ACB Audio Description Institute

The American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) Audio Description Project announces its

16th Audio Description Institute

February 22-24, 2020

Location

Holiday Inn & Suites – Martin Room
625 First Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Program Description

Pictogram of Audio Description logo

Audio Description (AD) makes visual images accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.  Using words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative, media describers convey the visual image from television and film that is not fully accessible to a significant segment of the population (more than 21 million Americans experience significant vision loss).

The implementation of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act has spawned a virtual cottage industry for the development of description for broadcast television.

The Program includes: Three full days of intensive, interactive training, Monday luncheon, and each registrant will receive a signed copy of Dr. Joel Snyder’s ACB-published The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description.

The interactive sessions (limited use of lecture, questions/discussion throughout, generous use of media, and individual and group writing exercises) are designed to provide immediate feedback and “give and take,” allowing for adaptation according to a sense of participants’ grasp of the material.  In addition, experienced users of description are a part of the Institute’s faculty, providing an important perspective throughout the sessions.

This Institute will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 22, 2020 and conclude at 4:00 pm on Monday, February 24, 2020.

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in:

  • working as freelance description writers for broadcast television
  • working as a describer in a local performing arts program
  • working as a describer for visual art exhibitions
  • experienced audio describers desiring an updated refresher course.

NOTE:  freelance writers for broadcast television projects can often be based anywhere in the world–computer equipment capable of accommodating high-speed downloads is a must.

Institute Director/Staff

Joel Snyder, Ph.D.— One of the first audio describers, Dr. Snyder began describing theater  events and media in 1981; he is the President of  Audio Description Associates, LLC with clients world-wide (see audiodescribe.com for more information) and Director of ACB’s Audio Description Project an initiative he founded in 2009. For six years, he led a staff that produced description for nationally broadcast films and network series including  “Sesame Street” broadcasts and DVDs.  Snyder has worked with description and trained describers in more than 40 states and in over 60 countries.

Faculty

Joyce Adams—Joyce has been producing/writing AD scripts for media and museum tours since 2002. She supervised AD script writers for the Described Media program at the National Captioning Institute, is the author of audio described tours for National Park Service visitor centers throughout the U.S. and regularly pens description for promotional videos produced by Microsoft. Both Ms. Adams and Dr. Snyder serve on the Subject Matter Expert Committee developing a certification program for audio describers.

Tuition

$495.00 – credit card payment accepted by secure on-line registration

Lodging

Holiday Inn & Suites
625 First Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-548-6300

Room rates at the Holiday Inn & Suites are $109 per night (king/double). This room rate does not include tax. For telephone reservations, call the Holiday Inn & Suites at (703) 548-6300–group code ANC. The Holiday Inn & Suites website for the Alexandria property is here. Make sure to mention you are with the American Council of the Blind 2020.

Registration

Online registration for the February 2020 Alexandria, VA Audio Description Institute will be open through February 21, 2020.

Use this link for more information and to register

You’ll be asked to create a login for the ACB database and continue to register for the Institute.

 

Audio Description in Education Content

Young People Who Are Blind Write Reviews of Film and Video

Pictogram of Audio Description logoOctober 24, 2019 – The American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (ACB-ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) are continuing their co-sponsorship of an exciting opportunity for blind and visually impaired young people, in four categories from ages 7 to 21: the Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) contest.

Kids love movies!

Movies, videos, and other forms of multimedia are, these days, integral to public, private, and special education curriculum. If you’re a young person who can’t see or can’t see well, audio description provides access to all the visual images of the movies that sighted young people enjoy.

Students choose an audio-described film or video from the more than thousands of titles available through the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP). Or a young person who is blind can borrow an audio-described video or film from a library, and dozens of audio-described films videos are available for purchase through the ACB-ADP’s website.

Reviews can be submitted in writing, in braille or via an audio recording.

Register for the contest at Listening is Learning’s BADIE website. 

