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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

Museum Art Tours For People Who Are Blind

More and more museums are adapting their tours and collections to people who are blind.  From the Smithonian to museums in Raleigh and Dallas, special tours are being developed, docents are being trained, and rubber gloves are being donned to let people with visual impairment appreciate the collection more.  Read:  At Some Museums, Blind Visitors Can Touch the Art.  (Posted July 28)

ACB Conference Attendees Experience a Rodeo

Attendees at the July ACB Conference in Dallas, TX, got to experience a rodeo -- with audio description, courtesy of Joel Snyder, ADP Director and audio describer.  Read all about how this came about and the 60 attendees' reaction in the following article:   Rodeo vision: Attendees experience arena event with other senses - Blind people take in the Mesquite Championship Rodeo.  (Posted July 28)

First-Person Experience With Audio Description

In March of this year, Susan Glass, an audio description consumer and advocate who is active in Audio Description Project committees, wrote an article for the ACB Braille Forum entitled, "Best Audio Holiday Season Ever."  The piece, which describes her experiences with audio description last December, won this year's Ned E. Freeman Writing Award, which is awarded to the author of a Braille Forum article that demonstrates a mastery of the craft of writing, interesting subject matter, originality in recounting an experience, and novelty of approach.  (Posted July 28)

Comcast Takes Home FCC Chairman's Accessibility Award for Voice Guidance

"On June 1 Tom Wlodkowski, Comcast's VP of Accessibility, proudly accepted the FCC's Advancement in Accessibility Award. [Note:  The ACB nominated Comcast for this award!]  The award is part of the FCC's Accessibility and Innovation Initiative, an effort that encourages dialogue between companies, developers, government and consumers about accessible solutions. The talking guide received similar recognition from the Associated Services for the Blind, the American Association of People with Disabilities the American Foundation for the Blind and the Blindness Awareness Expo, an event hosted by The PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, PA Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, and the Advisory Committee for the Blind of Pennsylvania."  See also Comcast's Blog Posts on Accessibility.  (Posted June 26; from Comcast's "Community Update:  Accessibility")

Audio Describer Training Retreat, Ocracoke Island, NC, Sept 2015

Here's a unique approach to audio describer training:  a "retreat" in a beach house in Ocracoke on the Outer Banks of NC!  And the fee includes transportation, all 10 meals, and your housing (in a beach house) ... plus, of course, 20 hours of instruction in the technique of audio description.  This new offering by Jan Vulgaropulos, a 10-year veteran of audio description with Arts Access in NC, also features training and critique by Colleen Connor, a user of description who is also trained in the art herself.  For more information, read the AD Retreat brochure.  (Note:  the class is limited to SEVEN participants; but if enough interest is shown, additional classes may scheduled.)  (Posted June 23)

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.

Also effective July 1:  The History Channel replaces Nickelodeon as a required non-broadcast channel for audio description (see the article in the next column), and ESPN continues to be exempt.  Read the FCC Order.  (Updated June 28)

ACB 2015 Audio Description Project Awards

The following Audio Description Project awards were presented at the annual July ACB Conference in Dallas, TX.  You may also view the full Press Release.  (Posted July 7)

  • Achievement in Audio Description – Performing Arts: Jesse Minkert, Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences - Seattle, WA
  • Achievement in Audio Description – Media: Netflix – Los Gatos, CA
  • Achievement in Audio Description – Museums: Meadows Museum of Art / Southern Methodist University – Dallas, TX
  • Achievement in Audio Description – International: Anne Hornsby, Mind’s Eye – Bolton, United Kingdom
  • Special Recognition Achievement in Audio Description: Sebastian Andrade-Miles - Glendale, CO
  • Dr. Margaret R. Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award in Audio Description – Research and Development: Accessible Media, Inc. “AMI Player” – Toronto, Canada
  • Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description:  Dr. Pilar Orero – Barcelona, Spain
Audio Description News

Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

Here are the most recently released DVDs:

Featured DVD Featured DVD Featured DVD Featured DVD

The Water Diviner, The Longest Ride, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, X-Men: Days of Future Past the Rogue Cut, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Get Hard, Chappie, Blomkamp3, Run All Night, Unfinished Business, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Project Almanac, Red Army, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Jupiter Ascending, Focus, McFarland USA, Seventh Son, American Sniper, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Strange Magic, Mortdecai, Blackhat, Fifty Shades of Grey, Pitch Perfect (Aca-Awesome Edition), Mr. Turner, The Pyramid, Selma, Covert Affairs Season 5, The Gambler, The Wedding Ringer, The Boy Next Door, Taken 3, Wild, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Top Five, Annie

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 July 28)

The History Channel Begins Audio Description

Based on measured viewer interest, the FCC updated the list of non-broadcast stations required to supply "video description" on July 1.  The History Channel replaced Nickelodeon.  Since this is new to them, they are starting cautiously, describing select earlier episodes of programs which are repeated, rather than committing yet to delivering description for first-run episodes.  The programs which are currently on the list for description are Counting Cars and Pawn Stars, with a few episodes of American Picker.  As they work their way through this, they are providing a listing of all the shows, dates, and show descriptions at a special History Channel link.  This information is also available on our TV page.  Welcome to the world of audio description, History Channel!  (Posted July 28)

DaredevilNetflix Audio Description Update

As of July 1, Netflix is offering nearly 100 movies or series with audio description.  For the series, some of them are fully described, while others are still in the process of updating back episodes.  (For example, all three seasons of House of Cards are available with description NOW, and the quality of the description is very good.)  Netflix has contacted numerous audio description companies to arrange for future description.  Read our page on Accessing Audio Description on Netflix.  You'll learn good things such as setting your description option once will be remembered for all future videos.  (Updated June 30).

Reference

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 now available in print, for Kindle, and on Bookshare!  Details

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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!