FCC Grants Limited Waiver to USA Network
We previously reported that USA Network
had requested a waiver from the FCC regarding the number of hours of described
programming, specifically regarding repeats. The FCC has decided the
issue as follows:
"On October 7, 2019, the FCC's Media Bureau granted a
limited waiver requested by NBCUniversal ... on behalf of its wholly
owned nonbroadcast programming network, USA Network, of the Commission's
video description rules, as long as USA Network airs at least 1,000 hours of
described programming each quarter without regard to the number of repeats
and describes at least 75 percent of any newly produced, non-live
programming that is aired between 6:00 a.m. and midnight per quarter.
However, the FCC declined to grant NBCUniversal's proposed safe harbor from
the video description requirements for other similarly situated, top five
nonbroadcast networks." (Posted Oct 8)
Hulu Addresses Accessibility
On October 3, Hulu published a Press Release entitled
Making Hulu More Accessible than Ever Before. They have been
addressing "accessible design," and for "this round of improvements, we
focused on text legibility and screen reader capabilities." They are
beginning to roll out improvements in this area starting with Roku devices.
This is not the same as having AD tracks available on all devices, though,
which is a future objective. (Posted Oct 8)
Nomination for Audio Description Narration
For most movies and TV shows, the job of getting description to you lies
with two professionals: an audio description WRITER, and the person who
VOICES the description (a voice-over artist or narrator). For what is
perhaps the first time, a professional organization (SOLAS, the Society of
Voice Artists and Sciences) has nominated an audio description narrator for an
award. The category is "Outstanding Narration – TV, Film or Web – Best
Voiceover," and the nominee is Roy Samuelson for his work on Universal's 2019
Glass. It's great to see any component of audio description get
recognition like this, and we congratulate Roy on the nomination and wish him
luck! (And speaking of Roy, here is yet another article on audio
description by or about Roy:
Bringing TV and Movies to Life with Audio Description.) (Posted Oct 8)
The Process of Recording Audio Description
Voiceover artist Roy Samuelson, who specializes in recording audio
description scripts for movies and advocates for audio description, has been interviewed yet again! (See
previous interviews.) In this
interview with Directors Notes, Roy discusses "the process of providing
Audio Description," as well as the benefits to those with normal vision.
The article includes numerous samples of Roy's AD work. (Posted Sep 10)
Disability Advisory Committee Recommendations to the FCC
ADP committee members are on the FCC's Disability Advisory Committee (DAC).
On September 24th, the DAC finalized a recommendation to the FCC on the
subject of Described Audio TV Listings.
Ultimately, they recommend that "the Commission encourage all networks,
channels, cable, satellite, fiber, streaming, and other services that provide
video programming with audio description to provide timely, accurate program
listings in accessible form, including ... on aggregator services, on their
own websites, and in program guides." Interestingly, they also recommend
that the FCC drop the term "video description" in favor of the
well-established term "audio description" and "encourage other entities to do the
same as a best practice." They also recommend that the FCC adopt and recommend that others
adopt the well-known Graphic Artists Guild AD
symbol (above right) as the official standardized logo.
Read the full
DAC Recommendation. (Posted Oct 1)
ADP friend Lisa Helen Hoffman passed away peacefully on September 23 with
family and friends at her side. I spoke with Lisa just a few weeks ago
and can tell you that she was
honored to have been selected to be a part of our work on behalf of ACVREP's
development of a certification effort for audio describers and audio
description consultants. Lisa was an active audio description consultant
as well as a long-time audio description consumer; her decades-long work with
the Geva Theater in Rochester, NY and the University of Rochester's Memorial
Art Gallery was well-respected and resulted in broad access to those arts
institutions for people who are blind. She was the recipient of the ACB
Audio Description Project Achievement Award in Performing Arts in 2009. More
about her life and career is at:
commitment to audio description will be remembered so positively -- her
devotion to arts access services is a model for all who care about the arts
and their availability to all. She will be greatly missed. --
Joel Snyder (Posted Sep 24)
Live Audio Descriptions Are His Forte
That's the title of
an article in the online edition of The Hindu newspaper.
The article discusses the career of ADP Director and audio describer Joel
Snyder. Joel was recently in Chennai (the capital of the Indian state of
Tamil Nadu) for the Ability Foundation’s two-day workshop on audio
description. Joel has trained audio describers in 62 countries, sometimes with
a translator beside him. (Posted Sep 17)
Audimance: Immersive Audio Description
What? -- you say! Think about dance, one of the more
difficult mediums for audio describers. What do you cover, what do you
focus on? A new App under development called Audimance addresses this
problem by allowing users "to navigate among a number of audio streams synced
with a live performance ... It is complex. It is layered. And each track has
different viewpoints, different kinds of information." Learn more in
this article entitled
This Is What Accessibility Sounds Like. (Posted Sep 17)
The 2020 BADIE Contest is Open!
