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Audio Description Services

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Audio Description services for the blind & visually impaired

What is Audio Description?

Audio description servicesAudio Description is an extra audio track used to make visual media more accessible for blind or partially sighted viewers.  In the natural gaps between dialogue, the Audio Description track explains what’s happening on the screen – everything from entrances and exits to scene changes and action sequences – right down to details about the appearance, gestures and facial expressions of the characters.

By adding this vital narrative to the dialogue and sound effects that the audience can already hear, Audio Description transforms the experience of visual media for people with sight loss. It simply helps tell the full story. And because it’s on a separate track, it can be turned on and off and has no impact on other viewers.

Why do you need an Audio Description?

It’s becoming increasingly important to make video content more accessible to the visually impaired.  Ofcom’s target for television access services has increased year-on-year and Audio Description is a key target for broadcasters; the BBC already provides the service on 20% of content on its main channels, and other channels are following suit.

Businesses too should consider making their video with Audio Description.  There are almost two million  people in the UK with sight loss – around one in 30. Most film releases now come with audio description built in, and an increasing number of DVDs are being released with an audio description track included. With Audio Description and subtitles your video will serve a much wider market.

Audio Description in three easy steps:

  • choose a voice from our UK Voice Artists or from our Foreign Voice Artists as required
  • complete a Quick Quote form opposite and send us a download link to your video
  • we’ll write the Audio Description, record and deliver as a linear .wav or ESEF file for TV broadcast

Example: Audio Description and subtitling for documentary: The Rochdale Pioneers 

The Rochdale Pioneers is a true story of hope, determination and principles.  Commissioned by the Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA), it tells the inspiring story of how a group of locals realised the power they had in working together.

It was important to the BYFA to make this important documentary accessible to as many people as possible. Matinée worked with the director –  John Montegrande to provide Audio Description and subtitling services for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Matinée selected an experienced audio describer to write the script and cast the voice of Helen to provide the narration.

Learn more about the documentary and order the DVD on the film website:

Here is another Audio description example we produced for the BFI

Example: Audio Description and subtitling for Dick Tracy

This is a video demo put together for the BFI. It’s an old black and white clip from a Dick Tracy movie but it serves as an excellent example of Audio Description.  In the first few moments there is some dialogue and action, and this is followed by a long suspense scene with no dialogue.  It’s a very stylish film and the Audio Description fits the piece perfectly.