What Is Audio Description?
Audio description is a commentary for people with sight problems who have difficulty seeing a screen, stage, exhibition or sporting event.
In theatre, it helps them follow what is happening by describing action, body language, facial expressions, costume and scenery. This happens in the gaps between actors’ dialogue.
ADA Scotland was formed in 1999 by a group of users, describers and theatre managers to provide a service that makes performances accessible to visually impaired people. (VIPs)
Many TV programmes and films are now described. Some football clubs offer the service. Museums and art galleries are also developing this service. This gives blind and partially sighted people access and the ability to share events with friends and family. It’s advisable to contact a venue beforehand to find out what its audio description arrangements are.
Audio description in theatres
Most theatres across Scotland provide an audio description service, scheduling one or two described performances per run. Audio description is delivered via a headset or ear-piece using radio or infrared transmitters. A touch tour of the set and costumes beforehand can further enhance the performance.