Entries can also be submitted via e-mail or postal mail (submissions from outside the United States are fine) to:

ACB-DCMP Benefits of Audio Description In Education
1703 N. Beauregard St., Suite 420
Alexandria, VA 22311 USA

E-mail: jsnyder@acb.org
Phone: (202) 467-5083

Deadline for Entries: Friday, December 6, 2019

Contest winners in each category will be chosen by January of 2020, and the grand prize winner will receive an iPad Mini! Each first-place winner will receive a $100 iTunes gift card. Second-place winners will receive a $50 iTunes gift card, and third-place winners will receive a $25 iTunes gift card. Each supporting teacher who has a first-place winning student will be awarded a $100 Amazon gift card.

 

Accessible Media and Services for Students

Blind person walking in mall with guide dogThe Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) is a leading national source for accessible educational content, providing services for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. Families and school personnel with early learners through Grade 12 students can register for free access to over 6,000 Educational Media titles on-demand and on DVD. DCMP’s Learning Center contains a wealth of information related to education, accessibility, deafness, blindness, and other related topics. DCMP provides Media Accessibility Guidelines through our Captioning Key and Description Key, used by media professionals as well as amateurs around the world.

The Described and Captioned Media Program provides premium media designed for students with disabilities and leads as a resource for families and teachers, supported by the federal Department of Education.

A recent additions to their website, Is Your Student Ready for What Comes Next? provides a set of resources to assist students in the Transition process. Some of the resources include:

  • Map It: What Comes Next is a free, online, interactive training designed for transition-aged students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • The Getting a Job! online training was developed and designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and the professionals who work with them.  Focusing on the transition from school to work, the training offers a series of activities, supporting documents and topical videos designed to help the job seeker prepare for the world of work.  All the videos in the modules are presented in ASL, and are also voiced in English and captioned.

Additional videos and resources include:

  • Real Life 101: College Prep – With college just ahead of them, the hosts visit with some people who help students prepare for this milestone.
  • Real Life 101: Vocational Training – In this video a career planner discusses how to find the right career for the right person.
  • Paying Your Way Through College – This video helps viewers understand four-key financial aid sources: scholarships, grants, work-study, and student loans.
  • Biz Kid$ – Public television’s Emmy Award-winning financial education series of 65 videos for teens and preteens. Each video has a lesson guide, and the Biz Kid$ website has many additional ideas for learning activities.

Most of the resources on the website require a FREE DCMP membership which may be applied for on the site.

Described and Captioned Media Program

Blind boy using Braille embosserThe Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) provides premium media designed for students with disabilities and leads as a resource for families and teachers, supported by the Department of Education.

DCMP’s mission is to promote and provide equal access to communication and learning through described and captioned educational media.

The ultimate goal of the DCMP is for accessible media to be an integral tool in the teaching and learning process for all stakeholders in the educational community, including students, educators and other school personnel, parents, service providers, businesses, and agencies.

The DCMP supports the U.S. Department of Education Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 by committing to the following goals:

  • Ensuring that students (early learners through Grade 12) who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind have the opportunity to achieve the standards of academic excellence.
  • Advocating for equal access to educational media as well as the establishment and maintenance of quality standards for captioning and description by service providers.
  • Providing a collection of free-loan described and captioned educational media.
  • Furnishing information and research about accessible media.
  • Acting as a gateway to Internet resources related to accessibility.
  • Adapting and developing new media and technologies that assist students in obtaining and using available information.

The Described and Captioned Media Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

Please visit DCMP for more information…

New Choice in Braille Transcription Software

This new product was recently announced by American Printing House for the Blind…

Person reading BrailleBrailleBlaster™ is a braille transcription program developed by the American Printing House for the Blind to help transcribers provide blind students with braille textbooks on the first day of class.

