Moviegoers with disabilities may appreciate the website that WGBH, the single largest producer of web and television content for PBS, has dedicated to providing information about making theaters accessible to audiences with disabilities. Their site MoPix (Motion Picture Access) also provides lists of movies currently in theaters that have closed captioning and/or descriptive narration available, as well as upcoming releases that will have captioning. Additionally, the site provides contact information and tips for locating movie theaters that are MoPix-equipped.
While most people, with or without disabilities, have seen closed captioning (dialogue and sound effects appearing as text on the screen for the deaf and hearing-impaired) at some time and many television programs are closed captioned, there is less familiarity with descriptive narration. Descriptive narration assists viewers who are blind or have low vision by providing an audio description of scenery, characters’ facial expressions, costumes and other visual cues in the film. An interesting sample of this technology – a scene from Disney’s The Lion King – can be viewed and heard at the link above. This particular clip also contains closed captioning of the descriptive narration and accompanying music.