Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Audio Description Institute

Posted by: American Council of the Blind

Date: 12/13/2016


The American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project announces its eleventh Audio Description Institute in conjunction with ACB's 2017 Presidents' Meeting (ACB Affiliate Presidents)

Audio Description (AD) makes visual images accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. Using words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative, media describers convey the visual image from television and film that is not fully accessible to a significant segment of the population (more than 21 million Americans experience significant vision loss).

The implementation of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act has spawned a virtual cottage industry for the development of description for broadcast television.

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in:
  • working as freelance description writers for broadcast television
  • working as a describer in a local performing arts program
  • working as a describer for visual art exhibitions and
  • experienced audio describers desiring an updated refresher course
NOTE: freelance writers for broadcast television projects can often be based anywhere in the world--computer equipment capable of accommodating high-speed downloads is a must.

Topics Include
  1. audio description history and theory
  2. the "Four Fundamentals of Audio Description"©
  3. active seeing/visual literacy-developing skills in concentration and observation
  4. the art of "editing" what you see
  5. vivid language: "The Visual Made Verbal"™
  6. ”Speak the speech, I pray you"--using the spoken word to make meaning
  • Three full days of intensive, interactive training;
  • A Monday luncheon will be provided;
  • Each registrant will receive a copy of Dr. Joel Snyder's ACB-published The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description.
  • The interactive sessions (limited use of lecture, questions/discussion throughout, generous use of media, and individual and group writing exercises) are designed to provide immediate feedback and "give and take," allowing for adaptation according to a sense of participants' grasp of the material. In addition, experienced users of description are a part of the Institute's faculty, providing an important perspective throughout the sessions.<
This Institute will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 25, 2017 and conclude at 4:00 pm on Monday, February 27, 2017. Participation is strictly limited. The Institute will issue ACB-sponsored certificates to all successful participants confirming completion of this professional description training program.

Institute Director/Staff
Joel Snyder, Ph.D.-- One of the first audio describers, Dr. Snyder began describing theater events and media in 1981; he is the President of Audio Description Associates with clients around the world (see for more information) and Director of ACB's Audio Description Project. For six years, he led a staff that produced description for nationally broadcast films and network series including "Sesame Street" broadcasts and DVDs. Snyder has worked with description and trained describers in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia and he has taught description in over 50 countries.

Andrea Garbelotti, JD -- Ms. Garbelotti is a top audio describer and trainer of audio describers in Brazil and throughout South America. She also specializes in the translation of audio description--Portuguese-English-Portuguese.

In addition, DC-area audio description consumer consultants (audio description enthusiasts who are blind or have low vision) will offer their perspectives.

Tuition - $495.00 - credit card payment accepted by secure online registration.

Lodging: Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria, 901 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 683-6000 or website.

Room rates will be $109.00 per night for singles and doubles plus state and local taxes (total-$125.81). Parking is $20 per day. Reservations can be made by telephone at 877 317-5752. Be sure to let the customer service representative know that you are with ACB. Or you can reserve a room online.

To register, visit 2017 DC-Based Audio Description Institute.

The number of participants we can accept is limited, so please register on-line and soon to avoid being left out.

Contact: Joel Snyder



Join Our Mission

Help us expand our resources for people with vision loss.