The Audio Description Project (ADP) is a wide-ranging audio description advocacy, promotion, and production initiative with goals that include:
- Building advocacy on behalf of audio description
- Offering a range of educational resources and working to establish nationally acknowledged user-focused guidelines for quality description in its various genres
- Encouraging growth of audio description with an emphasis on the involvement of AD users/consumers, especially youth
- Disseminating information on audio description and provide general support for regional, state, and local forums
- Encouraging studies on audio description particularly with respect to its efficacy as a technique for conveying visual images and its impact on literacy for children and others
One part of the project involves the recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of audio description.
This year’s ADP Awards include a call for nominations in nine categories. Please note there is no category for Media/Organizations, as we will recognize outstanding achievement for a media organization at the third annual Audio Description Gala, to be held in the fall of 2023.
- Achievement in Audio Description - Media/Individuals
- Achievement in Audio Description - Performing Arts/Organizations
- Achievement in Audio Description - Performing Arts/Individuals
- Achievement in Audio Description - Museums, Visual Art, Visitor Centers/Organizations
- Achievement in Audio Description - Museums, Visual Art, Visitor Centers/Individuals
- Achievement in Audio Description - Public Sector/Government agencies-federal, state, local
Achievement in Audio Description - International
- Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Memorial Award in Audio Description - Research and Development
- Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description
The call for nominations ends on Friday, May 5, 2023, with winners announced during a plenary general session of the American Council of the Blind Conference and Convention in July 2023 in Schaumburg, Illinois. The 2023 Conference and Convention sessions will be held as hybrid format; sessions; in-person and virtually via Zoom and also broadcast on ACB Media.
Nomination material, criteria and more information follows and is also available at adp.acb.org.
The Awards and Criteria for Selection of Recipients
The Achievement Awards are presented to individuals and/or organizations for outstanding contributions to the establishment and/or continued development of significant audio description programs in each of five areas: media, performing arts, museums/visual arts/visitor centers, international, and public sector.
The Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Memorial Award for Research and Development is made to an individual or organization for outstanding research that leads to the advancement of audio description.
With the exception of the International Achievement Award and the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Memorial Award for Research and Development, only U.S.-based organizations or individuals are eligible.
On occasion, ACB may present Special Recognition Awards to organizations or individuals in the various Achievement Awards categories.
The Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description has been established as a tribute to the late Barry Levine, the highly respected moderator of the Audio Description listserv, administered by the American Council of the Blind (ACB). Barry was not only an avid description user in both media and performing arts; he served so many others as the President of Audio Description International. He was a trusted friend and valued mentor; when he passed away suddenly in May 2009, the nation lost a forceful and impressive advocate for audio description.
The Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the field of audio description over an extended period of time, leading, inspiring or providing significant service to others.
Achievement in Audio Description — Media
2009 - Maria Diaz and Closed Caption Latina
2010 - WGBH and Media Access Group
2011 - Harry A. Jessell, TV News Check
2012 - Described and Captioned Media Program
2013 - Hollywood Access Services
2014 - Diane Johnson and Descriptive Video Works
2015 - Netflix
2016 - Fred Brack
2017 - ABC Digital
2018 - Rooted in Rights
2019 - Microsoft/Xbox
2020 - Disney
2021 - Roy Samuelson (Individual)
2021 - International Digital Centre, Audio Description Department (Organization)
2022 - Norma Jean Wick and Tony Ambrogio (Individual)
Achievement in Audio Description — Performing Arts
2009 - Lisa Helen Hoffman and Geva Theater
2010 - Paper Mill Playhouse
2011 - Mimi Smith and Amaryllis Theater Company
2012 - Kentucky Center for the Arts
2013 - Steppenwolf Theatre
2014 - Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center
2015 - Jesse Minkert and Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences
2016 - Arts Access
2017 - Lori Ward, Tennessee Performing Arts Center
2018 - MindsEye Radio/Marjorie Moore
2019 - Hunter Gullickson and The Guthrie Theater
2020 - Broadway Sacramento
2021 - Magan Harms, Minds Eye Radio (Individual)
2022 - Maryfrances Evans (Individual); Prime Stage Theatre with Nathan Ruggles (Organization)
Achievement in Audio Description — Museums/Visual Arts/Visitor Centers
2009 - Elisabeth Axel and Art Education for the Blind
2010 - Beth Ziebarth and Smithsonian Institution
2011 - Rebecca McGinnis and Metropolitan Museum of Art
2012 - National Park Service
2013 - The White House
2014 - Sandy Malmquist and the Connecticut Children's Museum
2015 - Meadows Museum of Art at the Southern Methodist University
2016 - Dole Institute of Politics/Audio Reader
2017 - none
2018 - Tennessee School for the Blind and Julia Cawthon
2019 - Hannah Goodwin and the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston
2020 - Michele Hartley-National Park Service
2021 - Stasha Boyd, QMedia Productions (Individual); U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum (Organization)
2022 - Holly Griesemer (Individual); Wright Brothers National Memorial (Organization)
Achievement in Audio Description — International
2009 - Joan Greening and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, U.K.
