Hello!

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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Blog

A photo of a young girl cycling with a VR headset on her head.

Exciting Projects On Accessibility Part 2

We have encountered too many interesting projects to fit into our last blog post on exciting projects, so here is part two. Find out more.


A photo of a theatre mask.

Staging Accessibility at the Theatre

Accessibility should take centre stage as a creative consideration at the theatre. Find out more.


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Press Publication

On 23 February 2017, Disability Sports Network interviewed Mariana in their Speed of Sound programme.


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Exciting Projects on Accessibility

Whilst working on the EAD project we’ve been impressed by lots of exciting research studies, which share our aim of promoting accessibility and social inclusion. Here are just a few of them. Find out more.


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Daredevil

You may remember that back in August we conducted online/telephone surveys on current accessibility measures and hopes for the future of Audio Description. We received 127 responses which have been invaluable to our research – but what encouraged participants to respond? Find out more.


A colourful pie chart.

Want your voice to be heard? Surveys and the end user.

You may remember that back in August we conducted online/telephone surveys on current accessibility measures and hopes for the future of Audio Description. We received 127 responses which have been invaluable to our research – but what encouraged participants to respond? Find out more.


A photo of a building at the University of York next to a large pond.

York Talks - Seeing With Our Ears

On 11 January 2017, at the York Talks – Research in the Spotlight event organised by the University of York, Mariana gave a presentation outlining our research progress. Find out more.


Marianna and Gavin presenting in front of an audience.

Disseminating the Project

I haven’t written a diary entry for a while and that’s mostly because I’ve been busy disseminating the Enhancing Audio Description project through talks in a series of events. Find out more.


Logo of Institute of Acoustics.

Reproduced Sound 2016

On 15 November 2016, Mariana gave a presentation title Sound Design, Spatialisation and Accessibility in Film and Television at the Reproduced Sound 2016 – Sound with Pictures - Time is of Essence Conference. The event was held in Holiday Inn, Southampton. Find out more.