Guest Author - Dean Ingalls
Watching television or taking in a movie at the Cinema two favorite past times that I felt would never have the same meaning due to vision loss now have a new place in my life. After overcoming and learning to live with blindness, I discovered the value of assistive technology and the Internet.
Most visually impaired individuals find listening to television and movies frustrating. The inability to comprehend what is happening during a show when no verbal dialogue is part of a scene makes understanding the show difficult. I would watch television shows I viewed before vision loss because I had the shows memorized. While listening to the show, I visualize and replay from memory what is happening. I would not watch new shows or movies because of the depressed feelings I developed from the confusion and difficulty following a story without vision. Life changed when I learned to use a screen reader program and accessed the Internet.
With the ability to surf the Internet, I discovered YouTube and the Narrative TV Network Channel. The Narrative TV Network channel contains a list of 175 narrated movies and television shows with new editions posted regularly.
Where can you find narrated movies for the blind?
Of course, accessing the Narrative TV Network Channel requires a computer with an Internet connection. First, go to the YouTube home page and enter the phrase “Narrative TV Network Channel into the search function and press enter. Locate and click the link taking you to the Narrative TV Network, scroll down the list of shows and movies choose one of the offerings click and enjoy!
What types of shows can you find on the Narrative TV Channel?
1. Human Interest
A. The Royal Wedding
B. Ultimate Productivity – Interview with Paula Marshall
C. Inside 911
D. Aboard Air Force One
2. National Geographic documentaries
A. Science – The Known Universe – Stellar Storms
B. Naked Truth – The Human family Tree
C. The Truth behind the Bermuda Triangle
D. The Countdown to Armageddon
E. Gorilla Murders
F. Lewis and Clark Expedition
G. Dog Town
H. Swallowed by the Sun
I. When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs
3. Action Movies
A. The Scorpion King
B. The Last of the Mohicans
4. Human Relationship/Romance
A. The Perils of Pauline
B. Kathy’s Love Affair – The Courtneys of Curzon Street
C. My Favorite Brunette
D. An Angel on my shoulder
A. A Christmas Snow
B. Penny Serenade
6. Historical Documentaries
A. Alexander the Great
B. George Washington
C. Abraham Lincoln
D. Catherine the Great
What is a narrated movie or television show?
A narrated movie or television show contains scene-by-scene descriptive language that gives a non-visual individual the ability to understand what’s happening. A narrator reads the printed information before and after shows or movies such as the title, names of the directors, producers and actors. The most frustrating part of an unnarrated television show is when I follow a story and at the end, written information appears on the screen that finalizes the story but leaves me with a cliff hanger feeling because I am unable to read the information.
Today, I once again enjoy television but on the computer. A great way to return the joy of television and movies back into the life of visually impaired individuals is to introduce them to the value of assistive technology.