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CBS and Recording Academy to provide audio descriptions at Grammy Awards

The show kicks off Sunday at 5 p.m. on CBS 8 and will feature the network’s first live event with audio descriptions for the blind.

LAS VEGAS — The 64th annual Grammy Awards kicks off this Sunday, April 3 live from the Las Vegas Strip and this year, CBS and the Recording Academy are providing the network’s first live event featuring audio descriptions for the blind.

Audio descriptions provide audio-narrated descriptions of the night’s key visual elements. The addition of the audio descriptions allows viewers who are blind or low vision are able to take in all of the action happening at The Grammys, providing a much richer experience of the event. 

The audio description will be provided on the Secondary Audio Programming, SAP channel by industry leaders VITAC and Audio Eyes.

Naveen James was born blind and is an instructor at the San Diego Center for the Blind. He says the addition of audio descriptions at the Grammys is a step in the right direction. 

"I'm glad CBS Grammys have decided to do this. I will hopefully have a blast with it," said James.

Since closed captioning is a law for the deaf community, James said he hopes implementing audio descriptions will become a law for the blind community,

"This is still a main issue that we trying to their attention over again. This is something we need to address as soon as possible. This discrimination can be fixed," said James.

CBS has provided audio descriptions since April 1, 2002, becoming an innovator in accessibility. The addition of audio descriptions at this Sunday's Grammy awards marks 20 years in the network's providing of this service.

“For the past 20 years, CBS has continually increased the availability of audio description. We are proud to be able to launch our first live event with the GRAMMY Awards," said Mark Turits, vice president of captioning and audio description at Paramount Global.

How to watch The Grammys

Music's biggest night heads to the Las Vegas strip on Sunday, April 3 for the first time. This year's show is hosted by comedian Trevor Noah and kicks off live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 5 p.m. only on CBS 8. 

The Grammys is also available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

The performers

WATCH RELATED: Grammy Awards Recap with Kevin Frazier (March 2021).

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