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Explore the Wonders of Audio Description!

Transition Tip Tuesday for December 15, 2020

Audio description provides verbal descriptions of visual elements of a movie, television show, or other videos. These elements include unspoken words on the screen, descriptions of the setting, and details about characters’ non-verbal actions, facial expressions, dress, etc.

Audio description (AD) is built into the video. In professional AD, the AD voice is usually different than that of the actors, and the description is inserted between the dialogue.

Not only does this rich source of information help blind/low vision individuals enjoy the show more, it is great for everyone. I’m typically sighted, and I LOVE having audio description.

AD can be great for any videos you watch:

  • When a teacher assigns a video, ask that you receive an audio described version. If the teacher doesn’t know what you’re talking about, ask him/her to contact the Bridges Helpdesk and we’ll show them how to find or make what you need!
  • “How to” videos on the internet
  • Movies and shows you watch for recreation

Warning: There is a BUNCH of information below. Please don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t hesitate to contact us about AD or anything else. Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

What is available in audio description?

Of course, this information changes all the time: especially with regard to television and movies. However, here are a few sources to get you started:

Now, where to get it? Here are a few sources:

Free videos

Free audio only

Fee-based video

  • Cable: Major cable television providers offer audio description as a service. Please note that AD will only work when the original show has been made with AD. Check out Xfinity/Comcast’s accessibility page, which includes a video about AD (also called video description):
  • Amazon Prime described videos
  • Netflix AD information
  • Hulu AD information
  • Disney+
    • All new, original Disney+ shows have AD
    • AD has been added to many older movies and shows
    • All Pixar movies are now audio described
    • Many Disney movies are also described
    • Note: The free and accessible Disney Movies Anywhere app has been discontinued, and its replacement, the Movies Anywhere app, does NOT support audio description

Holiday audio description offerings

Contact us

Again, please follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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