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Focus on Arts and Disability: Embedding a culture of Audio Description

Feb 02, 2017

Focus on: Arts and Disability

Embedding a culture of Audio Description

Audio description is the narration of images and visual information for people with low vision. Importantly, it is a method of making arts and culture more accessible to those with low vision. It is not yet a ­nationally accredited service and is often provided by volunteers, so quality audio description can be difficult to source at short notice. Council identified the need to build in-house skills in audio description in order to quickly and easily provide the service when required.

As part of our ongoing commitment to becoming a disability competent and confident organisation, we engaged Access2Arts to provide eight staff with audio description training. Our trainer was Lara Torr, the Manager of Community Programs at the South Australian Museum who has been awarded both a British Council Realise Your Dream award and a Churchill Fellowship to explore audio description techniques internationally.

Our trainer Lara Torr with eight beginner audio describers.

Over the two days of training, staff listened to audio description content and learned about the appropriate use of tense, language, tone, pace and timing. We learnt how to prepare a description, including what structure to use and how to actually ‘say what you see.’ We discussed audio describing for theatre performances, museum and visual arts, touch tours including tactile resources and conference settings. We also undertook Disability Equality Training and learned how to use free recording software.

Eight staff are now confident to deliver audio description for in-house activities such as awards ceremonies, forums, conferences and other events.

If you would like to learn more about making your work more accessible to people with low vision, contact: Vision Australia or Access2Arts.