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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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If you received an email from a company named Visualping about migrating your account, you should respond.  The service we have been using to notify you about changes to this page has merged with Visualping, and responding to their note simply assures that you continue to be notified.  If you deleted their note or wish to monitor this or any other web page, visit the Visualping website, or reestablish notification using the box on the upper right of this page.  The service is free for up to 62 notifications per month, though we try to limit our updates of this page to once or twice a week.  (Posted May 22)

Dance Without Sight

A recent NY Times article featured Mana Hashimoto, a blind professional dancer and choreographer, who supplements audio description of dance with a hands-on experience in her "Dance Without Sight" workshop.  As she says, "touch adds another layer to verbal descriptions."  Read How to Convey Dance to Those Without Sight? All Hands On! (Posted May 22)

The 2018 Audio Description Project Conference
Registration Now Open!

The agenda and registration for the 2018 ADP Conference in St Louis, MO, July 1-3, is now available, along with complete registration information.  As usual, we have some great sessions, including a broadcast media description update, National Parks Service update, Describer Certification discussion, and your opportunity to evaluate excerpts of audio described films.  Our luncheon speaker will be Marilee Talkington, a legally blind actress who starred in a recent episode of NCIS and will also have a role in the upcoming "In The Dark" from The CW.  (Updated May 15)

Reminder: Nominations Are Now Open For The
2018 ACB/ADP Achievement Awards

It's time once again to nominate an individual or organization for one of six achievement awards in the field of audio description.  Please read the nomination procedure page for details.  The deadline is June 8 ... but nominate NOW!  (Updated May 15)

The 14th Audio Description Institute
Registration Now Open!

We're ready for you:  Registration is now open for the fourteenth Audio Description Institute.  It is being held in St Louis, MO, from July 4-6, right after the ADP Convention, which is being held in conjunction with the ACB Convention.  The need for audio describers is growing significantly:  get trained (or refreshed) in this class!  Read all about the 2018 AD Institute (PDF). 

If this timing or location doesn't fit your schedule, check out Audio Description Training Retreats, which is teaching a class in western North Carolina July 12-16.  (Posted May 8)

Audio Description App Studied by Field-Research Team at Muir Woods National Monument

Last December, we reported on a focus group evaluating a UniDescription App at Yosemite National Park.  Another group has just tested the App at Muir Woods.  Sixteen ACB members from California chapters evaluated and gave overall positive reviews to the App.  The project "aims to create digital audio spaces and more accessible places."  The UniD app is available for both iOS and Android smart phones and contains audio description of more than 50 National Park Service brochures so far.  (Posted May 15)

Movies For the Blind

Movies For the Blind (MFTB) is a weekly audio podcast of public-domain movies and TV shows with audio description added so anyone can listen to a movie like it's an audiobook or an audio drama.  It was started by Valerie Hunter of Canada in 2007.  You can subscribe via your favorite podcast app (like iTunes) or access via the MFTB Website.  Read Valerie's article about the MFTB service and how it was started.  (Posted May 1)

More Airlines Offer AD Movies

Your webmaster recently returned from vacation in Europe and found two more airlines offering audio described movies:  United and Lufthansa.  Both airlines had lots of described movies including current ones.

The United feature was just announced publicly on April 12; see the United Press Release.  Other airlines offering AD include ANA (Japan), Emirates, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia. 

You probably won't find this on all the airlines' video systems, as AD may be phasing in on newer systems, and don't expect a talking interface!  Ask a cabin attendant for assistance if necessary; but for now, you may find they don't know what you are talking about!  A search of the United and Lufthansa websites for "audio description" produced no matches.  It is nice to know we are making progress, though.  (Updated Apr 19)

Audio Description News

New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

On May 22 we added 5 new audio described DVDs:  A Fantastic Woman, Early Man, Game Night, Red Sparrow, The 15:17 to Paris.  At this time, we do not know if Wonderstruck is audio described.

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Recent DVDs:  A Fantastic Woman, Early Man, Game Night, Red Sparrow, The 15:17 to Paris, Black Panther, Samson, Fifty Shades Freed, 12 Strong, Peter Rabbit, Winchester, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Hostiles, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Paddington 2, The Commuter, The Post, All the Money in the World, Molly's Game, Phantom Thread, Proud Mary, The Greatest Showman, 13 Reasons Why: Season One, Father Figures, Insidious: The Last Key, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Pitch Perfect 3, DownsizingJumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Call Me by Your Name, Ferdinand, Justice League, The Shape of Water, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Blu-ray Rerelease), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (Blu-ray Rerelease), Novitiate, Thor: Ragnarok, Coco, Murder on the Orient Expressmore...   

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AD for the Royal Wedding

Aira provided audio description of the Royal Wedding on May 19.  Note, however, that the recording begins with 23 seconds of silence, so please be patient!  You may advance forwards or backwards through the description in 15-second increments by using the left or right arrow keys.  (Posted May 22)

Job Opportunity for Freelance AD Writers

Deluxe Media, a major producer of audio description, has openings for freelance AD script writers.  Read the Deluxe Job Opening announcement.  (Posted May 1)

Actiview Offers a Sixth Movie

Actiview, a free app which supplies audio description tracks for a movie playing in a theater or on any other device, has released a sixth movie track.  Megan Levy joins the tracks available for Wonderstruck, Breathe, Coco, The Man Who Invented Christmas, and Dealt.  (Posted May 1)

Cooper Hewitt Museum Audio Description

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum at 2 East 91st Street in New York City offers multiple accessibility features, including twice-weekly verbal description tours, online audio description (try their blog), a smartphone app with audio text, Large Print, and Braille.  Here is a sample of the museum description.  You can also read an article about the museum's description initiatives, Cooper Hewitt Takes On Verbal Description, plus read about their current exhibit (audio described), The Senses: Design Beyond VisionWoman of Her Word donated technical services and voice talent, as owner Michele Spitz has done for other organizations. 

On a related subject, play the video on the following page to hear a visually impaired art museum tour guide explain How Do Visually Impaired People Enjoy Art?.  (Posted Apr 17)

The History of Audio Description in Sport

Our friends at RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) in the UK have produced a podcast on the RNIB Podcast Channel entitled The History of Audio Description in Sport.  Give it a listen!  (Posted Apr 17)

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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 (English and Russian), 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!