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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Audio Description: There's an App for That!

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 1:20 PM PST  
Elite 1-3  
Audio Description uses succinct, vivid, and imaginative words to convey a visual image that is not fully accessible to a significant segment of the population. In the United States alone, over 32 million people are either blind or "have trouble seeing even with correction" (American Foundation for the Blind, 2019). This presentation will immerse participants in the possibilities for access to media for people who are blind or have low vision and for people who are hard-of-hearing and speak alternate languages. Charter Communications/ Spectrum now offers "Spectrum Access," a new smartphone app-a multi-functioning innovation for accessing film, DVDs, streaming videos, and even major performing arts events. - Audio Description: The mobile app works anywhere you have an internet connection, whether at home or on the go. It is also platform agnostic, meaning it can be used with Spectrum On-Demand content, streaming apps, DVDs, or even in a theater. The app picks up the sound of the original audio and syncs to an audio description soundtrack that's been downloaded in advance in the app; - Multiple languages: In much the same way as with audio description, it automatically syncs with an original soundtrack and provides the audio in a different language; - Augmented sound: The app goes beyond simply boosting sound (as most assistive listening devices do). The high-quality sound can be streamed through headphones or even Bluetooth hearing aids to personalize and clarify the sound for the benefit of folks who are also hard-of-hearing; -Closed-Captioning: A CC file can be downloaded for any of the titles in the app as well. With over 80% of people who use closed-captioning not having a hearing disability, this feature can provide an added layer of accessibility, or even as a learning tool, across and outside multiple disability groups.  
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Disability Specific
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Media & Publishing
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
This presentation will introduce participants to the use of an app to access the audio description of film and media for people who are blind or have low vision, as well as clarification of sound for people who are hard-of-hearing and assistance for those who speak alternate languages.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communications (AAC)
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Leisure & Travel


  • Joel Snyder
    Audio Description Associates, LLC
  • Petr Kucheryavyy
    Charter Communications-Spectrum

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