Audio Description: What Is It and When Should You Use It?

When we’re creating and sharing content, whether it’s digital or print, one of our top priorities at Engaging Education is accessibility. We want to make sure that as many people as possible can take in the information we’re sharing regardless of any potential barriers or disabilities.  

The work we produce for our partners comes in many different formats, from fliers and posters to social media graphics and websites. Here we’re going to focus on videos and the positive impact of audio description on the accessibility of their content. 

What Is Audio Description? 

Typically, our film projects are made up of aspects such as ‘talking head’ or interview sections, B-roll footage, sound design and a soundtrack. Audio description is an additional element in the form of a voiceover that describes the contents of the video to those who might not otherwise be able to access it (e.g. people with a visual impairment).  

Audio description can be used to set the scene of the video, read out any text on the screen and introduce different speakers. It ensures that all audiences can take in the content of the video even if they cannot see it.  

Check out a recent example we created for our partners at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority: 

When Should An Audio Description Be Included? 

Anyone accessing your content could have a visual impairment, so it’s essential that we put the right measures in place to remove barriers where possible. That’s why, going forward, we’re recommending that almost* all films that we produce have audio description. 

*(The only exceptions would be fast-paced, montage films such as those used as web banners). 

When planned into the project from the start, the additional time required to create films with audio description is minimal compared to the benefits. That means it can be easily included in films that are designed to inform their audiences. Plus, by hosting the final product on Vimeo, users can toggle the audio description on or off to suit their needs.  

What Next? 

Have a film project in mind? Whether you’re already an EE partner or you’re looking to start a brand new venture, we’d love to talk to you about it. We’ll talk you through the options available to make sure the final product suits your needs and those of your audiences.  

Get in touch to start the conversation.