Excerpts from an Article in the Autumn, 1987 CCLV NEWS Council of
Citizens with Low Vision
Pat Price, Editor
Tower 2 apt 2102
600 North Alabama Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1415
Setting the stage for the visually impaired.
If theatres provide ramps and special facilities for patrons with physical limitations, and signing & sound enhancement for patrons with hearing limitations, isn't it high time that theatres provide Audio Description to become accessible for patrons with visual limitations?
Audio Description is the art of talking pictorial. The audio describer is a verbal camera lens serving as eyes for people who cannot see or cannot see adequately theatre or films or television or museum exhibits or other events.
In live theatre, the describer broadcasts via a very small FM radio or infrared transmitter to blind and visually limited listeners anywhere in the audience. Speaking softly between the actors' lines, the describer pictures actions, body language, lights, costumes, scenery and aspects of the production not conveyed by voices from the stage. The visually limited patron listens to the describer through a tiny earphone on one ear while enjoying the performance.
For television and films, the describer records descriptions in advance on a separate sound track on the video-tape or film.
Audio Description as an art and a system was developed by the Washington Ear.
Editor's note: This service is something every reader should actively promote. Why not ask your local theatres to provide it? It would be a great community service project for you CCLV Chapter!
For more information, call or write directly to Margaret and Cody Pfanstiehl, Audio Description, 426 Branch Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20901, Phone: 301-593-0120
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