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Welcome to Audio Description Discussion in Australia!

The purpose of this website is to be an online resource that raises the profile of Audio Description (AD) in Australia. Here we explain what AD is and where to access it. We also examine social, political, and global developments surrounding audio description, raising awareness of its value as a tool and service that is beneficial to everyone.

This research has also involved a series of focus groups discussing audio description and its potential benefits for many different people. The results of these discussions will be reported episodically on the blog and in full via a final report.

This website was created by researchers at Curtin University and funded by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). Read more details on the About Us and Contact pages.

What is Audio Description?

Put simply,  audio description is the verbal description and narration of visual events.

Media Access Australia explain in more detail:

“Audio description is the auditory narration of visual representations such as television programs, films and live performances. During gaps in dialogue, it describes visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes. It is particularly beneficial to people who are blind and vision impaired and people with print, learning and physical disabilities.”

A clear demand exists for this service. The 2016 National Eye Health Survey reported that more than 453,000 Australians are living with vision impairment or blindness. This is a large number, even before you count people with other conditions who would also benefit from audio description.

Audio description is a vital accessibility feature for Australians with vision impairment and others, however it is not available on broadcast television in this country.

Streaming video provider Netflix and some online and pay TV providers offer audio description, however many Australians are unaware of how to access the limited services available.

This website aims to raise awareness of audio description, promote existing services, and campaign for its addition to broadcast television in Australia.

Where can I find it?

Close up image of computer cursor pointing to a link titled 'settings'How can I access audio description?

On this website we provide a list of where, when and how to access audio description for television and film in Australia. This is important because different tools and services are available in different regions, on a variety of devices and platforms.

Certain live events (such as theatre performances and fireworks) are also mentioned when audio description is known to be provided.

At the Movies

On the Web

In the Air

On DVDs and in Libraries

Using Apps

Contact

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact:

Dr Mike Kent
Curtin University
E: m.kent@curtin.edu.au
M: (61) 8 9266 2220.

This study has been approved by the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval Number HR 2018/0105). The Committee is comprised of members of the public, academics, lawyers, doctors and pastoral carers. If needed, verification of approval can be obtained either by writing to the:

Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee
C/- Office of Research and Development, Curtin University of Technology,
GPO Box U1987,
Perth WA 6845

or by telephoning 08 9266 9223 or by emailing hrec@curtin.edu.au