Audio description: movies for those who can’t see and hear

I closed my eyes, thinking it will give me an idea how a blind person can enjoy watching a movie. A few seconds into the attempt, I wanted to knock myself in the head for even trying. What was I thinking?

I realized I could never appreciate the audio description that came with the film “Hugo”, no matter how much I try. I know that I won’t even come close. The same goes for the deaf — that even if I cover my ears and just try to read the subtitles while watching, I will never feel how a PWD enjoys a movie the way I do.

Deaf and blind students eagerly pose for cameras while waiting for the movie to start.
Deaf and blind students eagerly pose for cameras while waiting for the movie to start.

After the movie, they had so much to say about the story…how they loved it…what their favorite scenes were… One of them even cried when she was interviewed by an MTRCB staff.

Our PWDs don’t need pity. They need inclusion. Anything we physically abled can do, they should also be able to. Sometimes, even better.

Thank you SM, MTRCB, Deaf-Blind Support Philippines, and Center for Advocacy Learning and Livelihood for doing this. And as SM promised, this will become more frequent and with improved cinema facilities.

Perhaps our local film industry should think about making audio description films as well. MTRCB Chairman Villareal said talks are in the works. Let’s do this!

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