• 39th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference - March 18 - 22,2024 at the Anaheim Marriott

    The Premier AT Conference

38th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Audio Describer As Cast Member: AD At Every Performance

Date & Time
Friday, March 17, 2023 - 9:20 AM PST  
Grand CD  
Most audio description services in the United States for performing arts are based on a volunteer, limited preview/two-described-performances model. The Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind proposed a more expansive audio description arrangement for two productions again at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage. An audio describer attended rehearsals for each production, met with the stage director, actors, the designers (scenic, costumes, lighting, sound) and developed an audio description script throughout the three-week rehearsal period. The script was then available for that same describer to voice at every performance beginning with opening night and with, of course, an eye on stage action as minor changes in action could occur from performance to performance. The arrangement had two benefits: more time was available to carefully observe the theatrical process and construct descriptive language that was more thorough and considered; and people desiring the service could attend any performance with no advance notice and be assured of access to the visual aspects of the production. Other innovations included Braille and large-print programs, models of the set and props in the lobby, and a tactile “scrapbook” of costume pieces. The arrangement resulted in a tripling in attendance by people using audio description.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of May 8, 2023, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Disability Specific
  • Entertainment & Recreation
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Learn how ALL performances of a theatrical run can be made accessible with high-quality audio description.  
Primary Topic
Blind/Low Vision  
Secondary Topics
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communications (AAC)
  • Captions & Transcription
  • Education
Session Type
General Track  


  • Joel Snyder
    Audio Description Associates, LLC - Audio Description Project American Council of the Blind-

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