Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Audio description of television

The AUDETEL project developed an innovative system designed to make television accessible to visually impaired people through audio description. This takes the form of an audio commentary which is transmitted during the natural gaps that occur in the sound of a television programme between episodes of dialogue, providing descriptions of actions, scenery and facial expressions. The project involved detailed studies of how to create, store and transmit the audio descriptions alongside the television sound and pictures, and how to design and build receiver/decoders. The project culminated in a four-month period of AUDETEL test transmissions, produced by the BBC and the ITV Association, when up to 6 h of described programmes were transmitted each week, to be received on some 140 receivers in homes and selected community locations. Careful studies were made of the audience reactions to the service, and visually impaired viewers generally found the service of great benefit, helping them to better understand and enjoy television programmes. In an interesting twist to the 'design for all' philosophy, it was found that what began as a service for helping people who had difficulty seeing the television screen, could have far wider potential for sighted people.

Reported by

Independent Television Commission
Crawley Court
SO21 2QA Winchester
United Kingdom
See on map
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top