Audio Description in Higher Education

Handouts Media

Scheduled at 2:15pm in Meadowbrook I/II on Wednesday, November 15 (2017).



  • Terrill Thompson, Manager, IT Accessibility Team, University of Washington

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


This session will explore audio description from three angles: Options for getting videos described, options for delivering description, and strategies for prioritizing videos for audio description.


This session will explore audio description from a variety of angles: 1. Getting videos described There are at least four methods for getting video described: (a) Hire a traditional audio description vendor; (b) Hire a captioning vendor, two of which now offer audio description services; (c) do it yourself by recording narration; or (d) do it yourself by creating timed text files that can be read aloud by supporting media players. 2. Delivering audio description Description can be delivered by linking to a separate audio described version, but there are alternative methods. A few media players have features that enable users to toggle descriptions on and off. 3. Strategies for prioritizing videos for audio description The type of video content influences the best method for getting the video described. As with captioning, the choice of which videos to focus on requires prioritization, and the speaker has developed a free tool to help with that effort.


  1. There are a variety of methods for getting videos described.
  2. There are a variety of methods for delivering described video.
  3. There are free, open source tools avaialble to help with prioritization and delivery of accessible media.

Disability Areas

Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision

Topic Areas

Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Terrill Thompson

Terrill Thompson is manager of the IT Accessibility Team at the University of Washington.