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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

25 to 60Video Description Expands to 60 Markets July 1

If you do not have video description passed through from your local TV stations yet, you may wish to check to see if you are in one of the top 60 markets.  The FCC's standing order is for the number of markets served to expand from 25 to 60 by July 1, 2015.  For more information, check out our new page on Changes Coming to Video Description Rules.

New  Also effective July 1:  The History Channel replaces Nickelodeon as a required non-broadcast channel for audio description, and ESPN continues to be exempt.  Read the FCC Order.  (Updated Mar 17)

2015 Audio Description Project Award Nominations Open

It's time to enter your nominations for the Seventh Annual ADP Awards.  There are SIX categories:  Achievement in AD in Media, Performing Arts, Museums, and International, plus the Pfanstiehl Memorial Award for achievement in R&D and the Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement.

See our Call for Nominations Document for complete information.  You can enter your nominations online or by email or mail using the form included in the Nominations document.  The deadline for nominations is June 15.  View past winners in The Audio Description Honor Roll.  (Posted Feb 22)

Another AD Institute Available!

Dr Joel Snyder's Audio Description Institute in Washington, DC, attracted a record number of enrollees; so here's another opportunity to be trained or "refreshed" as an audio describer!  The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is sponsoring Joel for the second time in conjunction with their Leadership Conference in Phoenix.  The Institute will be held on April 8-10.  ENROLL NOW!  For full information, see the AD Institute brochure.  (Updated Mar 3)

'Seeing Movies':  Technology Makes Film Accessible To The Blind

The president of the ACB, Kim Charlson, was recently interviewed for a segment on Boston's WGBH television, the local PBS outlet.  She emphasized how valuable audio description has been for her in the enjoyment and complete appreciation of movies.  The recent Department of Justice proposal requiring movie theaters to install description and captioning equipment was addressed, too.  You can view the 4 minute segment below by clicking it, read the article in print, or click here for an audio version.

Another ACB member, Carl Richardson, also enjoys going to movies that feature audio description.  He was recently featured in an article in the Boston Globe entitled, Devices give blind filmgoers Oscar-worthy experience.  (Posted Feb 25)

ADP Director Joel Snyder Honored by AFB

The AFB (American Foundation for the Blind) has honored our ADP Director, Joel Snyder, PhD, with a 2015 Access Award (one of eight given) as "an ardent advocate for audio description, [who] has led training sessions throughout the world in the art and technique of describing television shows, movies, theater productions, as well as museum tours and other cultural activities for people with vision loss.  He is the author of The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description." Congratulations, Joel!

Other Access Award winners were:  Comcast, Microsoft, MIPsoft, Odin Mobile, Texas Instruments Education Technology, Orbit Research, and American Printing House for the Blind (APH).  Given annually, "the Access Awards honor individuals, corporations and organizations that eliminate or substantially reduce inequities faced by people with vision loss."  Read more about the Access Awards.  (Posted Feb 4)

Reference

Audio Description News

Newest Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

Featured DVD Featured DVD Featured DVD Featured DVD

The following audio described videos have been released so far in 2015 (most recent first): 

Into the Woods, Top Five, Annie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Penguins of Madagascar, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Foxcatcher, Whiplash, Big Hero 6, Birdman, Dumb and Dumber To, The Interview, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Ouija, Dracula Untold, Fury, The Book of Life, Lucy, The Drop, 23 Blast, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Gone Girl, Men, Women, and Children, No Good Deed, Boyhood, Get On Up

In 2014 we enjoyed a new high of 88 described videos.  See 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 Mar 24)

Audio Description at EVERY Performance!

Arena Stage in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the ACB and the Audio Description Project, is audio describing every performance of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike from April 10 to May 3.  Read the press release about the audio description at Arena Stage.  (Updated Mar 17)

The Last Man on EarthNew TV Series with Description

The Last Man on Earth is a new comedy series on Fox Sunday evenings.  Description is provided by WGBH Media Access.  Also, Dig, a 10-part mystery mini-series, premiered in March on USA.  (Updated Mar 24)

Comcast Expands Accessibility

Last fall, Comcast announced an enhancement called Talking Guide to its XFINITY X-1 remote controller to improve accessibility for its customers with vision impairment.  The X1 remote now also supports voice control, and Comcast now has a web page dedicated to accessibility (www.comcast.com/accessibilitysupport). 

New March 3:  Listen to a podcast by Cullen Gallagher on how to use the XFINITY X-1 Accessibility features (excerpt courtesy of ACB Radio's Main Menu podcast, David Tanner host).  Note, the introductory music covering the voice goes away after 20 seconds.

At the recent Academy Awards presentations, Comcast sponsored an ad called Emily's Oz, which showed how a little girl who is blind envisions the characters in the Wizard of Oz movie.  The ad ends with a reference to the capabilities of the Talking Guide.  Below you will find a 6-minute video (with audio description) of how the ad was made.  Click it to play.  For more information, visit Emily's Oz.  (Updated Mar 3)

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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!