Audio Description for Visually Challenged

If subtitles/closed captions help deaf and hard of hearing to consume videos effectively, video/audio descriptions help blind or visually impaired.

What is an audio description? Audio description is essentially a short verbal commentary of happenings on a visual screen. The description helps blind people to understand exactly what is going on a screen, say for example; facial expressions, actions of a person, etc. appearing on the screen. These audio descriptions are normally incorporated in between dialogues so that they don’t really interrupt the dialogues. Audio/video descriptions help visually impaired the same way transcripts or subtitles/closed captions help hard of hearing.

Audio descriptions are usually broadcasted through a secondary sound channel while the primary channel runs without them. This helps one with visual impairment listen to the same channel while plugging their headset into the secondary sound channel that transmits audio description. With the help of the description, blind or visually impaired can sit together and enjoy their favorite programs with their loved ones without having to bother them asking for description happenings on the screen every now and then.

Do television networks offer this service? Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) signed on October 8, 2010, by the President, Barack Obama, requires Federal Communications Law to increase accessibility of disabled people to modern-day communications. The channels like ABC, Fox, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, etc. are some of the television channels that are broadcasting video description on their channels.