Television for the Blind: You’re part of the rollout trial

Skidbladnir 1 August 2012

Last night, I realised three things:
1) My television has Audio Description capability; and
2) My tv had Audio Description defaulting to “Enabled”;
3) ABC are running an Audio Decription trial, which has started early.

Before realising any of the above, there was a degree of confusion surrounding the the intrusive voiceover lady who described my evening television watching to as it was happened, turning Three Men in Scotland into an unexpectedly postmodern experience.

After doing some research, and finding the media release :

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today announced that a trial will begin next month that is expected to provide a richer television experience for Australians with a visual impairment.
The audio description trial will:
•Take place on ABC 1 and start on 5 August;
•Run for 13 weeks between 5pm and midnight;
•Use technology to explain to people with vision impairments what is happening during the program, while they also listen to the soundtrack;
•Provide a greater understanding of the technical and consumer issues associated with providing audio description services; and
•Test what is required to commission, transmit, and distribute these services.

For more information, see also Media Access’ information page, and here is the ABC schedule for upcoming descriptive audio programming.

In case you’ve missed out on the descriptive audio, this is what television becomes when you’ve opted in (or had it forced on you).

(If you’re unexpectedly experiencing somebody narrate your ABC to you as it happens and you _aren’t blind_, there’s probably a setting on your tv under Audio Options to turn it off.)

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