Network Passthrough: Help the Network Ensure You Receive the Program

Call to Action!

Help the Network ensure You Receive the Program

Today, audio description is offered for more movies and TV Programs than ever before.  Blind consumers can count on accessible programming for no less than 7 hours of primetime content on about 15 broadcast  / cable networks.  Thanks to the federal law known as the Communications And Video Accessibility Act of 2010, blind consumers can expect the quantity of accessible media to steadily rise until one day in the future when all media will be described.

Still, blind consumers may not be able to access the audio description being provided.  Why is that?  What can consumers do to help resolve the problem?

Networks do reliably broadcast audio description in their national feed which is received by local network affiliate stations who broadcast the signal to their local areas.  For example, The live description of the Academy Awards is broadcast on the ABC Television national feed.  That signial is received by WABC in New York and KABC in Los Angeles.  Those local affiliates must be sure to make the necessary connections at their station to enable the audio description to “pass through” to their local markets.  Occasionally, in some cities, engineers at local stations fail to make the necessary connections.  When that happens, blind consumers in a particular local area will not be able to hear the audio description.

How can consumers help?  Before a program is broadcast, consumers can contact their local stations (network affiliates) and politely remind them to pass the description from the network through to the local transmission.  Consumers can search to find their local affiliate station for any network, then contact that affiliate and make the request that audio description be passed through.  It may be necessary to also contact your cable provider or satellite provider as well, since those entities must also pass the signal through to consumers who use cable/satellite receiver boxes.

If blind consumers are unable to hear the audio description for any program where AD is offered by the network, they are expected to report the failure to all relevant entities including: local stations, cable providers, satellite providers, the original broadcast network, and the FCC.

Please notify us here at Audio Eyes as well, since we may have opportunities to share the report with relevant organizations in the industry.

Posted in News.