Dear Disney & Pixar: Closed Captioning and Audio Descriptions are not “special features”
Codeman38 has been bringing people’s attention to the lack of accessibility features available in the rental version of Up:
However, Disney (the film’s distributor) released a special rental-only version of the DVD to the three above-mentioned rental chains, which lacks the bonus shorts from the retail DVD, the descriptive audio track, and the captions and subtitles in all three languages.
I know. It sounds utterly unbelievable– so I posted this DVD player screenshot of the rental version on Twitpic as proof. (And yes, the one menu item says “turn off closed captioning”, but that’s because I have it on by default; there’s none encoded on the disc.)
As Alena from Perspectives from a Blind Point of View puts it:
There is no excuse for this, especially for those who waited for the DVD release because they have a disability. People with disabilities shouldn’t have to pay extra to enjoy a movie, especially when the features were built in to make sure that the blind and deaf could better enjoy the film. I’d really like to know how this decision came to occur. It seems clear to me that Disney must not employ anyone with a disability in their marketing department, because if they did they would realize that this is likely to cause people to not buy the DVD, rather then increase sales.
This leads me back into one of my ongoing (off-line) rants, which is the idea that people with disabilities are asking for some form of “special” treatment. No, they’re asking for the same thing everyone else does – to be able to rent the Newly Released Film from Blockbuster or Netflix or whatever, and enjoy it. The way they can do that is through these necessary features. They’re not “special”, they’re necessary. Just because they aren’t necessary for me doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary for other people.
This is pretty bad behaviour, and stuff that we need to be calling out.
Disney’s switchboard number is (818) 560-1000. I haven’t been able to find an email address or other contact information on this. If anyone else has any ideas, please let me know.