September is proving to be the busiest month of the year so far, and in a good way. So I’m having to do a few posts in quick succession to catch up with various bits and pieces. I’ve already posted about the music and drama day I did a couple of weeks ago, and now I want to tell you a bit about my visits to Guildford and The Royal Academy Of Arts, and my holiday to Guernsey.
In this post and video I’m going to discuss my first experiences with audio description in London, for museums, galleries, theatre shows, cinema screenings and walking tours.
An edited version of this post appears on the RNIB Connect website.
For this post, I thought I’d do something a bit like the TV show Room 101 (where celebrities nominate their pet hates to be locked away forever). It’s named after the torture chamber in George Orwell’s novel 1984, which is said to contain “the worst thing in the world”. We also had a Room 101 at my college which was rather memorable, because it was the examinations office! So that felt both appropriate and ominous!
So I wanted to do a post along those lines, using it as an excuse to list some things that frustrate or irritate me because I have a visual impairment. I’ve also made a Youtube video to accompany it. It’s not at all intended to be offensive or to upset anyone, and I’m not a negative or moaning person. I’m actually very positive, as I’ve hopefully conveyed throughout this blog. But it’s nice to get some things off your chest now and again, and to try and spread a bit of awareness in the process.
Being visually impaired, one of the things I’m naturally keen to do is get to know other people with sight loss in London now that I’ve moved here. And I’ve already met a few such people individually, and have plans to meet others, so I’ve made a good start. But in this past week I took another important step by meeting up with a local social group for people with sight loss for the first time.
I’ve been in London for just over a month now, and so far things are going well. As anticipated and hoped, it’s been a much needed and refreshing change of routine, and the last few weeks have been pretty busy as you can imagine. As I result, I’ve got a few posts I want to do on various aspects of the past month, so this is the first one.
In this post and video I want to describe what audio description is, how it is useful for the blind and visually impaired, and why it’s high time we should be able to add it to Youtube videos. This is in support of the #AudioDescribeYT campaign, launched by James Rath.
I’ve just received, and have happily started watching, Doctor Who Series 9 on Blu-ray. I’m drafting a separate review post of that as I go along, but coming from a visually impaired person’s perspective, I’m very pleased to see they’re continuing with audio navigation and audio description on the discs. Sherlock gets the same treatment as well.
It’s not a feature I personally need to use, but I do have friends who use it. And it’s understandably frustrating that such audio assistance isn’t more widespread.