Audio Description (AD) is a translation of images to words — the visual is made verbal and aural and oral. Using words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative, audio describers convey the visual images in media, the performing arts and in museum exhibits that are not fully accessible to a significant segment of the population (more than 31 million Americans experience significant vision loss – American Foundation for the Blind, 2019). AD also provides benefits for the sighted audience who may never fully realize all that can be perceived with the eyes—who see but who may not observe. For media and performing arts, the process weaves succinct and vivid language around pieces of dialogue or critical sound elements. News broadcasters benefit as well – “over here” becomes “just to the east” and “As you can see” is more effectively “the back-up extends for miles.
Joel Snyder, PhD – President, Audio Description Associates, LLC; Founder/Senior Consultant, AudioDescription Project, American Council of the Blind
Jo Lynn Bailey-Page – Coordinator, Audio Description Project, American Council of the Blind
Susan Glass – Free-lance writer; Chair, BADIE subcommittee (Benefits of Audio Description in Education), Audio Description Project, American Council of the Blind