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Welcome to the Audio Description Project!

Here you will learn everything about Audio Description, from what is it, to samples, to who does it, to how and where it is available in various media.  You can also join our online discussion, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, and be notified of updates to this page by typing your email address in the box to the right and pressing the Submit button. 

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Based on his doctoral thesis and teaching audio description around the world, ADP Project Director Dr Joel Snyder's new book, The Visual Made Verbal, is now available in print, for Kindle, and on Bookshare!  Details.

Featured Articles

ACB Response to DOJ Request for Comments

Back in July, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) requested commments on a proposed update to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require movie theaters to provide closed movie captioning and audio description.  The ACB has been working on a response for some time, and now it is available.  Please read the ACB response and consider filing your own to help make this important change reality!  THE DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 1.  You can read the original DOJ filing and make a response there.  The most important questions in the filing for you to consider are number 3, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, and 17.  Alternatively, the ACB is making the filing process easy by allowing you to send YOUR COMMENTS to Francine Patterson in the national office, and she will file them on your behalf.  Just click on her name to send your comments after reviewing the ACB comments.  DO IT NOW!  It is very important that the DOJ hear directly from beneficiaries of this proposal.  (Posted Nov 20)

Comcast Releases Talking Guide for Television

As of November 19, Comcast is rolling out their X1 Digital Service Talking Guide, which will speak channel listings and program descriptions, making access to television programs MUCH more usable for people who are blind or have low vision.  To take advantage of the Talking Guide, you need X1 equipment, which reportedly most Comcast users already have ("X1" should be printed on the front of the box).  The service must be activated first; call 855-270-0379 to learn how.  Read an article about the Talking Guide published in The Boston Globe, and read another article with more detail published by the AFB.  Comcast said their talking guide is the first such service offered by any cable company in the US and was developed in response to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.  (Posted Nov 18)

Who Decides What They See?

That's the discussion point in a recent article on audio description comparing the different viewpoints of two important names in Audio Description:  Joel Snyder, who teaches audio description around the world and is the ADP Project Director, and Joshua Miele, a blind scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center who recently launched a website (YouDescribe) where anyone can record description.

Different viewpoints?  Consider these excerpts from the article.

Snyder told me that if he were God, he wouldn’t allow anyone to describe a movie without first taking his workshop. “I’ve seen blind people just pull their earbuds out,” he said. “I’d rather a film had no description than bad description.”

And then there is Dr Miele's point of view:

When I mentioned Snyder’s preference for no description over bad description, Miele laughed. “It’s fine for him to say as a sighted guy,” he said. “Me, I’d much rather have something substandard than nothing.”

And then Georgina Kleege (who is also blind), an English professor at the University of California, Berkeley, weighs in:

“They do the best they can, but mainstream description services are limited by their own rules and standards,” Kleege said. “I respect them — they pioneered description — but ask a blind person how they want something described, and you get many answers.

Ah yes, that's the problem, isn't it?  "Many answers!"  Read the full article in The California Sunday Magazine.  (Posted Nov 6)

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Audio Description News

New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

The following DVDs were recently released with audio description:  The Expendables 3 (Rated PG-13) and If I Stay (rated PG-13).

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The most recent described DVDs are as follows:  The Expendables 3, If I Stay, 22 Jump Street, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Let's Be Cops, Hercules, Land Ho, Planes: Fire and Rescue, Maleficent, Deliver Us From Evil, Sex Tape, Mr Peabody & Sherman, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Million Dollar Arm, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Neighbors, The Fault in Our Stars, Think Like a Man Too, Captain America: The Winter SoldierSee Also:

Join us on Facebook or Twitter (links below) to receive new described DVD notifications, or use the page-change notification form at the top of this page.  (Updated Nov 25)

Audio Description at EVERY Performance!

Arena Stage in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the ACB and the Audio Description Project announces that every performance of Fiddler on the Roof will be audio described from November 6 to January 4.  Further, every performance of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will also be described next year from April 10 to May 3.  Read the press release about the audio description at Arena Stage.  (Posted Oct 31)

New Described TV Series

NBC recently began a new series on Mondays entitled State of Affairs with audio description.

You can view our entire listing of what's described on television by clicking the Television link on any page of this website.  Want to see a day-by-day listing?  Try our Master Schedule of Described Shows.

(Posted Nov 25) 

Reference

The Audio Description Project's website collects and provides information on audio description in all its forms: live theatre, television, movies, DVDs, and more.  Started in 2002 by AD International, funding and direction for this website now come from the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project (started in March 2009).  Read more about this site ...

Audio Description (AD) is the descriptive narration of key visual elements of live theatre, television, movies, and other media to enhance their enjoyment by consumers who are blind or have low vision.  AD is the insertion of audio explanations and descriptions of the settings, characters, and action taking place in such media, when such information about these visual elements is not offered in the regular audio presentation.  Read more about audio description ...

Dedicated organizations around the world facilitate the offering of audio description in select movie theaters, videos, live theatre, and television programming, and this website attempts to expose their fine work to as many interested viewers as possible. Thank you for visiting!