AUDIO DESCRIPTION IN THE UK

UPDATE: A national organization, Audio Description Association, has been founded and a conference held on April 30, 1999.  AUDEST has been disbanded and one of the Association's first tasks will be to set up a nationwide training for describers with recognition from the National Open College Network.

Description is becoming more professional and is paid work for many people, and a nationwide company, Vocaleyes. has been set up funded by the Arts Council of England.

Information provide by the Audio Description Association 7/27/99



Video. 36 audio described videos (VHS format) are available for loan and purchase.

TV. The Broadcasting Act (1990) mentions 'blind and partially sighted people' for the first time in history of broadcasting legislation. The programs to be audio described: within 10 years of obtaining their license, digital broadcasters must describe 10% of all programs. TV audio description will start with the launch of digital terrestrial TV expected late 1998.

Theater. More than 40 theatres provide audio description. The first National Audio Description Conference (theatre) was held in March 1997f. Attended by 130 theatre professionals, describers, audiences and arts funding agencies, the conference resulted in:

Cinema. 5 cinemas provide live audio description., Wintonfield Systems and Napier University (Edinburgh) are developing equipment for the synchronization of film soundtrack and audio description soundtrack. Warner Brothers International Theatres will install two channel infra-red sound systems into new screens and multiplexes.

Trends: growing professionalism, sustained growth, toward national coordination, more market research, more evaluation, improved policies.

Contact: Holiday and Leisure Services, NIB, 224 Great Portland Street, London W1N6AA.


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