Audio description : open your ears…

Hi, how are you ? Today, I wanted to write a slightly different post…

Most of visually impaired people know about audio description because it has an important role to play in order to let people have access to audiovisual content. Want to watch a film or some TV Shows episodes at home ? Want to see a play in a theater or a football match ? Audio description allows visually impaired and blind people to follow what is going on on the stage, the screen or the field, to understand the plot, imagine the costumes and be aware of actions that they would have missed only by hearing the show without any help.

Audio describe ? Not that simple…

Sometimes, we would like to live audio describe something to help someone who does not see, but without any skill, our friend would shortly loose the details of the story, even the main message. To produce a worthy audio description, we need one or two authors (two is better) working together, improving each other’s part of the work, and then an actor (it’s better if it is a pro) records the voice in a studio, without talking above the music or dialogs, in which case it could ruin all the director’s work and intentions.

For plays and matches, it is more of a “live” thing, but people are trained to do it and a lot of discipline and rigor are required.

Lack of money…

I do not know how it works in other countries, and I would be curious to read your opinion, but in Belgium, it is hard to enjoy a recent movie or a good TV Show because neither the film industry nor the television broadcasters have / want to give money to finance audio description. Things are starting to change but only for public channels, let’s just forget private channels !

Hopefully, as I said, things are starting to change…

And again, I would love to know how it goes in other countries (do not hesitate to leave a comment below) but I know that Netflix is offering audio described movies and TV Shows. I heard that Apple was also trying to improve that too for movies found on iTunes. In Switzerland, they created a mobile app called greta wich allows visually impaired people owning a smartphone to download the audio description on the app before going out for a movie or playing the DVD and tadaaaa… thanks to the microphone of the smartphone, the app “follows” the movie and offers the audio description in the person’s headphones.

I know that a lot of groups in Belgium, France or elsewhere are working hardly to enable us to have access to as many things as possible, and I would like to thank them for their work.

Thank you ! 



the sign indicating that an audio description of a show / movie is available

Posted in Culture, Well-being

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