Audio Description (also known as Video Description, Described Video, Descriptive Video Service (DVS), Descriptive Video Information (DVI) and Descriptive Narration) makes your video accessible to millions of blind and visually impaired individuals. During the natural pauses in the dialogue, a narrator describes the essential visual elements of the scene.
Audio description can be provided for programming going to broadcast, DVD/Blu-ray, certain Streaming VOD platforms, and online distribution. It is accessible on broadcast programming via a secondary audio channel (SAP), and on DVD/Blu-ray media via a talking menu option. On Streaming VOD platforms, it is typically accessed via a settings menu, whereas audio described content online is generally accessed through a link to an alternate version of the video containing a dedicated mixed audio track.
Video Caption Corporation has been offering high-quality audio description services at affordable rates since 2010. Our experienced team of description writers, voice talent, and audio engineers will quickly and professionally describe your program. We can provide you with whatever you need, whether it’s only a timed script, a description-only track, a mixed track, or a broadcast-ready master with closed captions and audio description.
Our audio description is done in-house from start to finish — from script writing to audio mixing — allowing us to offer our clients fast turnarounds, strict quality control, and extremely competitive rates. Our description writers identify gaps in the dialogue and create scripts that provide clear, concise, objective descriptions, prioritized to provide the most useful information within the available time. Our voice talent carefully match the style, tone, and pace of the program but with a delivery that is clearly distinguishable from the other voices in the program. Our audio engineers check and adjust volume levels of each description to ensure that levels are matching and appropriate to the original program audio prior to mixing. All scripts are fully reviewed by a senior description writer prior to voicing, and all voiced descriptions are fully reviewed prior to any final mix with the original program audio. Finished audio is given a final QC review to confirm appropriate fade curves and volume levels. Our audio description process is designed and proven to reliably deliver the highest quality audio description. Learn more about our Audio Description Process.
Using state-of-the-art workstations, we can assign multiple description writers to work on the same program simultaneously. Ongoing communication between the writers, combined with a single script reviewer, guarantees consistency of terms and approach within the different sections. This enables us to offer some of the fastest turnarounds in the industry while maintaining the highest quality.
Audio Description Rates
We offer some of the most competitive pricing in the industry for high quality audio description services. The cost of your audio description project will depend on several factors, including the following:
- The length of your program
- What you would like back from us as deliverables
- Your preferred turnaround
- The overall size of your project
We do our best to keep the cost of high quality audio description affordable for organizations of all sizes and types. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales associates will be happy to discuss your project with you and recommend the most cost-effective solution for your particular needs. Learn more about our Audio Description Rates.
Extended Audio Description
In addition to our basic audio description services, we offer extended audio description. Whereas basic audio description is limited to the gaps in the dialogue, extended audio description is not. Extended audio description pauses the video when necessary in order to provide a full and complete description of the visual elements of the upcoming scene. While obviously not an option for broadcast, extended audio description is the preferred choice for programming going to DVD/Blu-ray and online video.
Audio Description Requirements
Pursuant to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, the FCC currently requires the local affiliates of the top 4 national broadcasters (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC) located in the top 60 TV markets, and the top 5 non-broadcast networks (USA Network, TNT, TBS, History Channel and Disney Channel), to each provide 50 hours per calendar quarter (about 4 hours per week) of described prime time and/or children’s programming.
In addition, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires all Federal Agencies to audio describe all video that “contain visual information necessary for the comprehension of the content.” While all agencies are subject to this requirement, some have been more proactive than others. The National Park Service has been a true leader among the Federal Agencies in providing access to the blind and vision impaired, winning an Achievement in Audio Description award from the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project in 2012.
Even though you may not be required by law to have your programming audio described, you should seriously consider doing so. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 22.5 million adult Americans (nearly 10% of all adult Americans!) are suffering from vision loss that is not correctable by glasses or contact lenses. While many of these individuals are not legally blind, they would all benefit from audio description. It’s good business to make your programming accessible to those individuals, and it’s the right thing to do!
We have been providing high-quality closed captioning services since 1997. Enjoy the convenience and cost savings of one-stop shopping for all your accessibility needs. We offer discounted rates when you order both closed captioning and audio description services. Learn more about our Closed Captioning Services.