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.
FCC Seeks YOUR Input on "Video Description"
Let your voice be heard!
new easier reply option below
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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:
- The amount and types of programming described, including children's
programming and specific examples of what is watched.
- The extent to which household members, both visually impaired or
not, watch described programming.
- The ease with which consumers can access online guides, and how well
the networks inform you of their described programming.
- How well are networks making available Video-On-Demand of previously
- Are there "any data points that quantify or otherwise capture
the benefits of video description for audiences"?
- Other questions are primarily for networks to answer.
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
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
option, type "11-43" in "Proceedings," press Enter, then continue. Deadline is April 1.
NEW REPLY OPTION: You can
email your personalized comments to
firstname.lastname@example.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
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
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
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
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!
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)
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,
Our First Decade
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)