Cord cutting, the solution to high priced Cable. Or is it? As a totally blind person, I feel it is not a realistic solution, and there are a few reasons why.
Audio description is a very integral part of blind people’s equality and access to television and movies, along with plays and theater productions. Denver is known for some of the best audio descriptions in movie theaters these days, but cord cutting services do not have audio description. When I tweeted Sling TV, they regrettably tweeted back that they do not put audio description on their channel services. Therefore, Trenton and I decided wholeheartedly against cord cutting with Sling TV. YouTube TV may have some audio description, but USA is not described on YouTube TV to my knowledge. Cord cutting has many options, including Fubo TV and Phylo and many others, all that exclude audio descriptive tracks for the blind. Some of these apps are not usable to different platforms with screen reading softwares. LEt me move on to the next educational point on cord cutting.
While audio description is a highly important thing, being able to access a player and on demand content with description is even more so because blind people who don’t have the luxury of being royal African queens need to have independence, equality, and access to all movies, television, and more cord cutting options. If VoiceView, audio Guide, or even Voiceover or Talkback can’t access the cord cutting apps and services you request without bad labels, bad placement, and other pitfalls of apps done by third parties, you have an unrealistic expectation for low income blind people and cord cutting. While Cable is a high priced so called luxury, for blind people, it is not. Audio descriptive channels are important, and I’m watching one now. On channel 24, USA, Law and Order, SVU is fully described and I can flip on the audio track if I want to. However, Phylo, Sling TV, and most of Hulu are not equally accessible to the blind as YouTube TV is. Licensing is usually a poor excuse not to provide blind people with equal enjoyment of television and theater and movie visuals. Licensing should never be used as such but it is with cord cutting services, and they claim or would claim that they need to pay for such things, and that it would be passed on to the consumer. Wrongo, not if a civil right is at hand. So what’s the verdict on cord cutting for blind people?
While cord cutting seems like a great option for low income folks, it is not a very nice option for those who can’t see the screen. Audio descriptive tracks are not avaiable for 90% of cord cutting apps and services, and most companies don’t offer accessible on demand content. It’s harder and harder for blind people to justify cord cutting, and I know from experience that as the head of a household, you have to be careful what your kids watch too. While I don’t have kids yet, cord cutting services with live TV also have parental controls, which I don’t touch whatsoever but this is a recommended thing Id like to see a parent review such controls on all the cord cutting services. Popular ones include Sling TV, YouTube TV, and others such as Fubo TV, Phylo, and Pluto TV. Tubi TV is also quite popular. So how to get blind people to cord cut? Here’s the big consideration that all cord cutting services should consider. Understand why audio description is important for totally blind folks who can’t see what’s going on in the visual realm of the screen, and do not use this licensing tomfoolery to stop audio description from appearing in your apps and services. Blind people have needs, and we also enjoy a wide variety of stuff like sighted people do, but cord cutting is off the table for most of us, sadly, the ones who make under a thousand. Some low vision people could get a lot out of the cord cutting services, but for those who are blind completely, who and what and how are things going to be modified? Another thing that the company should do is to test the softwares with screen readers, and require that the testers be blindfolded, especially during the testing process. For audio description, make sure that the service is available and get your tracks from the networks, and the parent companies must cooperate so that licensing is not a good excuse, or rather a poor one, to deny a blind person equal access to television and theater productions.
Thank you for the support, and please download the Cord Cutters News app if you feel like following the not so wonderful world of cord cutting. If you cord cut, remember that Cable companies have monopolized audio description and not allowed it to come to cord cutting services. The only cord cutting option that a blind person could try is YouTube TV. I’ve seen reviews of it on blind bargains qast, so you guys can check that out too.