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Past News Articles About Audio Description

This page contains selected news items previously featured on our main page, starting in 2019.

For previous AD news articles, see our listing from 2010 to 2014 and 2015 to 2018.

2019

FCC Seeks YOUR Input on "Video Description"

IMPORTANT!!!  Let your voice be heard!
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In preparation for a report to Congress, the FCC is soliciting input on "recent developments in the video description marketplace."  Those topics which apply to consumers are as follows:

This is an extremely important opportunity for each individual who enjoys the benefits of described television programming to provide input!  Failing to respond means you are willing to let others decide how much described programming you receive.  PLEASE take the time to read the following document and provide your input.  FCC 11-43 Document.  (To read a version with all the footnotes removed, use this Screen Reader version of FCC 11-43 Document link.)  Then use the Online Express Input Form to submit comments.  In the online input form, type "11-43" in "Proceedings," press Enter, then continue through the form.  If you prefer to submit a Word or other format document, use the Regular Filings option, type "11-43" in "Proceedings," press Enter, then continue.  Deadline is April 1.  Do it now! 

NEW REPLY OPTION:  You can email your personalized comments to advocacy@acb.org no later than Thursday, March 28, and the ACB national office will file your comments on your behalf. (Updated Mar 23)

The Oscars:  A Missing Award

They honor the script writers, but how about the audio describers?  "For blind cinema goers, audio description is a crucial part of any film.  It is just as important as acting, cinematography and score."  That's the premise of this article on The Conversation website entitled, Oscars: audio description brings film to life for blind people, it deserves an award too.  The article concludes with, "It may be too late for this year but it seems only right that an audio describer is properly awarded at the 2020 Oscars."  Read it and see if you agree!  By the way, the French Confederation for the Advancement of Blind People has addressed this issue, as noted in the article. Très bien! (Posted Feb 26)

“Access,” a Short Film About Accessibility

It took Chris Higgins nearly four years to complete "Access," a short documentary which "follows Cory Joseph through a typical day, showing how he uses his smartphone, Braille display, tactile watch, and guide dog (named Vine) to navigate the world."  He struggled with editing to allow for audio description, but here's the great point of all this:  "Ultimately I decided that there should be only one version of this film, and it should include Audio Description, because that makes the film accessible to a wider audience.  I think there’s a lesson for creative people:  Even if you think you 'get it,' you might not be getting it.  Leave room to reconsider."  Wow!  Thank you Chris.  Read the Article and Watch Access.  (Posted Feb 15)

From Our Friends in the UK:
Where is TV Audio Description Heading in 2019

This article from the BroadcastNow website in the UK addresses the same frustration visually impaired TV watchers have in the USA and elsewhere:  a lot of top shows are not audio described or fail to be described later on other platforms.  (Posted Feb 15)  Also in the UK (From Jan 9):

European Audio Subtitles Day

An Audio Subtitles Day will be held in Barcelona on March 4 "to raise awareness of the accessibility possibilities of existing subtitling assets."  (You may need to click through several lead-in pages,)  (Posted Feb 15)

2019 BADIE Contest Winners Announced

The 2019 winners of the Benefits of Audio Description In Education have been announced.  Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner John Holstein from the West Virginia School for the Blind for his review of Snowflake Bentley and Voyage to Mars -- and to all the other winners.  Read the BADIE Press Release.  (Posted Feb 5)

Theater of the Mind

In the article, Theater of the Mind: Washington Ear brings live theater to visually impaired, the accomplishments of The Metropolitan Washington Ear are discussed.  The first audio description of live theater took place in Washington in 1981.  Now, a team of 21 audio describers covers upwards of 60 plays a year in nine theaters.  This article is a great introduction to what audio description is and its benefits!  (Posted Feb 5)

Netflix Adds By-Genre AD Listings

At the urging of the Audio Description Project based on user feedback, Netflix has modified their Audio Description in English listing (only available to members) to include separate links for audio described programs by genre.  The genre options are as follows:  TV Shows, Action, Anime, Children & Family, Comedies, Crime, Documentaries, Dramas, Horror, Independent, International, Music & Musicals, Reality, Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Stand-Up Comedy, Thrillers.  (Posted Feb 3)

Marilee Talkington Luncheon Address

Finally, we have excerpted the luncheon address by Marilee Talkington at our ADP Conference last July from an otherwise damaged conference recording.  Marilee is an actress with significant visual impairment.  She recounted for us her experience trying to break into the commercial world of acting, and we play (on the recording) an excerpt of her role in an NCIS episode last year.  Listen to the 40-minute MP3 file by clicking the link above.  (Posted Jan 18)

Audio Description in Israel

In 2018, Israel's Central Library for the Blind received the annual Audio Description Project's International award.  Later this month (January 2019), the Library will offer its first Audio Description training course.  Read about all the accomplishments the library has made in the past year regarding audio description!  (Posted Jan 15)

CVAA Accessibility Rules Now Apply to Video Games

A waiver offering video games temporary exemption from the Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 has expired, meaning that games released after the expiration date of December 31, 2018 have a set of new communication-focused rules to keep in mind to stay on the up-and-up with the Federal Communications Commission and dodge potential fines.  Read CVAA accessibility rules come into effect for games as FCC waiver expires.  (Posted Jan 9)

Inaccessible Specialty Video Websites

As a visually impaired gay man, author/journalist Belo Cipriani was excited when he "heard about GayMovie Database — a new, online database of over 1,000 TV shows, as well as short and long movies of interest to the LGBTQ community."  Unfortunately, it wasn't very accessible.  In this article, he discusses his frustration with the pervasive problem about websites ignoring accessibility upfront and the difficulties of retrofit.  Read Seeing in the Dark: Debunking digital inclusion.  (Posted Jan 9)

Audio Description Is For Sighted Folks, Too!

Roland BearneA December article in The Slate highlights how GOOD audio description can enhance ANYONE's enjoyment of a film.  In The Best Performance in A Christmas Prince Is the One You Never See On Screen, the author declares, "in the case of A Christmas Prince, the audio description serves another bonus function [beyond its intended audience], because it also happens to be the ideal A Christmas Prince––watching companion."  The author wisely reminds us, "Good audio description does not call attention to itself."  She then goes on to compliment describer Roland Bearne's audio description.  Bearne (pictured), a Brit, has been describing for almost 20 years.  (Posted Jan 1)

Celebrating 10 Years 

Happy 10th Birthday - Audio Description Project!

In January 2009, Joel Snyder and then-ACB president Chris Gray proposed the establishment of an initiative to promote and celebrate the development of audio description: the Audio Description Project (ADP). Kim Charlson led the ADP's steering committee until her "promotion" several years ago to ACB President. Since that time, Dan Spoone has ably steered the ADP toward its current vibrant level of activity with the important contributions of Dr. Joel Snyder, the Project's director, and Fred Brack, the ADP webmaster. For a review of the ADP's accomplishment over the past decade and throughout 2018, please read Our First Decade report.

Joe, Fred, Kim, Dan
Joel, Fred, Kim, and Dan

And Thanks Also to ...

Here's two more folks who bring contributions to this website each week. Sebastian Andrade Miles, who pours over TV listings each week to bring you our TV by Days listing; and Vicki Vogt from the Perkins School for the Blind Library, who each week compiles and circulates a detailed listing of all the described movies currently showing in theatres.  We extract them and offer her listing to you under Cinema above.  Thanks!  (Posted Jan 1)

Sebastian Andrade Miles Vicki Vogt