Audio description (sometimes called "video description" or simply "description") is a creative process that makes television programs and movies more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired. A narrator (audio describer) verbally provides short descriptions of key actions or visual elements of a scene, such as what the actors are wearing, doing, or even key facial expressions. The descriptions are inserted into pauses within a program's dialogue, but can also be added before a program begins, to provide important context. Audio description helps people who are blind or visually impaired gain more complete access to the creative content of TV programs and movies and thereby more fully participate in society.
Wondering what's on TV with video description? Finding out just got much easier. Today, AFB launched Described TV Listings, a new, web-based search tool that helps people with vision loss quickly find described TV programming in their area. For those unfamiliar with video description, it's a verbal description of the action and visual elements of a TV show. It helps people who are blind or visually impaired more easily follow what's happening on the screen.
I have a longstanding love-hate relationship with television. And, for 20 years now, video description has hung like a shadow over this relationship.