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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

How Much TV Audio Description?

The Audio Description Project has started monitoring the amount of audio described shows each TV network is providing.  We will do this twice a year:  once in the October/November timeframe and again around April/May. 

Here are our initial results reported in AVERAGE HOURS PER WEEK, broadcast networks first, followed by nonbroadcast (cable) networks.  Data for Nickelodeon (no longer mandated) was not readily available.  Congratulations to the USA Network for its #1 rank by a significant margin!  (Posted Feb 9)

Network Type Reqd Hours Rank
USA NB Yes 109.5 1
TNT NB Yes 75.6 2
PBS B No 58.6 3
TBS NB Yes 49.8 4
TCM NB No 23.5 5
History NB Yes 10.9 6
FOX B Yes 8.9 7
CBS B Yes 6.4 8
ABC B Yes 6.3 9
NBC B Yes 5.5 10
Disney NB Yes 4.6 11

KEYType (B=Broadcast; NB=NonBroadcast); Reqd (Yes=mandated by FCC) 

Litton Entertainment Wins 16 Awards

Who is Litton Entertainment, you ask?  They produce a lot of children's programs which are aired Saturday mornings on various networks (see our TV page), and Bridge Multimedia provides the audio description for those shows (over 2000 to date!).  See the list of programs and awards.  (Posted Feb 2)

Audio Description Training: Feb & Mar

The ninth Audio Description Training Institute will be conducted February 27-29 by Joel Snyder, Ph.D., during the ACB's mid-year President's meeting in Alexandria, Virginia.  Read more about the AD Institute, or visit the ADI Information and Signup page

The Audio Description Training Retreat in Ocracoke, NC, scheduled for January was postponed due to bad weather.  The new date is March 4-8.  (Updated Feb 2)

Petition Hulu to Add Audio Description!

Netflix 1, Hulu 0.  Hulu is a popular video streaming service which does NOT pass along any audio description tracks for its videos.  Help urge them to change this practice by signing a petition to add audio description to Hulu!  (Posted Jan 19)

Robert Pearson

Robert PearsonOn December 28, 2015, Accessible Media, Inc. (AMI) in Toronto announced the passing of Robert Pearson, Accessibility Officer.  Robert was a leader in the audio description field, a principle force behind AMI's accessible channel which provides description for all programs broadcast.  He was Chair of the FCC's Disability Advisory Committee Video Programming sub-committee.  He also attended ADP's conferences and was a special guest speaker at the most recent ADP gathering.  ADP's director, Joel Snyder, commented:  "Robert was a good friend and an important advocate for audio description in Canada and beyond.  He will be missed by all."  (Posted Dec 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.  Read more details about Dr Snyder's book

Audio Description News

iTunes Now Offering Described Videos

Apple's iTunes is offering a limited number of movies with audio description tracks.  While they don't offer a directory of such films yet, we will post the ones we know about on this website.  You can tell an individual movie offers description because iTunes shows an AD icon right after the CC (closed captioning) icon under the title.  Depending on when and with what product you check the listing, VoiceOver users may find the icon unlabeled, voicing only "image."  (We have reported that as a problem to Apple, and we have also asked Apple to provide a separate listing of audio described movies.)  Here are the described videos that we know about available for streaming or purchase:  The Martian, Inside Out, Home, and Bridge of Spies. (Posted Feb 9)

Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

Four more described videos were released this week, 25 for the year!

Featured DVD Featured DVD
Featured DVD Featured DVD

Crimson Peak, Grandma, Love the Coopers, Spectre, Bridge of Spies, Freeheld, The Last Witch Hunter, Our Brand is Crisis, Truth, Goosebumps, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Everest, The Intern, Jem and the Holograms, Straight Outta Compton, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Hotel Transylvania 2, Irrational Man, The Martian, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Sicario, Captive, Infinitely Polar Bear, The Visit, The Walk

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 Feb 9)

Growth of Described DVDs Since 1998

# of DVDs by Year

THANK YOU Sony, Universal, Disney Companies, and Paramount for getting the ball rolling!  We very much appreciate Fox, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros; but companies like Anchor Bay, Alchemy, Magnolia, Weinstein, and Pure Flix are NOT including any description tracks on their videos.  Write them!

Audio Description Project
Summary of Accomplishments

So you think this website is all we do?  Heck no!  Check it out:  the Audio Description Project Activity in 2015.  And while you are at it, check out our updated Mission Statement and summary of our projects.  (Updated Jan 29)

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Follow our announcements on Twitter and/or Facebook.  Please support the cost of this site by initiating any Amazon purchases via our link above.

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!