Each Fall, the ADP, in conjunction with the Described and Captioned Media
Program (DCMP), sponsors the Benefits of Audio Description in
Education (BADIE) Contest. Students ages 7 to 21 view an audio
described video and write a review of that movie. PRIZES will be awarded
in each age category. Read the details
about entering the BADIE Contest! (Posted Sep 10)
Audio Description News
New Audio Described DVDs and Blu-ray Discs
On October 8, 2 DVDs were released with audio description
tracks: Annabelle Comes Home;
Toy Story 4. On October 1, 2 DVDs were released with audio description
Spider-Man: Far From Home. Note also that on September 10 Disney released a lot of
4K+Blu-ray rereleases which include AD tracks. All of the
previous videos had AD tracks, but now they are available on 4K
Next Week (Oct 15): The Art of Self-Defense; Crawl
(probably); Stuber (probably). We still
don't know about Red Joan released on 10/8.
Recent Described DVDs:
Annabelle Comes Home;
Toy Story 4;
Spider-Man: Far From Home;
101 Dalmatians (Signature
Sleeping Beauty (Signature
X-Men: Dark Phoenix;
Aladdin (Signature Collection);
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum;
Ratatouille (BR Release);
The Dead Don't Die;
See these lists of described DVDs released in the USA:
Join us on Facebook or Twitter (links below) to receive new described
DVD notifications, or use the page-change notification form at the
top of this page.
Newly Audio Described USA TV Programs
Most of these are NEW shows this fall, but
two are newly audio described existing shows.
mixed-ish, Tuesdays at 9pm;
Emergence, Tuesdays at 10pm;
Stumptown, Wednesdays at 10pm;
Mondays at 10pm;
Kids Say the Darndest Things, premieres Sunday October 6 at
Seal Team season premiere Tuesday October 1 at 9pm.
Bless the Harts, Sundays at 8:30pm;
Prodigal Son, Mondays at 10pm;
Almost Family, Wednesdays at 9pm.
Bluff City Law, Mondays at 10pm;
Us, season premiere Tuesday September 24 at 9pm.
Knife or Death, various times.
Treadstone, premiering October 15 at 10pm.
SATURDAY MORNING CHILDREN'S SHOWS:
Hearts of Heroes
Best Friends Furever with Kel Mitchell; Mission
Unstoppable; Pet Vet Dream Team
A New Leaf
See our Daily
TV Schedule and TV Schedule by Network.
Apple TV+ Will Describe All Original Content
the annual Apple fall product announcement on September 10, details about the
upcoming service known as Apple TV+ were announced. According to the
Apple TV+ Press Release, the service will consist of all-original content, and "Apple TV+ series and movies will
available with audio descriptions in eight languages." The service
begins on November 1 at a cost of $4.99 per month for a family plan, free for
one year to new purchasers of select Apple products. See also
this article on Cord Cutters News. (Updated Sep 17)
CBS All Access App Begins Offering AD
CBS All Access App offers access to live content (in select
markets) and over 10,000 previous episodes via streaming devices. In August
2019, they began to offer audio described content for such programs as
NCIS (current season);
Star Trek Discovery; The Twilight Zone; and The Good Fight.
ABC has offered AD in their free Watch ABC App for a long time, but NBC and
Fox do not offer AD in their apps; so CBS is a welcome addition. There
is a fee for service for most content ($6 or $10/month). See
more info on the CBS App. (Aug 20; Updated Aug
"What Just Happened"?
Yes, the words of many blind individuals watching a movie or play.
Read one person's
thoughts on the "What Just Happened?" dilemma. (Posted Sep 17)
Audio Description For Small Dance Companies
While audio description for people with visually impairment is not a
wholly unknown service in the Bay Area (San Jose-based
frequently describes shows for both
the Curran Theatres in San
Francisco), it hasn’t much penetrated the strata of smaller and more
experimental theater and dance companies. Jess Curtis wants to change that.
Telling While Showing: New Audio Description Services from Jess Curtis/Gravity.
"Through Gravity, [Curtis] hopes to help foster a growing awareness of
accessibility for all—and not just in the larger theaters. In fact, with a
grant from the Haas Foundation, Curtis' company can offer other Bay Area
companies the opportunity to host audio description services at their shows
for a reduced cost through the end of 2019."
Dr. Joel Snyder and Esther Geiger, a Laban Movement Analyst, went to San
Francisco last year to train Jess Curtis and Gravity in audio description
technique. (Posted Aug 13)
[Photo Credit: Meegan Hertensteiner dances in an audio-described
production of Deborah Slater's Solos Lost and Found at SFIAF. (Deborah