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Audio Description in the UK: what works, what doesn’t and understanding the need for personalising access

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Publication details

JournalBritish Journal of Visual Impairment
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Jun 2018
DatePublished (current) - 27 Aug 2018
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)1-18
Original languageEnglish


Audio Description for film and television is a pre-recorded track that uses verbal descriptions to provide information on visual aspects of a film or TV programme. In the UK it is currently the only accessibility strategy available for visually impaired audiences and although it provides access to a large number of people, its shortcomings also fail to engage others in audiovisual experiences. The Enhancing Audio Description project explores how digital audio technologies can be applied to the creation of alternatives to Audio Description with the aim of personalising access strategies. Such personalisation would allow users to select the method utilised to access audiovisual experiences, by having choices that include traditional forms of accessibility as well as sound design based methods. The present article analyses the results of a survey and focus groups in which visually impaired participants discussed the advantages and disadvantages of AD and it demonstrates not only the diversity of experiences and needs of visually impaired groups but also their eagerness for change.

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2018.

    Research areas

  • Sound design, Accessibility, Film, Visual impairment, audio technologies, visual impairment, sound design, film, Audio Description

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