Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

hi all, i wanted to touch on the subject of AD (audio description) for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a service for the visually impaired available on most digital tv platforms in the uk. it fills in the visual gaps between dialogue. films, dramas, documentaries and comedies are just some of the stuff that is described for us. my journey with AD started in the late 90s when the RNIB (Royal national institute for the blind) brought out disney videos described, the first one i watched was the lion king, it really opened my eyes (pardon the pun) i had no idea how much i'd missed, i was able to enjoy the film like everyone else. I don't know exactly when AD became available on television, but i think it was around 2003/2004, that's when i heard about the netgem freeview boxes, the first talking freeview box for the blind. of course, i was very keen to get one, i can't exactly remember how i ended up getting one, but my dad told me that i was being bought one. i was very excited, this was going to open up a whole new world for me. it took ages to set the thing up as i remember, the menus weren't very accessible but it announced channel names and provided the AD, that's all i needed. the first program i watched with AD was neighbours, all the little visual details that everyone takes for granted, so and so walks into the coffee shop for example, became clear to me, i knew it would enhance my tv watching experience forever. then when i found out AD was available on sky, i found out how to configure it so when i went down to my nan's i could get my AD fix there. this may sound like i couldn't live without it, the truth is i could, but it was a new toy i wanted to play with, plus it was cool to show to people. now to the describers themselves, i'm sure we all have our favourites, i certainly do. jane westrop, pauline cavilla, jerimy ferth, james ohara, di langford, and many more. what makes an audio describer for me is the delivery, there's a big difference between sounding like your reading from a script like a news reader and engaging the VI person so they actually enjoy the program. Jane westrop, for example, has that nack of describing humourus scenes. a great example, the wallis and grommit film was on one christmas and she was describing it, you could tell she had a smile on her face too as she was describing the funny bits. describing films must be extremely challenging, but titanic is one of the best described films i've ever watched. i adore documentaries even more now, we get every little detail, from what a desert looks like to what goes on under the sea. the 2012 london olympics opening serimony was even described. it was great to be able to discuss with my dad the next day how amazing the torch lighting was and that james bond segment. it really annoys me when some blind people complain that not enough content is described, do they think of how long it actually takes to do one program? we should be grateful for what we get, which is in my eyes a lot. other countries aren't so lucky, there's hardly any described content in the US or australia. so i'd like to say a massive thank you to whoever came up with the idea of audio description, to those describers that work tirelessly to give us that bigger picture. if your wondering what AD is all about, then turn it on, close your eyes, and emerse yourselves in a world where a voice brings everything to life, see the bigger picture