Most of the larger movie theaters now provide audio description for their films. Upon request they lend headsets without charge that contain a voice description of the action occurring in the movie. The description does not overlap the dialog but is given when the actors are not speaking. It identifies the characters by name thus eliminating the guesswork as to which character is involved in each scene. It also provides some description as to character appearances. Proof of diminished vision is not required. Persons wishing to obtain audio description for any film should inquire at the box office; advance reservations are not necessary.
All cable television providers must provide audio menus; Comcast and Verizon offer these. Many television stations and Netflix provide audio descriptive tracks for some of their programming.
Many museums and landmark buildings will offer special tours for people with limited or no sight. Often an individual guide will host a private tour describing the various exhibits or building attributes and history. Frequently those on these private tours will be offered the opportunity to feel items on display. While arrangements may occasionally be made at the start of a visit, it is usually wise to call in advance to determine what arrangements can be provided.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress (NLS) provides free books and publications to blind and low vision persons. Typically these are now downloaded from the BARD (Braille and Audio Recording Download) service of the NLS. They can be downloaded and played on smart phones or downloaded on computers, transferred to SD cards and played on special equipment provided for free. For more information, contact your local library.
Newsline Audio Newspaper Service is an electronic system that allows users to listen to newspapers and magazines through synthetic voice output via any touch-tone telephone, computer or smart phone. It is free of charge. Persons with diminished vision can subscribe through their local libraries. For more information, visit the web site at:
ACB Radio, a project of the American Council of the Blind, streams via the internet, up-to-date and relevant information worldwide for persons who are blind or who have low vision, provides programming produced by blind programmers, and offers a platform on which blind musicians and artists express their talents. The ACB Radio shows can also be heard over ordinary telephone by calling (231) 460-1047. To hear ACB Radio shows on the computer or to learn more about ACB Radio, visit the ACB Radio web site at: