How can blind people watch a movie? Tencent thinks out a way

On 17 May, Tencent and China Library for the Blind jointly launched “Barrier-Free Theatre”, a free movie-viewing service for visually impaired users. The films are akin to radio dramas and include detailed explanations to help visually impaired viewers follow the plot. Currently, visually impaired users can watch the accessible versions of films for free by logging into the Tencent Video App and completing ID verification for people with disabilities.

Tencent’s “Barrier-Free Theatre” is the first long-form video application to pass the China Library for the Blind’s accessibility test, with its core functions adapted to screen-reading software. Tencent has conducted extensive research on visually impaired users and implemented many targeted designs. When visually impaired users log in to the Tencent Video App, the “Barrier-Free Theatre” will automatically appear as the first button on the left side of the home page, provided the screen reading feature on the user’s mobile phone is turned on, simplifying the navigation process.

Additionally, the involvement of Tencent Video’s Large Scale Artificial Intelligence technology has greatly enhanced the efficiency of producing traditional accessible films. In the production process, AI identifies video content and automatically generates the first draft of the script. Volunteers then modify it, and AI performs dubbing and synthesis. This innovation has shortened the production cycle from 30 days to just 10 days.

“Barrier-Free Theatre” will release over 600 high-quality popular films and videos in batches, including “YOLO”, “The Long Season”, and “The Three-Body Problem”, covering movies, TV dramas, children’s animation, and some variety shows. The service has also set up a questionnaire to collect user preferences for future productions.

16 May was Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which aims to foster discussions and awareness about the accessibility and inclusiveness of digital environments (web, software, mobile devices, etc.) for over 1.2 billion people worldwide with disabilities. Tencent’s initiative is also part of its ESG strategy to address social issues through technological innovation.


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