Life is complex.
For most of my years I’ve thought that subtitles and captions are just for deaf and hard of hearing people, and that audio description was obviously for the benefit of Blind and visually impaired people. I now learn it’s not that simple.
Accessible Events Director Judith Garman’s new blog http://wp.me/p1tOeV-60 explores how many people on the autistic spectrum may benefit from captions and audio description.
This raises the question, if people on the autistic spectrum with perfect hearing and eyesight benefit from audio description and subtitles, who else benefits? Has anybody with good enough eyesight tried audio description and did they feel they gained from it?
Last year at Lanternhouse Cumbria, Anne Hornsby of Mind’s Eye demonstrated audio desccription at an All About Audiences seminar. The visual element of the Dukes Theatre peformance of 1984 was put into spoken English. We saw a screen with a stylised semi naked figure of a woman (Julia) dancing across a yellow corn field waving a red sash.
So I sat there and watched a semi naked woman dance across a field. With the interpreter translating, signing ‘semi naked woman dancing across a field’. Surely this is redundant? I mean I can see the whole thing! Yet that translation of audio description into sign language enriched the experience of 1984 for me.
So who else benefits from audio descriptions and subtitles?
Maybe for some users it’s not just access but enriching their creative experiences?
Judith Garman’s blog http://wp.me/p1tOeV-60