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, 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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How Blind People Experience Dance
That's the title of an article just published by Colorado Public Radio. Written by Stephanie Wolf, a trained audio describer, the article addresses not only what's going on in Colorado, but the concepts of good dance description. It turns out that the wife of the Audio Description Project's Director, Joel Snyder, is able to help! Esther Geiger, a certified movement analyst, discusses focusing on the dynamics of the dance, not just body actions.
In a video with description (by Joel), we see that there is no effort made to describe every action, which would be impossible. In fact, there are long pauses allowed to just enjoy the music. Description focuses on overall effect and intent. Read the whole article. (Posted Feb 25)
Sixth Annual Young Described Film Critic Contest
Your Mission: Pass This On to a Young Person!
We are now accepting entries for the sixth annual Young Described Film Critic Contest. Winners will be chosen from each of three age groups between 7 and 18. Visually impaired entrants write their own film reviews of 250 words or less. Read all the YDFC details! (Updated Feb 25)
Audio Description Training in 2014
In 2014, there will likely be two more opportunities for audio description training.
This year we will feature AD training once again at the annual ACB Conference in July, plus we will be having an Audio Description Project Conference! Check our 2014 ADP Conference and AD Institute page periodically for updates.
In general, to find training opportunities, visit our Training/Education link at the top of any website page. (Updated Feb 25)
Samsung Tests TV Accessibility
The 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act (signed October 8, 2010) requires manufacturers of video delivery equipment to make their products accessible to people with disabilities. They were given about five years to make this happen. Samsung appears to be one of the first manufacturers to step up to the plate.
Samsung is partnering with The Carroll Center in Newton, MA, to evaluate their equipment. The Carroll Center, a rehabilitation center for newly blinded individuals, was the first in the country to offer computer training classes to its students, and it now helps agencies, institutions, and manufacturers improve accessibility to websites and products. Right now they are working with Samsung to test audible menu access, screen contrast and magnification options, and voice recognition functions on equipment which may be introduced to the public as early as later this year.
Read about the Samsung/Carroll Center partnership. (Posted Jan 28)
Canadian Series Four Senses Features Blind Chef
(Updated and Revised Jan 24)
Billed as "a new culinary series for the blind and visually impaired," a new TV show begins on January 24th in Canada entitled Four Senses. It features "Top Chef Canada" winner Carl Heinrich and Gordon Ramsey's "MasterChef" Season 3 winner Christine Ha, who is visually impaired. Chef Ha says, “I want to show that we can do almost everything a sighted person can with the proper adaptations."
The series "is also produced with embedded description (it describes itself)," according to AMI Canada, Inc., the network producing the show.
"Taking an innovative approach to accessibility, Four Senses utilizes the practice of embedded description [EDV], where the description is worked directly into the program, eliminating the need for an additional narration track to be added in post-production." Read a description of EDV.
It will be interesting to see how well the concept of embedded description works! Read more here (revised) and view a promo here. But WHAT IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN CANADA? AMI Canada is seriously looking into launching podcasts of the series soon. (Updated Jan 24)
New Described TV Show: Growing Up Fisher
The 30-minute TV series Growing Up Fisher premiered on Sunday February 23 and begins in its regular time slot of Tuesdays at 9:30 pm on NBC starting February 25. The show is semi-autobiographical, based on an alumnus of The Carroll Center in Newton, MA. In brief, the storyline involves a blind man's (JK Simmons) helpful son (Eli Baker) being replaced by a guide dog named Elvis, and how this all affects the family going through a divorce. Read the story behind the series. (Posted Feb 25)
New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs
The most recent described DVDs from 2014 are as follows: 12 Years a Slave, Thor: The Dark World, Diana, About Time, The Best Man Holiday, Ender's Game, The Counselor, About Time, Baggage Claim, Rush, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Fifth Estate, Riddick, Carrie, Enough Said, and Runner Runner. See all 2014 DVDs!
Join us on Facebook to receive new described DVD notifications, or use the page-change notification link at the top of this page. (Updated Mar 4)
Seeing the Show With Their Ears
That's the title of a piece in the NY Times this month on the D-Scriptive audio description service available at a number of New York City performing arts venues. Currently, six performances offer the free service, with more in the pipeline. Read more about the D-Scriptive service. (Posted Feb 18)
Described TV Schedule Updated
The listing of described TV shows in the USA on our Television page has recently been updated for the beginning of 2014 to account for canceled shows (like Necessary Roughness) and new ones (like Growing Up Fisher). Watch for updates throughout the year, and let us know if we missed anything. Some of the networks still aren't listing described shows separately, but the links below the schedule will get you to the right shows weekly. (Updated Feb 25)