Accessing Science Videos with Audio Description

The Audio Description Project website, offers the following definition of audio description:
 
"Audio Description involves the accessibility of the visual images of theater, television, movies, and other art forms for people who are blind, have low vision, or who are otherwise visually impaired.  It is a narration service that attempts to describe what the sighted person takes for granted - those images that a person who is blind or visually impaired formerly could only experience through the whispered asides from a sighted companion." 
 
Audio Described materials can be of value in the science classroom, but where is a teacher to find these materials?  This blog will describe how to easily and quickly determine whether or not an audio described version of a movie or other resource is available and will provide several valuable resources to utilize in obtaining audio described materials.  
 
While looking for an audio described version of "Osmosis Jones" at my local library, I asked the librarian for assistance.  What I discovered is that audio description is a feature found on some DVDs that can be turned on and off (liked closed-caption description).  Blu Rays are more likely to have audio description available than are DVDs.
 
In order to determine if a video is available with description, the user will access the record on the library's website. This may vary some depending on the library system.  See your local librarian for assistance.
  1. Search for the desired film.
  2. Choose the Full Record icon.
  3. Under Language Notes "Video Description" will be listed if it is available.  If it is not available, then this feature will not be listed. 
As an example, the following is from the section in which I found the necessary information about audio description for the DVD “The Martian" on my library's site:
 
Language Note: In English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (surround Dolby Digital 2.0), or French (surround Dolby Digital 2.0); optional Spanish or French subtitles; optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH); Closed-captioned in English; English descriptive audio track for people with visual disabilities.
 

Resources to access DVDs and Blu Ray videos with audio description:

This information was gathered from several of my tech-savvy students 
 
  1. Blind Mice Megamall 

Benefits entrepreneurs with visual impairment.

  1. Netflix

When accessing videos - search using the term "video description" and the title of the movie in the search engine.

  1.  iTunes

Movies available for download for a fee.  

Pinterest collage of audio description

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