Audio Description: An Aid to Literacy

#36182

Speaker(s)

  • Joel Snyder, PhD, President - Founder/Sr. Consultant, Audio Description Associates, LLC - Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind
  • Susan Glass, , retired
  • Jason Stark, Director, Described and Captioned Media Program

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference

Summary

Audio Description uses words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative to convey the visual image that is not fully accessible to a significant segment of the population. This presentation focuses on the fundamentals of audio description and their applicability to building literacy.

Abstract

Audio Description uses words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative to convey the visual image that is not fully accessible to a significant segment of the population. This presentation focuses on the fundamentals of audio description and their applicability to building literacy. In particular, the Described and Captioned Media Program has demonstrated that accessible educational media is accessible; its videos help develop language skills not only for blind and low vision students, but also for ESL students, hearing impaired students, and students with learning disabilities. By using audio description, books and videos are made accessible to children who have low vision or are blind and simultaneously all children develop more sophisticated language skills. As a further example of this work, the Benefits of Audio Description In Education (BADIE) contest is an annual initiative of the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project and the Described and Captioned Media Program. Blind and visually impaired students ages 7 to 21 choose an audio-described film. They watch the film and write an evaluation of its audio description, noting the extent to which the description enhances or detracts from their experience with the film.

Keypoints

  1. Define the key components of audio description
  2. Explain how exposure to audio description can build literacy
  3. Locate resources for audio described educational media through a wide range of sources.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Joel Snyder, PhD

Dr. Joel Snyder is known internationally as one of the world’s first “audio describers,” a pioneer in the field of Audio Description, a translation of visual images to vivid language for the benefit, primarily, of people who are blind or ahve a vision impairment. The visual is made verbal—and aural, and oral. Since 1981, he has introduced audio description techniques in over 40 states and 63 countries and has made hundreds of live events accesible. In 2014, the American Council of the Blind published Dr. Snyder’s book, The Visual Made Verbal – A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description, now available from the Library of Congress as an audio book voiced by Dr. Snyder and in Braille, in screen reader accessible formats, and in English, Polish, Russian and Portuguese (Spanish, Greek and Chinese are in development). Dr. Snyder is the President of Audio Description Associates, LLC and he serves as the Director of the Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind (www.acb.org/adp).

Susan Glass

Blind since birth, Susan Glass was a Professor of English and Writing from 1983 through 2013. She taught in California at San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, and west Valley Community College, where she chaired the English Department for 4 years. She joined the American Council of the Blind in 2006, and has served in various positions including President of the American Association of Blind Teachers, Co-editor of the Blind Teachers Newsletter AABT Briefs, and Editor of the Friends In Art Newsletter, The Log Of The Bridhge Tender. She participates actively in the partnership between the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project, and the National Parks UNI D Project, which provides described park brochures for blind and low vision visitors. Since 2013, she has chaired the Audio Description Project Benefits of Audio Description In Education Sub Committee, which is part of the Audio Description Project Steering Committee. She currently works as a free lance writer and published poet.

Jason Stark

Jason Stark is Director of the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), joined the staff of the National Association of the Deaf in 1991. His experiences have included the administration of staff in as many as 58 media libraries across the United States. He has also been responsible for computer and Internet operations resulting in first-ever advancements in accessible media delivery and retrieval. One example of such is the DCMP's Internet-based media cataloging, classifying, and scheduling system to meet the needs of persons who have a sensory disability, their families, and the professionals who work with them. Additional pioneering accomplishments include his planning and design of systems that delivered the first streaming of captioned classic movies as well as the first provision of a free-loan service of streamed captioned and described educational media. Degrees in business administration and information systems management were the foundation for the development of his innovative technology leadership that not only resulted in government savings over the past twenty-three years, but also brought significant improvements in multimedia access and expansion of services to children with disabilities in the U.S.