BrailleBlaster takes advantage of the rich markup contained in NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) files to automate basic formatting and gives you tools to make advanced tasks quicker and easier. Designed primarily for editing textbooks that meet the specifications published by the Braille Authority of North America, the purpose of BrailleBlaster is to help braille producers ensure that every student has their hard-copy braille textbooks on the first day of class.

BrailleBlaster relies on Liblouis, a well-known open-source braille translator, for translating text and mathematics to braille.

Features include:

  • Translate braille accurately in UEB or EBAE
  • Format braille
  • Automate line numbered poetry and prose
  • Split books into volumes
  • Add transcriber notes
  • Describe images
  • Automate braille table of contents, glossaries, preliminary pages and special symbols pages
  • Automate a variety of table styles
  • Translate and edit single line math

The development of BrailleBlaster and modifications to Liblouis are part of the REAL Plan (Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning). The REAL Plan is an ongoing initiative of the American Printing House for the Blind to improve the conversion and delivery of braille and other accessible formats to students who are blind.

Learn more about Braille Blaster…

Free Braille For Kids!

The following announcement comes from the National Braille Press...

Blind boy using Braille embosserReadBooks! Because Braille Matters, is a FREE braille literacy program for families sponsored by National Braille Press. The purpose of this program is to encourage families to think about braille literacy at the earliest possible age. It costs nothing, and may start a child on the path to literacy.

National Braille Press is distributing attractive braille book bags to families with blind and visually impaired children, ages birth to seven, across the U.S. and Canada. The distribution process is a collaborative effort with educators and early intervention professionals. ReadBooks! has already distributed 16,000 of these bags to blind children in the United States and Canada.

There are three different levels of bags: red (birth-3); blue (4-5 year olds); green (6-7 year olds), and there are both English and Spanish versions of these bags. The bag contents differ slightly, containing age-appropriate books, tactiles, and toys. They also include two vouchers: one for an additional free print/braille book, and another for a free copy of Just Enough to Know Better – a primer on braille for sighted parents.

Use this link for more information and find out how to participate in the program…

14 Million Digital Books Available To Print Disabled Users

electronic books on various devicesMore than 14 million digital books will soon be made available to blind and print-disabled users, thanks to a new collaboration involving the National Federation of the Blind and the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital repository hosted at the University of Michigan.

When launched, the program will dramatically increase the availability of books for users who are blind or print-disabled. According to the NFB, currently less than 5 percent of all published works are estimated to be available to the blind, most of which are popular titles.

Over the coming year, NFB and HathiTrust will collaborate to plan and implement these services. User eligibility will be determined by criteria used by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and similar services authorized under U.S. law.

According to Furlough, HathiTrust currently provides a similar service to qualified print-disabled students at its member schools. The new program will expand this service to allow similarly qualified users not affiliated with HathiTrust schools access to full-text works in the HathiTrust collection.

NFB and HathiTrust, like the federally operated National Library Service, will lawfully and securely make books available to qualified people in the U.S. who have print disabilities.

Read the entire press release to learn more about this announcement…

Transition to Work: Program Activity Guide

Man walking through mall with a guide dogThe American Foundation for the Blind CareerConnect® program is proud to announce a new guide to help professionals implement the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) and improve employment outcomes for teens and young adults who are blind or visually impaired.

The Transition to Work: Program Activity Guide includes 19 free lesson plans and assignments designed to facilitate workplace readiness and work-based learning experiences for youth. Activities include researching and applying for jobs; filling out job applications; preparing an elevator speech and a marketing message; handling on the job assignments; a work performance appraisal; and other related activities.

The guide is available online on the CareerConnect website. Each activity has a corresponding electronic braille file in the Unified English Braille Code ready to be downloaded and embossed.

The Transition to Work: Program Activity Guide in tandem with the CareerConnect Job Seeker’s Toolkit and the Maintaining Employment and Advancing Your Career course is the ultimate resource to enhance a student’s employability skills.

To access the materials or for additional information, visit CareerConnect or e-mail Katy Lewis at klewis@afb.net.


Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Cobaka