About audio description

Audio description provides an additional commentary for the audience member, allowing greater access for blind and partially sighted people.

In performing arts such as theatre, opera or dance, audio description describes body language, expressions, movements and lighting effects.  The describers will time the description so that it does not overlap the actors’ lines.  Sometimes touch tours are offered where audience members can explore the stage and some of the props or costumes before the show begins.  To participate in an audio description, the listener wears a personal set of ear-phones (provided by the theatre) which allows each individual to regulate the volume, and listen to a live description relayed by the audio describer.  Box office staff are usually well versed in booking the best seats for a description and to book places on a touch tour. 


Similarly, in film, DVD’s or on television, the description describes the visual aspects of the action.   Audio description is also offered in a variety of ways in many museums, galleries and heritage site and is now available at some architectural sites, football grounds and other live performances, enabling blind and partially sighted people to participate at these events.