Super Bowl XLVIII will be a national event with over 100 million people expected to tune in. Although it is an event that is meant for excitement, people who are blind or visually impaired may have a hard time sharing in that excitement. Although they may not be able to see the TV, there are methods in which blind or visually-impaired people can enjoy the game and its festivities. Here are six ways that could help spark up the excitement.
1. Listen to the Game on the Radio
Although there will be no audio description on TV, blind and visually impaired fans of the Super Bowl could listen to the game’s broadcast on the radio. It will be a way to follow the game’s action without missing the important aspects. Unlike TV, all the play’s action will be described, giving listeners a way to know exactly what’s happening. WestwoodOne will be carrying the game nationally and it will be available in most markets. It will also be available on SiriusXM radio. Apps like TuneIN Radio will have feeds of the broadcast as well. Although there will be different commercials from the ones shown on TV, the ads on the radio will also be entertaining, as WestwoodOne plans to rank them after the game. WestwoodOne will cover the pregame, postgame and halftime festivities as well.
2. Follow the Game Online
There are many websites such as http://www.espn.com and http://www.foxsports.com that will provide play-by-play summaries of the action. This way a fan can watch the game with friends and family and not miss a play. Some pages update automatically, but users can refresh the page by pressing F5 on the computer. There are also a lot of accessible apps such as Yahoo’s Sports, which have the same capability.
3. Listen to TV
Simply listening to the TV will provide blind and visually impaired fans of the Super Bowl a chance to catch the atmosphere of the crowd and the audio of the commercials. The play-by-play announcer on Fox, Joe Buck, describes the game’s action in a way that fans can follow along by listening. Even though all the play’s action may not be described, Buck will describe the big parts of the play, such as a catch, a sack or a touchdown. Commercials often have dialogue allowing the theme and the main points to be noticeable.
4. Watch the Game Online
For those with low vision, the game’s online feed may prove to be a viable option. By watching the game online, viewers can use a screen magnifier to enlarge the screen or sit close to the screen so that they can see it better. To watch the game online, visit http://www.foxsports.com/superbowl. To see it on an iPad, download the Fox Sports Go app.
5. Ask Around
Having someone is a personal describer may seem like a self-defeating task, but it could help a blind or visually impaired person enjoy the game. It could prove to be helpful to have someone describe the plays or parts of the commercial that was missed. There are a lot of aspects of the game that are visual and asking a friend or family member to describe those things may be the best way to not miss any extra visual information. For example, there are commercials that are just music or big plays in which the crowd was too loud and overlapped the broadcaster.
6. Follow the Conversation on Twitter
The Super Bowl will certainly be trending on Twitter. There are many hashtags that will be trending, including #SuperBowl #Seahawks #Broncos and #NFL. It is a great way to follow the popular commercials so that you can be in the loop about what everyone is talking about.
No matter how it’s viewed, blind and visually impaired people who want to enjoy the Super Bowl certainly have options to do so. Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S. is a national pastime and that can be no different for those who are blind or visually impaired.