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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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Please Help!

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) is seeking your valuable input and real-life experiences on audio description for broadcast cable television, mobile apps, streaming services, and film. In recent months, there has been a significant amount of movement in the television and film industry, which could greatly impact the quality and quantity of audio described choices for viewers.

ACB has developed a brief survey to collect information about your experiences accessing audio described content. This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and your responses will be kept confidential. You can access the survey by clicking the following link:

Take Survey

We hope you will complete the online survey and encourage your fellow ACB members and friends to come to this website to do the same. If you have questions or require assistance with the survey, please contact survey@acb.org.

Thank you for your input.

Sincerely,
Kim Charlson, President
American Council of the Blind


Featured Articles

* 2016 ADP Conference and AD Institute *

Our 2016 AD Conference and our tenth AD Institute (to train audio describers) start Sunday, July 3, in Minneapolis, MN.  We have a fantastic agenda!  For more information on either the Conference or Institute, click the links above.  (Updated June 28)

Two New Described Video Streaming Options Available

Zagga is a new start-up service offering exclusively described movies and series across a variety of genres, mostly older videos initially.  There are future plans actively in the works for new content.  There is a 30-day free trial with a $7/month membership; but if you listen to an interview with founder Kevin Shaw by CoolBlindTech, you might get a longer trial!  (The TEDx Talk by Kevin Shaw is also worth listening to.)

(The Comcast App previously announced here has been withdrawn for further development.)

We haven't got audio description from Amazon or Hulu yet, but a website called Pornhub (we assume the name is sufficient to indicate its content) is now offering a subset of its content in a category named "Described Video." They have started with 50 videos with a wide variety of content. A company representative says, "It's our goal to service all of our users' needs, which begins with making content accessible to every individual."  More in an article in the SFO Guardian.  (Updated June 28)

The FCC Needs YOUR Input re Description on TV!!!

On May 27th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on expanding audio description. This NPRM would significantly increase access to audio described programming on broadcast and cable networks. You will find a link to the FCC's NPRM below.  It proposes the following key rule changes:

  • Increase the amount of described programming on each included network carried by a covered broadcast station or multichannel video programming distributor, from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 (a 75% increase)
  • Increase the number of networks required to provide video description from four broadcast and five non-broadcast networks to five broadcast and ten non-broadcast networks
  • Create a "no-backsliding" rule, so a network would remain subject to the rules even if it is no longer one of the top five or top ten ranking networks; and
  • Require video programming distributors to provide proper customer support contacts in order to improve consumer access to video description.

ACB has long been the leading advocate for audio described television content. We welcome the FCC's proposed rule and look forward to submitting comments on the benefits such expansion will have for Americans who are blind or visually impaired. While the first round of comments were due June 27th, reply comments are not due until July 26th. This gives individuals an opportunity to respond to industry concerns. ACB will be holding a national conference call the week following our 2016 ACB National Convention in Minneapolis, and in the meantime we encourage you to submit your own personal story on how audio described programming has positively impacted your life.

USE THESE LINKS to view the proposal, see other people's comments, and submit your own comments:  (Posted June 7)

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Audio Description News

Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

This week's Audio Described DVDs are:  Kung Fu Panda 3 and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  (Updated June 28)

 Featured DVD Featured DVD Mind Game

Of possible interest is an older DVD that we just learned about and added to our 2015 list of DVDs:  Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.  It tells the compelling story of basketball phenom Chamique Holdsclaw, the “female Michael Jordan,” from her rise to WNBA stardom to her struggle with mental illness and the strength she called on to speak out about it.  It is not available via Amazon, so check our link.

2016 Recent:  Kung Fu Panda 3, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Midnight Special, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, The Brothers Grimsby, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Eddie the Eagle, London Has Fallen, The Young Messiah, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Anomalisa, Hail Caesar, The Other Side of the Door, Zootopia, Gods of Egypt, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, How to be Single, Risen, The Finest Hours, Zoolander No. 2: The Magnum Edition, Deadpool, Joy, The Choice, The 5th Wave, Krampus, Ride Along 2, Son of Saul, The Revenant, The Lady in the Van, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Concussion, Point Break, Daddy's Home, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, more ...

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New Audio Described TV Series

ABC is now describing the second season of Celebrity Family Feud Sundays at 8pm.

Fox is now describing the second season of Home Free on Thursdays at 9pm.

TBS describes Wrecked Tuesdays at 10pm and has added description to the second season of the comedy Angie Tribeca Mondays at 9pm.

TNT is describing the final season of the police drama Rizzoli and Isles Mondays at 9pm.  (Updated June 28)

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 ...

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

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!