Creating Described Video for Broadcast Media
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Overview

Described video (DV) makes video content like TV shows, movies, news and sporting events accessible for people who are blind and people who have low vision. Described video includes description of the main visual elements in a program, including body language, expressions, and movements (CRTC, 2015). Traditionally, the spoken description is added during pauses in dialogue and carried on secondary audio tracks (Described Video Canada, 2016).

By 2019, certain Canadian broadcasters must ensure that all suitable programing during prime time hours (7pm - 11pm, seven days a week) must be described, and the quality of the described video must be up to the standards recommended by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC, 2015).

In addition to described video, there are other ways of making video content more accessible, including integrated described video, live description, and extended audio description.

Integrated described video differs from described video because it includes description of important visual elements in the dialogue itself, so that there is no need for a secondary narrator and audio track. Live description is when a newsworthy or sporting event is described live, in real time. Lastly, extended audio description is when the image on screen is paused periodically to allow more time for a narrator to describe the program.

We will look into each way of making video content more accessible in this module.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Identify described video, live description, integrated described video, and extended audio description in order to compare accessible video content for people who are blind and have low vision.
  • Assess recent policy efforts to make broadcast video content more accessible within Canada in order to identify initiatives to make video programs and live events more inclusive.
  • Recognize the process of creating described video, integrated described video, live description, and extended audio description in order to evaluate the benefits of each form of accessible video.
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Important Terms and Concepts

  • Described Video
  • Live Description
  • Integrated Described Video
  • Extended Audio Description
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Connect to Practice

Recognize and distinguish between described video, live description, integrated described video, and audio description.