The Tokyo Paralympic Games begin on August 24th. Below, you can find information on how to access audio description, as well as other important details about the Paralympics. For more information about the Paralympics, including a programing schedule, visit: https://tinyurl.com/6sd5pjez.
Where and when can I watch the Paralympic coverage with audio description?
"For the Paralympic Games, NBC Olympics will provide live audio description for all broadcast programming, including those aired outside primetime hours" (NBC Sports press release). This means that all broadcast programming, regardless of when it airs, will have "live audio description on the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) channel, provided by Descriptive Video Works" on NBC, NBC Sports (NBCSN), and the Olympic Channel (OC). Please consult this page for the programming schedule (subject to change). The audio description Project's daily listing of TV shows with description is also listing the Paralympic coverage—look for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Please consult the ADP's audio description on television information page for general guidelines on how to access SAP.
Who do I contact if audio description is not being passed through?
If audio description is not being passed through on the NBC broadcast network, it is likely that the problem originates with your NBC affiliate. Please use the closed captioning contact or the engineering contact to get in touch with the affiliate. If you do not have this information, the FCC maintains a database of contacts for closed captioning feedback which conveniently lists both a contact for immediate feedback and a contact for written complaints.
If audio description is not being passed through on either NBC Sports or the Olympic Channel, it is likely that the problem originates with your cable, telephone company (local exchange carrier), or satellite provider/service. If your provider has an accessibility department, please contact them to report a SAP pass-through issue for either NBC Sports or the Olympic Channel. The ADP's audio description on television information page also lists contacts for the major cable and satellite providers/services.
Can I stream the Paralympic coverage with audio description?
"Digital live streams with closed captions and audio description will also be available on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app" (NBC Sports press release). For most content, a provider sign-in will be required, though in most cases, you can watch the first 30 minutes of a live stream without having to sign in. On NBCOlympics.com, the streams with audio description can be found by searching for "audio description", and it is assumed that the NBC Sports app has a similar mechanism for locating the streams with audio description. Additionally, "[a]ll of this audio description and closed captioning will be available to Comcast customers who experience the Games on the Xfinity X1 platform, on Xfinity Stream and on Xfinity Flex," (NBC Sports press release).
Alternatively, if you wish to view a chronological schedule of all live and upcoming streams with audio description for the Paralympics, please consult the schedule on NBCOlympics.com. There is supposed to be a page which lists the replays with audio description, but it will most likely be implemented at a later time.
Is it possible to watch the Paralympic coverage with audio description on-demand?
All television coverage live streams are able to be replayed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app after the fact, including the streams with audio description. On NBCOlympics.com, search for "audio description", navigate to the "REPLAYS" level-two heading, and choose the stream you want to watch.
Additionally, if you know that a stream has an audio description counterpart but is not showing up in the search results, suffix the link with "-audio-description" in the address bar and you can access it that way. For example, here's the link to the prime plus coverage from August 1:
The audio described stream would be:
How do I start playback of a live stream or replay on NBCOlympics.com?
While starting playback is not currently fully accessible on NBCOlympics.com with a screen reader, you can do it with a reasonable degree of success. There is an unlabeled graphic on the second line of the page (right below www.nbcolympics.com) which may show up as a blank line depending on screen reader and browser used. Press Enter on said graphic and the player will initialize and the video will start playing. This graphic informs when the coverage begins (in Eastern and Pacific times) and also says "CLICK TO PLAY". The player controls are usable—the buttons are labeled and you can see the elapsed and remaining times. If focus is on the seek slider, the left/down arrow moves back by 15 seconds, and likewise the right/up arrow moves forwards by 15 seconds—pressing page-up/down or home/end does not seem to do anything, nor does pressing 1-0 to move to different percentages of the video. If you are focused on the volume slider, the arrow keys changes the volume by 10 percent.