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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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Featured Articles

Update Master AD List Now Complete With
First-Run Movies and TV Series

We have just completed our Master AD List by adding audio described first-run movies (Cinema) to the recently added TV series (which only includes shows from the nine FCC-mandated networks).  Example:  (Updated Feb 13)

  • NCIS [Series] ... CBS USA NETFLIX
  • Star Wars, The Last Jedi ... CINEMA

Audio Description on Cruise Ships

Joel describing on a cruiseOne of our ADP committees has been discussing the requirements for and availability of audio description on cruise ships.  While this is an ongoing project, our Project Director Joel Snyder, who has actually provided audio description on cruise ships, has prepared a "white paper" on the subject. Interested?  Read Cruising to a More Inclusive Experience on Cruise Ships.  (Posted Feb 13)

Winter Olympics Audio Description

Olympics LogoAudio description is available for all primetime coverage on NBC, starting with the day prior to the Opening Ceremony right through the Closing Ceremony.  Description is provided by Descriptive Video Works of Canada, winners of the 2017 ADP Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description.  They also provide description for Netflix and other media.  Read the AD Olympics announcement.  (Updated Feb 13)

NY Times Tech Tip on AD ... About Us!

With pointer after pointer to the ADP website, a NY Times Personal Tech article provides a very detailed answer to a reader's question of how to find out if selected programming is audio described.  There is an image of our Master AD List (the perfect choice!) and a link to description of Disney's The Lion King.  (Posted Feb 8)

ADI logoAudio Description Institute
(Almost Full!)

The thirteenth Audio Description Institute (sponsored by the ADP) will be held on February 24-26 in Alexandria, Virginia.  Learn how to become an Audio Describer or refresh your skills. Register now!  Read the Institute Announcement.

Audio Description Training Retreats recently announced their next class on March 15-19.  Visit our Training/Education page for details.  (Updated Jan 30)

2017 ADP Annual Report

Our Project Director, Joel Snyder, has compiled the 2017 Annual ADP Report of the activities and accomplishments of the Audio Description Project.  Most of these accomplishments can be attributed to the volunteer work of the members of the seven ADP Committees, many of which meet monthly throughout the year.  Take a look and see what we've been working on!  (Posted Jan 30)

BADIE Award Winners Announced

The premise of the BADIE* program is simple:  kids love movies.  If a young person can't see or can't see well, audio description provides access to all the visual images of the movies that their sighted peers enjoy.  Description benefits children who are blind and others who have learning disabilities, and it has been shown to boost literacy for all children.  (* Benefits of Audio Description In Education)

The BADIE program asked young people who are blind or have low vision to submit short reviews of any described movie.  They did, and we awarded the best ones, like Townsend Stemple of the West Virginia School for the Blind in Romney, WV!  Read the BADIE Award Winners Press Release.  (Posted Jan 30)

KLM and Virgin Atlantic Airlines Offer Audio Description

As of January 2, 2018, KLM is offering films with audio description via its inflight entertainment system aboard intercontinental flights.  This reflects KLM’s ambition to offer passengers memorable experiences when travelling, according to KLM.  The first films with audio description are:  Home Again, Kingsman, The Golden Circle, and Lego Ninjago Movie.  More films will be added in the coming months.

Virgin Atlantic improved the experience of flying for its blind passengers by offering audio description on its entertainment system in November 2017.  Passengers can request a handheld tablet from the cabin crew prior to takeoff. The touchscreen device comes loaded with a list of current film and TV titles, all of which have been adapted to offer audio description.  Virgin Atlantic says it has tested the new feature with Guide Dogs for the Blind, reporting positive feedback from visually-impaired passengers.  Read the full article.

David Brown, business development director, Bluebox Aviation Systems, takes us behind the scenes of the creation of aIFE for Virgin Atlantic – from forming a user group to finding the right partner airline.  (Original post updated Jan 9)

Audio Description News

New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

On February 13, two DVDs were released with audio description tracks:  Roman J. Israel, Esq. and Wonder.  On February 6, two DVDs were released with audio description tracks:  Only the Brave and Suburbicon.  On January 30, one DVD was released with audio description:  Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.

Featured DVD Featured DVD
Featured DVD Featured DVD Featured DVD

2018 DVDs:  Roman J. Israel, Esq., Wonder, Only the Brave, Suburbicon, Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, Geostorm, Goodbye Christopher Robbin, Jigsaw, Thank You For Your Service, Blade Runner 2049, The Snowman, It, More...   

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New Audio Described USA TV Programs

FoxThe Resident, Sundays at 10pm.

History Channel Hunting Hitler, Tuesdays at 10pm, and Knightfall, Wednesdays at 10pm.

NBC A.P. Bio, Thursdays at 9:30pm.  (Updated Jan 30)

Telemundo: Children's Programs with Spanish AD

Telemundo, a division of NBCUniversal Hispanic Enterprises and Content, has begun airing its first audio described programming -- and it's for children, in Spanish, of course!  The Mi Telemundo Kids and Family Programming Block (as it's called) began this month and starts at 8am Saturday Mornings.  It consists of El Viajero Con Josh Garcia, Salvando Animales, Aventuras Con Dylan Dreyer, Vivir Al Natural, Danny Seo, Una Mano Amiga, and El Campeón En Ti.  Produced by Litton Entertainment with dubbing, description, and captioning by Bridge Multimedia, this series is the fifth set of audio described Saturday morning shows for kids (the others being on ABC, CBS, NBC, and The CW).  Read more about Mi Telemundo. (Posted Jan 23)

Sighted Folks Listen to Netflix AD as Audiobooks

A couple of recent articles have promoted the idea of sighted folks listening to Netflix in their car (or elsewhere) with the Audio Description track turned on, effectively turning a video into an audiobook!  (Posted Jan 2)

2017 Movie Studio AD on DVD

Here are the conclusions we reached by analyzing the results of our weekly auditing of all DVDs released in 2017:

  1. Disney and Paramount describe around 85% of their major films on DVD.
  2. Warner Bros, the last major studio to start describing DVDs, now provides description on over 75% of their DVDs.
  3. Fox describes nearly 65% of their DVDs.
  4. Universal offers the 2nd largest number of DVDs each year, but describes less than 45% of them.
  5. Sony offers the 3rd largest number of DVDs each year, but only describes about 35% of them.
  6. Lionsgate, which released the largest number of DVDs last year by far (116), described a paltry 10% of them.
  7. The studios not offering any description, yet having 6 or more DVDs during 2017 are:  Shout Factory (18), Well Go (11), Magnolia (10), MPI (9), Image (6), and Broad Green (6).
  8. In our analysis of all 466 DVDs from 50 studios identified by the DVDs Release Dates site and/or located in stores in 2017, only 30% (142) had description tracks.  With one exception, these statistics do not include videos of TV series, none of which were described on DVD.  (Posted Jan 2)

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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!