Are you missing out on the action in movies? Do you wonder what’s so special about a famous painting or national monument? Are you frustrated when there’s no information about visual details during important live events?
The American Council of the Blind (ACB) and its Audio Description Project (ADP) aim to bring more meaning and enjoyment to entertainment, cultural, and educational experiences for blind and visually impaired people. The key is Audio Description. Audio Description—live or as a voiceover narrative—makes visual imagery accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. It’s used to enhance movies, television, media, theater and other live performances/events, museums, national parks, meetings, and educational programming. These visual elements can include action, costumes, settings, facial gestures, facial expressions and other visually important images.
The Audio Description Project works to promote and advocate for the use of high-quality Audio Description in television, movies, performing arts, museums, educational materials and other venues where the presentation of visual media is critical to the understanding and appreciation of the content. ADP sponsors a broad range of activities designed to build awareness of audio description among the general public as well as its principal users, people who are blind or have low vision.
As part of its mission, the ADP:
- Maintains a list of described DVDs, broadcast television, movies, performing arts, museums, and national parks on the ADP website. As the only repository of all audio described titles on DVD and the three video streaming services (Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Netflix), the ADP decided to create an index of ALL the titles. This new master index will allow you to look up any movie or TV series to see if it is available anywhere for purchase or with a subscription.
- Offers a biennial ADP Conference and Mentoring Program (AD consumers working with describers and industry representatives)
- Sponsors and promotes the ADP Awards, including the BADIE contest (Benefits of Audio Description in Education) which recognizes reviews of described material written by blind students
- Maintains the Audio Description Discussion Group Listserv, and maintains an active presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Sponsors two Audio Description Institutes each year: three-day intensive training seminars on the development of high-quality audio description
- Produces description for special initiatives, e.g., The White House AD tour, national broadcast of description for presidential inaugurations, the live description of the solar eclipse, and select description projects for museums, performing arts and film
- Is working with other national service organizations and the ACVREP (Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals) on the development of a certification process for audio description writers and audio description consumer consultants
- Offers national and international leadership on issues regarding audio description at the federal, state and local levels and in international forums.
Please consider supporting the Audio Description Project by making a donation through the link below.
What is Audio Description
Audio description (also known as “description,” “video description,” “described video,” or “verbal description”) uses words to convey visual images primarily for people who are blind or have low vision. In media, scenery, action, and other visual elements are described with narration in the natural pauses between dialogue and sound elements.
Audio Description can be used for TV, films, museum exhibitions, live performances, and other events.