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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. 

SEARCH within the ADP website Jan 2019: Google says they are working on making the fields above accessible...

Featured Articles

Audio Describer Training - The AD Institute

Enrollment for the ADP's Audio Description Institute (July 10-12 in Rochester, NY, in conjunction with the annual ACB Conference) is now open.  Using this enrollment link, create a userid and sign up for Dr. Snyder's class.  See our Education page for more information.  (Updated May 14)

Second Call For Nominations:
11th Annual ADP Achievement Awards

It's time once again to nominate individuals and organizations for our annual "Achievement in Audio Description" awards.  Categories are as follows:

- Achievement in Audio Description - Media
- Achievement in Audio Description - Performing Arts
- Achievement in Audio Description - Museums/Visual Art/Visitor Centers
- 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

You can read the award nomination document and/or view past winners.  Deadline is June 7.  (Updated May 14)

Audio Description in China

Meet the woman making film accessible to the visually impaired is the title of an article on Time Out Shanghai.  Han Ying, who is visually impaired, now edits audio description for films, and she discusses how she got the job and what some of the challenges are.  Her hope for the future is the same as many others:  "when someone walks into a cinema, with the help of a chip and a pair of earphones, they’re able to enjoy most of the latest films in most of the commercial cinemas and be surrounded by visually abled people."  Yes!  (Posted Apr 23)

Arrow UpArrow DownHow Do We Find Articles Like These?

 We depend on YOU, our readers, to send us pointers to articles like these two above and below.  When you see something of interest regarding audio description, please notify your webmaster using the link at the bottom of each page!  And if you are a member of an organization involved in supplying audio description, be it professionally or simply a local organization, please send us an article about your work.  (Posted Apr 23)

Is AD the Future of TV Viewing?

Curtin research finds audio description key to future of television viewing.  That's the title of an article by an Australian University.  Curiously, they point out that "Australia is the only English-speaking nation in the OECD [a 36-country consortium] not to offer audio description on free-to-air television."  Their theory is “Audio description would be attractive to people who are multi-tasking while they are watching television and has the potential to become another television accessibility feature that is embraced by the mainstream population, just as closed captions have been.”  (Posted Apr 16)

The Wizardry of Audio Description

Wizard of Oz VHS TapeIn the 1960s, Chet Avery, a blind theater-lover, now retired from the Department of Education, conceived of audio description as a formal process that could convey the visual images of theater performances to people who are blind or have low vision.

Many years later, he enjoyed sharing described versions of movies with his granddaughter, Kate.  Kate grew to love the described versions – "Grandpa's version" – and in an essay relates her enchantment with the described VHS tape of "The Wizard of Oz" (with description provided by WGBH).  Read Kate Avery's essay and enjoy a clip from the film.  (Posted Apr 9)

ACVREP Audio Description Certification Subject Matter Expert Committee Formed

Last fall, the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) announced it was recruiting individuals who might wish to serve on its new Subject Matter Expert Committee for Audio Description.  Both a Certification Committee and an Advisory Board have now been formed.  The committee will be charged with crafting all material related to the certification process for audio description.  Read the ACVREP Announcement.  (Posted Apr 3)

Audio Description News

New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

On May 14, 3 new audio described DVDs were released:  Cold Pursuit, Fighting with My Family, Happy Death Day 2U.

Featured DVD Featured DVD Featured DVD

CAN YOU HELP?  Each week there are some DVDs that we cannot locate to determine whether or not they have an AD track.  Here are the ones we think MAY have an AD track, but aren't sure.  If you can find a copy in a store, check the Languages listing on the rear cover for "English Audio Description" or "DVS" and let us know one way or the other.

  • Here and Now
  • Batman Hush
  • Border
  • Suspiria

Recent DVDs:  Cold Pursuit, Fighting with My Family, Happy Death Day 2U, Everybody Knows; Forrest Gump (25th Anniversary); The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part; The Prodigy; What Men Want; Arctic; Miss Bala; Destroyer; Escape Room; Glass; The Kid Who Would Be King; A Dog's Way Home; Holmes and Watson; On the Basis of Sex; Welcome to Marwen; Bumblebee; The Mule; Vice; Aquaman; Second Act; If Beale Street Could Talk; Stan & Ollie; Mary Poppins Returns; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald; Green Book; Mortal Engines; more...   

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Recent New Audio Described USA TV Programs

ABC Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fridays at 8pm.  New May 14

Fox MasterChef Celebrity Family Showdown, premieres Wednesday, May 15, at 8pm.  New May 14

Actiview at the Movies

Actiview (a free iPhone App) periodically releases description tracks for first-run movies.  Using the App with your iPhone in a movie theater allows you better control over volume and type of earpiece than using a cinema's AD units, which are sometimes flaky.  At home, you can listen to description while others don't have to.  The following two description tracks were released this past week for new movies:

  • Poms (PG-13)
  • Ugly Dolls (PG)

There are a total of 28 Actiview description tracks available for free.  (Posted May 14)

Podcast Interview With Roy Samuelson

Roy Samuelson is one of Hollywood’s leading voiceover talents in film and television.  You've heard his AD narration of TV shows like NCIS and Lethal weapon and movies such as Jurassic World.  Listen to this podcast where he is interviewed on That Blind Tech Show.  (Posted May 7)

The CW's In the Dark

The CW offers a Saturday morning kids' series called One Magnificent Morning with description.  Now they are offering an original prime time series Thursdays at 9pm called In the Dark.  Why is it described?  Presumably because its leading character is a blind woman!  And that, of course, has lead to the controversy that the actress (Perry Mattfeld) is not blind herself.  Read The CW’s In the Dark Is a Compelling Look at the Blind Experience.  Please note that since The CW is not a network mandated by the FCC to carry description, you may or may not be able to receive description locally.  Also note that this show has adult themes.  (Posted Apr 9)

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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!