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“Julie and Julia:” A Total Book – Movie Experience” for the Blind

A guest blog from Gayle Yarnall, Director of Adaptive Technology for the Perkins School for the Blind…Thank you, Gayle!

“When the movie Julie and Julia was announced, I knew I wanted to see it because I’m a big fan of Julia Child and I see every movie with Meryl Streep.  My first mission was to read the book and once again I have to say thanks to Bookshare.  Bookshare had the book ready for me to download.  Actually, after speaking with someone at Bookshare, I found out they were sent the book by the actual publisher. (Little Brown & Co.) They wanted to make sure blind readers could read the book before the movie was released. I loved it! I was not inspired to work my way through the cook book, treating my husband to all the wonderful dishes, but I was inspired to read the book with every spare moment I could find.

Last Friday we decided to see the film.  My husband went to the website for the Loews AMC Theater in Methuen and found that they were showing Julie and Julia with audio description.  I could not believe it, my local theater showing a movie I really wanted to see with audio description.  How could I be so lucky?

When we arrived, everyone was thrilled that someone really wanted to use the audio description service but no one knew how to use the headphones.  They gave us a pair to figure out for ourselves and we were off to find seats.  The headset worked and I settled in to watch/listen to my first movie in 62 years, in a theater, without needing someone to tell me what was happening.  It was a very strange feeling to be in my own world watching the film.  I felt a little cut off from the audience in the beginning but soon I was totally involved with Julie and Julia.  I guess that is what a movie is supposed to do, but I never really had the experience.

Three cheers to the publisher and whoever was responsible for making sure the book was available in time for blind people to read it, to the movie theater and whoever put all the pieces together so we could then see the movie with audio description, and to Bookshare for the wonderful work and resource it is.  I will be checking, on a regular basis to see what movies are playing in this local theater and what new books will spark my attention in Bookshare !”

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