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Blind People Left Outside The BritBox… For Now

BritBox is a new streaming service created by the BBC and ITV to offer the ‘best of British’ on demand.

The new service will cost £5.99 a month (following a 30-days free trial) and will offer shows from both broadcasters as well as Channel 4 and Channel 5.

After downloading the app to his smartphone, Double Tap’s Steven Scott found no content with audio description. After tweeting about this he got a response directly from Britbox.

Tweet from Britbox Help UK. Replying to @techtalkersteve. We're sorry we don't offer Audio Description on our programmes yet, we do hope to be able to offer Audio description soon. Some shows do have subtitles currently, we are working really hard to cover all programmes. End of tweet.

Following this response, Steven was contacted by RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) who told us that audio description will be coming to BritBox in the first half of 2020. RNIB works alongside the broadcasters to ensure that they are aware of the needs of blind and partially sighted viewers.

In the UK, Netflix is the company with the largest library of audio described content on its platform, with a clear commitment to ensuring al of its own original content is audio described. Amazon Prime Video also offer an amount of audio described content on their original shows and additionally purchased content, however it is often difficult to find. Apple TV+ however has once again put accessibility at the heart of its latest offering, with all of its new shows (with the exception of Oprah’s Book Club) having audio description in multiple languages.

BritBox aims to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but has it arrived too late to the party? Time will tell, but at least we know blind people won’t be left outside of the BritBox for too long… hopefully.

Useful Links For Audio Described Content

Netflix (Note – you need to login to Netflix after you click this link)

Amazon Prime Video (no login required here)

DVD/Blu-Ray and Cinema

Steven Scott View All

I am an absolute geek who loves technology. I also happen to be severely sight impaired and that has meant my journey with new technology has been challenging. What I've learnt is what I want to share with others and I do that on air in the UK on RNIB Connect Radio's weekly Tech Talk radio show and podcast, and on AMI-Audio's Double Tap Canada radio show and podcast. I'm also a very lucky husband and the owner of the world's coolest dog!

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