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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

Audio Description of the Rio Olympics

"NEW YORK (AP) - Two people in a recording booth deep inside a Connecticut office park are helping millions of blind Americans feel part of the Olympics like never before."  Read more about the story behind live audio description at the Olympics.

Comcast XFINITY customers (only) can replay the Rio Opening and Closing Ceremonies with description using OnDemand.  (Updated Aug 24)

FCC Public Notice Re Accessibility
of Cable/Satellite Receivers

On August 2, the FCC released a Public Notice to remind covered manufacturers and multichannel video programming distributors (cable, satellite, and more) about the approaching December 20, 2016 compliance deadline for two new requirements:

  1. Appropriate built-in functions on digital apparatus (such as play back or display of video programming) must be accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired, if achievable. Such equipment with built-in closed captioning or video description capability must include a method that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon for activating closed captioning and video description.
  2. The on-screen text menu and guides provided by set-top boxes and other navigation devices must be audibly accessible in real-time upon request by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Also, such navigation devices must include a method that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon for activating the closed captioning.

A compliance guide is available to help small entities comply with the new rules.  For more information about the new requirements, please see the Public Notice.  (Posted Aug 3)

ACB Survey:  More Audio Description Needed!

Survey says ... only 2% of people with visual impairment feel they are getting enough audio description.  That's part of the preliminary results of the recently concluded ACB survey.  And when compared to the accommodation for the deaf community, it is an "injustice when captioning can exceed such a wide breadth of coverage across broadcast channels, while the blindness community is relegated to a handful of hours each week during prime time."  Read more about the ACB Survey.  (Posted Aug 2)

Earcatch - in The Netherlands

Audio description for select movies, right from your own SmartPhone ... as long as you speak Dutch!  You can read about what's going on in The Netherlands with their product called Earcatch in English, though, and watch their demo.  Earcatch in English; Earcatch in Dutch.  (Posted Aug 2)

Actiview for Movie Theaters

A new company called Actiview promises to eliminate the problems that patrons have with movie theater-issued accessibility equipment.  "When you step into the theater, all of the movie’s accessibility content will be available at no extra cost in our mobile app that requires no in-theater setting, fussing or maintenance."  They aim to eliminate the frustration currently occuring with faulty receivers, dead batteries, etc.  As one early reviewer put it, "Phone in pocket, enjoy the movie. That’s it."  The smartphone product is still under development.  Learn more about Actiview.  (Posted July 21)

 2016 Audio Description Conference
and Award Winners

Pointer LISTEN to the 2016 Conference speakers!

The Achievement in Audio Description awards were presented at the ACB and ADP Conferences.  Read the Awards Press Release and view The Audio Description Honor Roll.  (Updated Aug 19)

Audio Description News

Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

There were four new Audio Described DVDs released on August 23 and two on August 16:  The Huntsman: Winter's War (Extended Edition), Maggie's Plan, The Nice Guys, Ratchet & Clank, The Angry Birds Movie, God's Not Dead 2.

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2016 Recent:  The Huntsman: Winter's War (Extended Edition), Maggie's Plan, The Nice Guys, Ratchet & Clank, The Angry Birds Movie, God's Not Dead 2, The Bronze, Keanu, Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Boss, Criminal, Hardcore Henry, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Miles Ahead, Everybody Wants Some, Miracles From Heaven, The Divergent Series:  Allegiant, more ...

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New Audio Described TV Series

NBC premiered description on the second season of Superstore on Friday August 19 and a new show, Better Late Than Never, on Tuesday August 23. (Updated Aug 24)

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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 ...

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!