The Wonderful World of Audio Description in 2022

From the U.S. Access Board

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: The Wonderful World of Audio Description in 2022

Audio DescriptionJanuary 25, 2022
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (ET) 

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to make their information and communication technology (ICT) accessible to people with disabilities. Planning for accessibility needs to be a part of the development and lifecycle plan of any ICT project, including video and multimedia projects. These types of projects can be accessible by providing audio description, or sometimes referred to as video description, which is used by persons who are blind or have low vision.

The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place January 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (ET) and review different types of accessible media, the basics of audio description, considerations in planning procurement and development of accessible video and multimedia, and best practices in providing audio description into media. Presenters will also address agency successes, challenges, and limitations in the contracting process and implementation of audio description.

For more details or to register, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. 

Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar. Webinar attendees can receive a participation certificate for attending the 90-minute session.

Registration closes 24 hours before the start of the session. Instructions for accessing the webinar on the day of the session will be sent via email to registered individuals in advance of the session. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and Video Sign Language Interpreters are available for the session and will be broadcast via the webinar platform. A telephone option (not toll-free) for receiving audio is also available.

The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series provides helpful information and best practices for federal agencies in meeting their obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which ensures access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. This webinar series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the U.S. Access Board. All webinars are archived and available on the archives webpage. 

DCMP Helps Bring Audio Described Content to YouTube

From the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)

Audio DescriptionDCMP is involved with a new YouTube pilot program designed to give participating content creators the ability to add audio description to their videos through a secondary audio track. We’ve been partnering with science communicator Emily Graslie to help bring Art Lab to YouTube as the very first educational series with native audio description! DCMP was a pioneer in bringing audio description to streaming media, and we’re thrilled to be working with Emily and YouTube in expanding accessibility to people with disabilities on a global scale.

You may know Emily Graslie as the host of The Field Museum’s Brain Scoop series, which is available with audio description at DCMP, or from her recent broadcast television debut on PBS in Prehistoric Road Trip. Her new series, Art Lab, celebrates art and science, how they come together, and how the skills used by artists help teach scientific concepts to a general audience. Art Lab will also be available to families and educators at dcmp.org.

Not only does Art Lab have audio description, but DCMP serves as technical advisor and accessibility provider to help make the series accessible from concept to completion.

We hope you take the time to be involved in this project yourself by viewing Art Lab with the audio description turned on! To activate the description, look for the Settings icon (a gear shape) at the bottom of the YouTube player, click “Audio Track,” and then choose “English Descriptive” to turn on audio description. Keep in mind that only a small number of content creators currently have access to this feature—but you can always find thousands of videos with audio description at DCMP!

ArtLab on YouTube