Audio Description logoAUDIO DESCRIPTION: the verbal translation of visual information for people who are blind or have low vision. This can take many forms, as you consider the diverse needs and interests of people with and without vision. VSA Texas considers all of these variabilities when developing and providing audio description services and training.

Since 1996, VSA Texas has provided audio description services for a wide variety of cultural events and organizations, including: live performances, educational and independent films, museum exhibits, and other events as requested.

Currently, we offers several ways to learn more about audio description for individuals or organizations who are implementing a program or service in their community or agency. These include introductory presentations, TASTER workshops, in-depth trainings, and one-on-one consultations. We are available for conference presentations and one-on-one consultation with staff or departmental meetings for more specialized content considerations.

Services available include:

  • TASTER presentations that include experiential activities, examples of description, and a brief history of audio description. (minimum 3 hours)
  • Introductory presentation for organizations interested in learning more about audio description. (minimum 1 hour)
  • Online considerations and examples of description for web developers and content designers. (minimum of 1.5 hours)
  • Effective communication best practices for working with people who are blind or have low vision. (minimum 1 hour)

All audio description services offered at a sliding scale rate. Please contact VSA Texas to discuss terms and conditions.

DESCRIPTION SERVICES

LIVE PERFORMANCE

VSA Texas provides audio description services for live theatre, dance, and festivals in performance venues across Texas.

Audio description provides an equivalent audience experience of the visual performance aspects through live description of the show, including pre-show notes offering significant set, costume and character details.

FILMS

VSA Texas provides audio description for independent and educational films.

Audio description for entertainment and enjoyment versus education and comprehension requires an enhanced application and process. For educational films, content is analyzed for what is being taught and how any onscreen visuals are being used for this purpose. VSA Texas works with each client to ensure that the descriptive content meets the requirements of the instructor/subject being taught.

EXHIBITS

VSA Texas provides audio description for museums, outdoor installations and other exhibitions.

Audio description for artwork, exhibits and other “silent” subjects provides an aural version of the visual and written information. At times, touch (tactile), sounds and scents may be used to enhance the individual’s experience.

ONLINE CONTENT

VSA Texas provides audio description for online content that meets the W3C guidelines.

Website content follows the same guidelines for audio description as live performance, films and exhibits, but the delivery modes may differ. Content is analyzed for its purpose and ease of delivery, and consideration of any company limitations are reviewed and discussed.

TRAINING

VSA Texas offers consulting and training for arts and cultural entities, enabling them to understand the steps to establishing an effective audio description program in their organization or community. Services can include working with staff to develop and implement an audio description program, training new describers, and continuing education for existing describers.

Recommended: minimum 2 consecutive training days

Through interactive participatory exercises, lectures, and demonstrations in a shared setting, participants will learn how to develop and use three core skills and apply them to their discipline. Following initial training, VSA Texas staff is available for additional mentoring, coaching, and program evaluation.

LIVE PERFORMANCE

VSA Texas works with presenting organizations to tailor training workshops to meet the needs of their intended audience members.

Participants practice the art and technique of inserting descriptions of essential visual elements into dialogue and other pauses during a performance. Depending upon the need of the organization, examples of theater, musicals, dance and opera are described. Scripts are analyzed and used in the development of the description and design elements such as setting, costumes and characters are discussed and developed into pre-show notes.

EXHIBITS

VSA Texas offers a selection of interactive, on-site training workshops for participants who are current describers and those interested in learning audio description. These workshops are tailored to the client needs for their intended audience.

Docents, educators, volunteers, or staff will learn the art and technique to deliver live audio description for visitors who are blind or low vision. In addition, individuals will practice writing scripts for description of selected artworks from the permanent collections for use by individuals not included in the initial training. Effective communication guidance also included in training when requested.

WEBSITE AND OTHER ONLINE CONTENT

VSA Texas offers training and/or consultation to web designers and developers on inclusion of effective description for all online visual information. Training takes into consideration website purpose, user needs, and current methods available to deliver the necessary content. Participants learn to analyze visual content for its purpose and relevance to comprehension, and practice writing effective descriptive scripts. Standard versus enhance description is discussed as a means to determine the method most appropriate to the content requirements.

For more information about audio description, or to book a description or training, please contact VSA Texas at info@vsatx.org, or call 1-866-459-8869.