One technique that makes video content more accessible is descriptive audio. It is a description of what someone is seeing. This helps people who are blind or have difficulty seeing. It describes the scene that is on the screen and gives any other relevant audio. In this video, author Richard Harrington explains what descriptive audio is.
- One technique for making video more accessible is descriptive audio. Essentially, it is description of what someone is seeing, particularly if they have difficultly seeing or are blind. For example, a man stands at a desk wearing a gray shirt, then it would proceed and continue as I was speaking to you. Usually it's an additional narrator who describes the content. So, think of it this way. Descriptive audio is a useful way to provide an alternate access method to relevant information.
Sometimes this leads to re-editing the content, inserting pauses or extending a scene, so it's a little bit cut more loosely so there's room to fit in additional description. It's generally used to highlight essential information that's needed to comprehend the content, such as describing the location or the scene or the characters. However, it is most often overlooked when it comes to compliance.
This is due largely to the fact that most videos already have audio tracks, so people feel that they can get by by just listening, but there might be information provided on-screen or other content that makes watching important to truly understanding. Additionally, with descriptive audio, there are a few things to consider. First up, there's basic audio description. This is when the descriptive audio track is limited by the existing gaps in dialogue.
In other words, cutting in additional description, but only where there was natural pauses, like between dialogue in a scene or in the gap before someone starts talking, quickly describing the scene or the setting. However, another popular method is extended audio description. This will pause the video when necessary so that more descriptive audio can be inserted, making sure that everything is fully described before the scene starts.
For example, the video might pause for a moment and then play back. This is more common when delivering to things such as DVD or Blu-Ray disk or online video. This is because the viewer is not broadcasting this and they don't have to worry about simultaneous audiences. The descriptive audio version is primarily for the benefit for the individual who is blind or has low vision. To learn more about audio description, I would suggest visiting the Audio Description Project.
This is an effort by the American Council of the Blind. They have a wide wealth of resources here, including training and information as well as information about movies and television shows and streaming that use audio description. And the ability to actually find content that's already been audio described, content on iTunes and Netflix, for example. So, you can check it out and watch some samples. Netflix offers a lot of content this way, as do many prime time television shows.
Now, feel free to visit this site to learn a little bit more, but let's take a look at a sample clip so you can really hear this in action. - [Narrator] Host Cuquis Robledo rides on a motorized scooter along a city sidewalk. - To many people, a sidewalk is a way to get around the city, but to others, a sidewalk can cause obstacles to get around. - [Narrator] Cuquis's using curb cuts to cross city streets. - If a sidewalk doesn't have a curb cut, which is essentially a small ramp on or off the sidewalk, someone with a mobility disability who uses a cane, wheelchair, motorized scooter, or walker can neither cross the street safely, nor cross at all.
- [Narrator] Cuquis bumps into a curb that does not have a curb cut. - Curb cuts sometimes have textured areas that alert people with vision impairments that the sidewalk is transitioning into the street. - [Narrator] Cuquis, sitting on a scooter, gives two thumbs up to the camera. - We're all set up, I'm officially the Bionic Woman. Here in Seattle, we took our cameras out and found that not all sidewalks in Seattle are safe for people to use. - [Narrator] Cuquis's riding a scooter on sidewalks in Downtown Seattle.
- What is accessibility?
- Understanding accessibility needs and issues
- Working with scripts and transcripts
- Optimizing video for visual impairment issues
- Optimizing video for audio impairment issues
- Captioning in Adobe Premiere Pro
- Captioning in Digital Anarchy Transcriptive
- Captioning in Final Cut Pro X
- Including captions and transcripts on web and social media video