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Death comes to town, irreverent humour, and accessibility for the blind and low-visioned

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 17:35 authored by Kristen Aspevig, Isabel Pedersen
This article focuses on described video (DV), which makes television accessible to persons who are blind or who have low vision by providing voice-over descriptions of shows. The article highlights the lack of DV content in Canada and outlines the factors inhibiting more DV production, including policy, the commercial and organizational structure of television, and the established conventions that were developed for certain genres (e.g., documentary and drama). It uses the described version of the recent CBC mini-series Death Comes to Town, created by the comedy troupe Kids in the Hall, to illustrate how different genres of television, such as comedy, require unconventional styles of description to convey their full cultural meaning. Finally, it argues that true accessibility and participation in national media culture for people who are blind or have low vision, as mandated in Canadian and international law, depend on adequate DV.