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Blind TV fan’s Netflix plea

Tiana Offord is urging Netflix to make more shows accessible for blind people
Tiana Offord is urging Netflix to make more shows accessible for blind people

A blind Queensland woman is taking on Netflix, urging the entertainment giant to add audio descriptions to more of its films and shows.

Tiana Offord, a 20-year-old student from Brisbane, is unable to fully enjoy her favourite show Gilmore Girls on the platform because it does not have an audio description.

An audio description is “an optional narration that describes what is happening on screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings and scene changes,” according to the Netflix website.

Tiana Offord is urging Netflix to help her and other blind people enjoy its content
Blind woman Tiana Offord is urging Netflix to help her and other blind people enjoy its content. Picture: Facebook

Audio description is available on a lot of newer films and shows, but not for classics such as Gilmore Girls and Friends.

As a result of the feature not being available for Gilmore Girls, the fully blind Ms Offord has missed vital parts of the show’s plot despite watching it “well over ten times”.

For example, Ms Offord says she did not realise a character said something in a dream rather than the actual life of the character.

This caused her to misunderstand several episodes of her favourite show.

“I have missed so many pivotal moments of this show due to its lack of audio description on Netflix, and I would love to understand them just like anyone else could,” she wrote in an online petition.

GILMORE GIRLS
Ms Offord would love to fully enjoy more scenes from her favourite show. Supplied

The petition is calling on Netflix to add audio description to Gilmore Girls in the hope this will lead to many other old shows also becoming more accessible to blind people.

“If you sign you could help me and any other blind people who are missing out on important details of Gilmore Girls to no longer be in the dark (no pun intended),” said Ms Offord.

A statement from Netflix suggested it needed the help of TV and film studios to make Ms Offord’s wish come true.

Netflix says it is always working with studios to enable audio description on more films and shows (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)
Netflix says it is always working with studios to enable audio description on more films and shows (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

“It (audio description) is available for most Netflix original titles and many other TV shows and movies,” a statement on the company’s website said.

“We are always working with studios to make them available for more titles.”

Ms Offord’s petition has attracted more than 2500 signature since she launched it on August 17. She is targeting a total of 5000 signatures.