Audio description, often called video description, makes your content accessible to people who are blind or low-vision.  Audio description offers blind and low-vision audiences the opportunity to enjoy television or film programming. It is a narrative description of onscreen actions, visual cues such as characters and
costumes, and text appearing in graphics or the video. The track can be found on a secondary audio channel available on most television sets, accessible through the television’s menu. VITAC’s audio description experts, with over 20 years’ experience, provide this service to national networks, government agencies, and video producers.

The FCC requires video description be provided by the top 5 broadcast networks and top 5 non-broadcast networks.  Section 508 requires government video to be described. VITAC provides this service to both producers and networks, offering:

  • Professionally trained script writers: All audio description scripts are written by professionals with years of experience in the industry.
  • Voice talent suited to the video, consistent through series.
  • Engineering and QC by both blind and sighted description experts: Once the professional voice track is recorded, it is then mixed by a team of professional audio engineers, checked and double-checked by both sighted and blind professionals for completeness and clarity.
  • All work created by people, not automation software.

See our sample below, created with the help of VITAC partner Audio Description Associates, LLC.

Contact us or request a quote to learn how VITAC can help you add description to your video.

FCC Releases Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Expanding Audio Description Rules

The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on April 1, 2016 that would expand the requirements for audio description in the following ways:

  • An increase in the requirement of audio description from 50 hours per quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter by the broadcast station or Mutlichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD).
  • An increase in the number of included networks required to audio describe from the four broadcast and five nonbroadcast networks to five broadcast and 10 nonbroadcast networks.
  • A no-backsliding rule, which ensures that once a network is classified  as an “included network” required to provide description, it will remain an “included network” even if it falls out of the top five broadcast or top 10 network rankings.
  • Removal of the current “threshold requirement” that nonbroadcast networks reach 50 % of MVPD households in order to be included in the description requirements.
  • A requirement that included networks provide dedicated customer service contacts who can answer questions and concerns about audio description.
  • A requirement that petitions for exemptions from the description requirements, or objections to those petitions, be filed with the FCC electronically.

Stay tuned to the VITAC website and blog for updates as more develops in the commission making the NPRM an official ruling.