Audio Description: An In-Depth Review and Analysis (lecture session)


Presented at 8:00am in Standley II Lab on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • Joel Snyder, PhD, President - Founder/Sr. Consultant, Audio Description Associates, LLC - Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Bring-your-own Device Workshop: 12
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


A workshop on "The Four Fundamentals of Audio Description" and an in-depth look at audio description development and analysis.


How does description convey images effectively with only the spoken word? How do professional describers choose which images to describe? What are the best words to use? How can we artfully weave the descriptions around the original soundtrack’s dialogue and critical sound elements? This presentation will “deconstruct” the description for the excerpt from “The Color of Paradise” in an effort to understand certain audio description best practices. The workshop will continue with an analysis of additional audio described excerpts and conclude with each participant developing his/her audio description of a video excerpt (each participant should have a laptop available and will be given a flash drive with 12 sample video excerpts).


  1. how do words convey the visual image?
  2. the fundamentals of audio description
  3. audio description analysis

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Uncategorized

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 (