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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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Featured Articles

Emirates Airline Introduces Movies With AD Tracks

Emirates, who was recently awarded the ‘World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment’ award at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards for the 10th consecutive year, now offers Audio Description soundtracks on 16 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures films.  Read the article on Emirates.  (Posted July 31)

Justice Dept Proposes ADA Modification for Movie Theater Accessibility

On Friday, July 25, Attorney General Eric Holder signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Title III regulation for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require movie theaters to provide closed movie captioning and audio description in order to give persons with hearing and vision disabilities access to movies.  Read the full announcement.  (Posted July 25)

Audio Description Project Conference Highlights

We had a terrific Conference this year!  There were 66 attendees from nine countries signed up (including speakers), with an average attendance of 35 at any given session.  We had a good split between users and providers of audio description, with excellent opportunities to interact.  Our new mentor program also paired describers with ACB Conference attendees who weren't otherwise directly involved in our project.  The mentors/mentees learned from each other.

Do you have a suggested topic for our next Conference two years from now?  Drop us a line!  We'd really like to hear from you.

One highlight of the Conference was the presentation by Tom Wladkowski, Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast.  Tom described his X-1 cloud-based platform for delivering an easy-to-use accessible TV and video controller later this year.  He not only described features initially available (like a talking remote with simple controls and a talking Guide), but the intent to add features like voice control in the future.  Tom also acknowledged problems with customer service reps not understanding video description issues, so they established a dedicated Accessibility Center reachable at 1-855-270-0379.

Separately, important dates mandated by the FCC moving accessiblity forward were reviewed, including the requirement for emergency message scrolls to be voiced by May 2015 (though that will interfere with the delivery of video description); and the requirement for accessible user interfaces (such as one-button access to video description) by December 2016. 

SEE ALSO:  (Updated July 31)

The Visual Made Verbal"The Visual Made Verbal" Now Available

ADP Project Director Dr Joel Snyder's new book, The Visual Made Verbal, is now available in print, for Kindle, and on Bookshare!  It is based on his doctoral thesis and all the teaching of audio description he has done around the world.  Details.  (Updated July 22)

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Audio Description News

New Described TV Series

Teddy RooseveltThis fall, PBS is presenting Ken Burns' series, The Roosevelts ... and it is DESCRIBED!  But here's a "special offer" for you:  PBS has kindly placed the described version of the series on their website, so you don't even need to record it.  It is not clear how long the videos will be available, so check them out soon.  Here's the link to the first one:  The Roosevelts Part 1, audio described.  (Posted Sep 16)

New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

The following DVDs were released on September 16 with audio description:  The Fault in Our Stars and Think Like a Man Too.

 Featured DVD Featured DVD

We are pleased that Lionsgate and their Summit Entertainment subsidiary have been releasing a few audio described videos lately, though sometimes only on Blu-ray (so-noted in our listing).  That leaves only WARNER BROS as the major studio holdout.  We continue to work on this problem ...

The most recent described DVDs are as follows:  The Fault in Our Stars, Think Like a Man Too, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, For No Good Reason, Moms' Night Out, Toy Story of Terror, Only Lovers Left Alive, Spiderman 2, Disneynature: Bears, Muppets Most Wanted, Need for Speed, Divergent, Noah, Heaven is For Real, Rio 2See:

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 Sep 16)

Aids for Audio Describers

Audio describing fireworks was the subject of an interesting post recently by Roz Chalmers from VocalEyes in the UK, so we've republished it here.

And other friends across the pond at the Audio Description Association in the UK have published a very interesting paper entitled:  A Word In Your Ear:  A Theatre Describer's Introduction to AD, by Mary Plackett.  The paper describes the process used to prepare for and describe a live theatre production.  Planning, approach, technique, and technology are all addressed.  A great read!  (Updated July 31)

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!