The Enhancing Audio Description II project seeks to explore the potential of sound design practices and spatial audio to provide accessible film and television experiences for visually impaired audiences. It fuses audio technology and creativity to widen the notion of media accessibility and increase the quality and quantity of provision, providing cutting edge techniques to the UK cultural sector.

Binaural listening test room

Enhancing Audio Description II: implementing accessible, personalised and inclusive film and television experiences for visually impaired audiences, is a project that proposes a new paradigm in accessible experiences, in which there is not an overreliance on a narrator's spoken word, as in traditional Audio Description practices. Instead it utilises new accessibility features that include: the addition of sound effects, the spatialisation of dialogue and sounding objects, and first-person narration, to provide accessible experiences that are seamlessly integrated to the soundtrack of a film or television programme. These techniques are integrated into film and television workflows from the development phase up to final delivery.

The project builds up from previous research which demonstrated the success of these methods, and explores them even further, by concentrating on the conveyance of cinematographic elements through sound, the exploration of the intricacies of using first-person narration across different genres and different cast sizes, as well as exploring how spatialisation techniques can be adapted for multi-listener scenarios for a variety of loudspeaker formats. The exploration of these methods will be conducted with an end-user centred approach, in which visually impaired audiences are consulted from the design process up to delivery. Furthermore, the project explores the creation of guidelines that will allow the incorporation of these methods to professional broadcasting pipelines and film workflows, by collaborating with a Project Advisory Panel representative of the different roles in film and television as well as end users.

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The logo of the Independent online newspaper.

Press Publication

On 29 November 2017, the Independent published Mariana's article titled How a New Technology Will Help Blind People 'See' at the Cinema. Find out more.

Logo of Semantic Audio with a buffalo on the left.

Sound Talking at Science Museum

On 3 Nov 2017, at the Sound Talking event held in the London Science Museum, Mariana gave a talk titled The language of Sound - Creating Accessible Film Experiences For Visually Impaired Audiences. Find out more.

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Press Publication

On 22 November 2017, The Conversation published Mariana's article titled How Our New Technology Will Help Blind People ‘See’ at the Cinema. Find out more.

A photo of Mariana addressing an audience with a microphone.

Review on Our Conference

We haven’t had a blog post for a while, but we are now back with some news, a new podcast and some reflections from Mariana! Find out more.

A photo of Mariana opening our conference.

Conference on Accessibility in Film, Television and Interactive Media

On the weekend of 14-15 October we held our our first conference at the University of York. The event sought to promote communication between researchers, stakeholders in the creative industries, accessibility services, and audiences. Find out more.

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Press Publication

On 11 November 2017, Disability Arts Online published Mariana's article titled Audio Description - An Art Form In Its Own Right. Find out more.

A photo of Andrew.

Interview with Andrew Lambourne

The poster of our TATE event.

The Screening at TATE Britain

On 23 Sep 2017 we hosted a digital exhibition in the TATE Britain, London to showcase the research of the project into how sound design techniques can be used to rethink accessibility to film and television for visually impaired audiences. Find out more.

A photo of Kate.

Interview with Kate Dangerfield