by Dan Spoone
ACB’s Audio Description Project (ADP) program is the chief influencer in the United States and around the world. The ADP program features a tremendous website, adp.acb.org, supported by Fred Brack, with a master listing of over 7,000 titles providing a one-stop location for directory access to television, streaming, movies, DVDs and cable network shows offering audio description. The website also features museums and performing arts centers offering AD. There are news articles, listing of audio description services, AD event announcements and so much more.
The ADP program has a steering committee that meets each month to review over 60 smart objectives they have planned for the year. There are six subcommittees that also meet each month; they are:
- Performing Arts, Museums and Parks
- Event Programming
- 508 Support for Government Agencies
- Benefits of Audio Description In Education (BADIE) Essay Contest
- ADP Achievement Awards
The ADP Steering Committee is co-chaired by Kim Charlson and Carl Richardson. The ACB staff coordinator is Jo Lynn Bailey-Page, and the team receives contract support from founder and senior consultant Joel Snyder, social media consultant Serina Gilbert, and engineering consultant Timothy Wynn.
All the subcommittees are led by ACB member volunteers. Carl Richardson heads media; Sheila Young leads performing arts, museums and parks; Kim Charlson handles event programming; Jeff Thom leads ADP Achievement Awards; Susan Glass has led the BADIE essay contest, and Patrick Sheehan heads the 508 government agencies subcommittee. All subcommittees are staffed with seven to 10 ACB volunteer members and friends. The program coordinates with the advocacy steering committee and the information access committee on several objectives each year, and receives expert guidance from advocacy director Clark Rachfal and advocacy specialist Swatha Nandhakumar. The ADP program has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and has an active ADP email conversation list.
Over the past few years, ACB and the ADP program have worked with Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Hallmark, Paramount Global, Comcast NBCUniversal, and so many other industry leaders to increase their audio description offerings. Just this year, Paramount Global (CBS) announced that nearly all of their primetime programming will be aired with AD.
The ADP program has worked with the National Park Service (NPS), Google and the University of Hawai’i to audio describe all 400 NPS park visitor brochures through the UniD application. The initiative brings NPS park rangers, ACB member volunteers and research professors from the University of Hawai’i together twice each year through a Descript-a-thon event to create 16 new audio-described visitor brochures. To date, there are over 150 brochures in the UniD App.
ACB and the ADP program are proud to announce the second annual AD Awards Gala to promote audio description throughout the broadcast media industry and recognize achievements in AD that have contributed to the ability of the blind and low vision community to participate equally in the fabric of main street society. The gala will be aired on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and broadcast on several streaming platforms. Our ACB family is very proud of the accomplishments of the ADP program, and we give a big “hip, hip, hooray!” for all their efforts. ACB is truly a chief influencer in audio description.