National Public Radio
APRIL 18, 2015
Netflix’s original series now have a superhero among them. Comic fans know Daredevil as a crusader. He’s a Marvel character who, in addition to his superhuman abilities, has a very human disability: blindness.
Needless to say, Daredevil has quite a few fans with visual impairments — and they were looking forward to the show.
But until this week, Netflix had no plans to provide the audio assistance that could have helped those fans follow the show.
The FCC requires broadcasters to provide audio descriptions of many programs so blind people can enjoy TV along with everyone else.
But Netflix isn’t a broadcaster — it’s an Internet-based service. And they didn’t plan to provide that audio.
In other words, the superhero would not have been able to enjoy his own program.
Robert Kingett, a journalist and activist in Chicago, is a fan of Daredevil. He’s blind and also lives with cerebral palsy. And when he learned the show wouldn’t have audio descriptions, Kingett recalls, “I said, ‘Well, that’s just utterly insane.’ ”