Audio Description is an additional feature that describes the visual elements happening on screen that sighted people take for granted, such as settings, backgrounds, costumes, actions and text. It is not available on all free-to-air TV networks here in Australia – only on ABC and SBS.
Free-to-air TV broadcasters are required by law to provide captions for all programs between 6am to midnight, unless it’s music-only or not in English. It’s great that people who are deaf or hearing impaired get to watch the shows they love but why are people who are blind or vision impaired excluded? It’s not just people who are blind or vision impaired who can benefit from Audio Description. There are other benefits, such as how it can help people with autism, by explaining the emotions of characters they see on screen. Or assisting people with print or learning disabilities who are not able to read the subtitles. As with Closed Captions for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, audio description can be turned on or off as needed. It is also relatively inexpensive to deliver and, in fact, is already integrated into many of the programs that are imported from overseas. The current AD service will only be funded until mid 2022, but you can help us tell the government why it should become a permanent feature on more TV networks and viewing platforms – Sign our petition today!
You can also tell us why you love AD on TV by sending an email, video, or voice recording to email@example.com. Alternatively, send your feedback directly to ABC
. To spread the word about Audio Description, post about it on social media using the hashtag #TV4ALL, all the information you need is on this postcard
. You can obtain hardcopies of this postcard (which include Braille) from the SBS: firstname.lastname@example.org
, 1800 500 727 (business hours).