2010 - Bernd Benecke and Bayerischer Rundfunk, Germany
2011 - 20th Century Fox International, U.K.
2012 - Track One Communications, India
2013 - Accessible Media, Inc., Canada
2014 - Steph Kirkland and the VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society, Canada
2015 - Anne Hornsby, Mind's Eye, U.K.
2016 - Bos Soluções e Serviços Ltda., Sao Paulo, Brazil
2017 - ABLE, New Zealand
2017 - Dr. Anna Jankowska, Poland
2018 - Amos Be'er, Central Library of the Blind, Israel
2019 - Vera Arma, Italy
2020 - Vocal Eyes, U.K.
2021 - Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand
2022 - World Blind Union
Achievement in Audio Description — Public Sector
2022 - Centers for Disease Control Accessibility Program and office of the Associate Director for Communications
Special Recognition Achievement in Audio Description
2015 - Sebastian Andrade-Miles - Glendale, CO
2016 - Alice Austin, Eliot, ME; Mark Messersmith, The Visual Voice - Mountain View, CA
2017 - Timothy Wynn
2018 - Antonio Vazquez Martin, Aristia Producciones, Spain
2019 - Montclair State University - Montclair, NJ
2020 - Mary Hanks – Houston, TX; Audio Described Aotearoa Ltd. - New Zealand
2021 - Talk Description to Me Podcast with Christine Malec and JJ Hunt; Imagination Videobooks, Inc.
Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Memorial Award in Audio Description — Research and Development
2009 - None
2010 - American Foundation for the Blind
2011 - Dr. Joshua A Miele and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
2012 - Dr. Philip Piety
2013 - Ryerson University and Dr. Deborah Fels
2014 - Dr. Louise Fryer
2015 - Accessible Media, Inc. “AMI Player”
2016 - Disney / Pixar “Disney Movies Anywhere App”
2017 - Actiview
2018 - Dr. Francisco Lima
2019 - Dr. Brett Oppegaard
2020 - United Airlines
2021 - Dr. Anna Matamala
2022 - Dr. Elisa Perego and Dr. Christopher Taylor
Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description
2009 - Jim Stovall (Narrative Television Network)
2010 - Gregory Frazier and Audio Vision
2011 - Dr. Barry Cronin
2012 - Dr. Alan Woods
2013 - Rick Boggs
2014 - Dr. Joel Snyder
2015 - Dr. Pilar Orero
2016 - Dr. Francisco Lima
2017 - Diane Johnson, Descriptive Video Works
2018 - The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH (NCAM)
2019 - Jon P. Skaalen
2020 - Matthew J. Kaplowitz
2021 - Thomas Wlodkowski
2022 - Mark Turits
How to Nominate
We urge you to recognize someone who has contributed significantly to the growth of audio description. Submitting a nomination is easy! It’s a three-step process:
- Tell Us About the Nominee
- Tell Us About Yourself
- Support Your Nomination
- You may submit as many nominations as you wish.
- Self-nominations are permitted.
- Deadline for nominations: Friday, May 5, 2023