Audio Description

Audio description for the blind or visually impaired

Audio description is often described as closed captioning for the blind. It is common today to see audio description used in theatres and museums to describe the key visual elements. At Mediapolis, we use audio description to describe the visuals in videos.

Audio description logo

Audio description (AD), also referred to as a video description, described video, or more precisely called a visual description, is an additional narration track intended primarily for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media.

Open or Closed Audio Description

Open audio description plays automatically when you click play and can’t be turned off. Since many players don’t support audio description, it is common to make two versions of the video: one with audio descriptions and one without.
Closed audio description can be turned on or off by the viewer. It’s very much like selecting the audio track on your favorite movie disc. Only a few players support this feature.

Creating Audio Descritption

Audio description requires upfront planning and extra time in post production.  The workflow requires watching the video and describing the scene. Then a scratch version of the voice over is recorded and reviewed. You want to make sure this draft version flows before bringing in a professional voice talent. Once approved, the narration is then recorded and the timeline is re-edited to include this secondary voice over. In most cases the scenes in the video need to be longer to incorporate a secondary voice over that describes the video.

Make sure that there’s time in each scene for someone to describe it. It’s a good idea to avoid busy graphics, fast paced cuts and transitions because they make the video harder to describe. Plus it makes it hard for your audience to understand what’s going on in the video.

We look forward to working with you on your next project that needs audio description. Contact Mediapolis today to get started.

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Minneapolis, MN 55412