need to talk about it.


She’s talking about multiple conversations from all perspectives. Some times that just means raising the issue.


It’s all of those little tiny actions that every person can do just to point out when things could be better perhaps or when things could be more inclusive.

Just being self-reflective about how we’re receiving information. I think many voices is much better as opposed to a government mandate or something like that.

Sometimes words aren’t enough.


But the words can inspire actions that lead to real change. Like getting film makers and broadcasters to include a bit more space to allow for Audio Description.

Ultimately, the change happens when our thought process becomes more inclusive.


If the creator of the material no matter what it is, has the Blind and partially sighted community in mind as part of their audience from the beginning.


Having Blind people in mind translates to our access not being an afterthought. When it comes to Audio Description?, we need to be centered.
[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

So the idea that there are sighted people enjoying Audio Description?, that’s cool, that’s really cool and I get it because hopefully that means there will be more of it, right?


[TR in conversation with Rebecca:]

Do you see the potential for that to be a problem?


I’m really in favor of Audio Description guidelines and standards being created for the needs and wants of the Blind and partially sighted community. Anyone who is putting something forward that they call Audio Description is aware of these guidelines and is providing something that is standardized. That said I think it’s also okay to create things that are not necessarily Audio Description?, but use techniques of Audio Description and as long as they’re not called Audio Description. I think more is better and so as long as it’s not called Audio Description when it doesn’t meet the standard, go for it!


From my understanding, there are conversations happening today exploring these guidelines.
I’m not sure what will end up being decided, but I do know that if these conversations do not include people of color in a real way, including decision makers, then we have to ask the question, why? Is it just fashionable right now to appear as though we’re addressing issues of diversity?

It’s a similar question I asked of all those in the Flipping the Script series;

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

It’s a simple question, so feel free to answer (laughs) because I’m asking it!


(Laughs) I see I have no choice. (Laughs) Okay!

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

(Laughing )No, but answer it anyway you want.

My question is why, why AD?


Oh! That’s a lovely question.

AD has brought me into contact with people that I probably would have never have met. In terms of the Queer drag community that I’m now part of and speaking to Blind users and Blind performers as well. I think that’s enriched my life and I hope that the descriptions I give in turn enrich their experience.

Last year I remember telling someone another sighted person, that I did AD. They just laughed and were like Blind people don’t watch TV. That was just like a whole education let’s just say for that person. (Chuckles)

I think it’s a really, really beautiful service and I think that it’s having a bit of a moment over here where people are certainly from the describer point of view, people are starting to think about how we can change it and engage even further with the community who uses it and that’s really, really exciting to be part of honestly. It’s so so fun! I honestly want to keep on doing this and developing my skills and my confidence and listening to people.

— Music begins – a chill piano leads into a smooth jazz chill Hip Hop beat


I am a storyteller, I was born that way (chuckles). I think it’s really important to be able to tell your story in a way that everyone can hear it, receive it. I don’t think we have any excuses to ignore that anymore. We have technology to help us out. I want to see the amazing wonderful gifts that actually like Blind and partially sighted creators present having had access to some of this more popular culture. Some kind of performance art. So I think it’s important for everybody to have those opportunities. and I really feel like access to art is as important as access to sport. I think it’s part of what makes us human. And so everybody should have this access.

I just think it’s fair!


That’s Rebecca Singh, you can call her CEO of SDS or Superior Description Services where she centers Audio Description.

Also known as described Video here. I do live description, image description, I produce podcasts with the Blind and partially sighted community in mind. Consultation to help with Universal Design. My Twitter handle is @SDSDescriptions.. I’m also on Face Book Superior Description and you can always check me out at


Elaine Lillian Joseph is on Twitter @@elaineLJoseph.

I’d like to thank Elaine for putting up with my attempt to include the London slang in our conversation.

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

Init! (Hysterical laugh)


(Laughs) Oh my days, you really love Top Boy don’t you?

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

I do!

I get in to the whole street shows and all that type of thing so, I’m sorry! it’s Hip Hop I’m going to be in there!


Ah, that makes you (possibly says me) really happy! I love it, I love it!

[TR in conversation with Elaine:]

Yeh! (Laughs)


Big shout out to Rebecca and Elaine for all they do and for openly sharing their experience and opinions for the improvement of AD for all.

So let me welcome you to the Reid My Mind Radio Family!

Audio: Air horn!

I’m hoping you’ll hear them back on the podcast in the future.

While this is the last official episode of 2020, you know I usually do something for the holiday season. Right now at the time of this recording, I have no idea what that is, but I’m pretty sure I’ll put something together to wrap up this incredibly challenging year.

To be sure you get that episode;
Subscribe wherever you get podcasts!
Transcripts & more are over at And let me do a bit of Audio Description for you. That’s R to the E I D
(Audio: “D and that’s me in the place to be” Slick Rick)

— Music Ends

Like my last name.

Audio: Reid My Mind Outro


Hide the transcript