Audio description in education

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Here you will find news and information about a range of areas within the education and accessibility.

Audio description in the educational setting

There is great interest in the educational community in relation to the digital revolution in education. Schools are making increasing use of emerging technologies and educational downloads.

There is a trend also towards online educational communities for teachers that share lesson ideas and professional development materials. A lot of this material is delivered via interactive whiteboards and schools across the educational sectors are taking up the technology.
So the classroom is becoming increasingly more visual, particularly in regard to the use of electronic media. Teachers are making use of educational downloads, are accessing webcasts, podcasts, utilising TV programs and DVDs.

Where does audio description fit into this picture?

The benefits of audio description in the educational setting are numerous. The principles that underpin these benefits relate to educational access and equity for all students.

Firstly audio description helps provide equitable access to curriculum support materials for students who have low vision, or are blind, those with print disabilities such as dyslexia, coluour blindness, and others with both learning difficulties and physical disabilities.

  • It is also of interest that the provision of audio description may assist in the acquisition of language vocabulary and reading skills – via an interchange between the use of voice and the relevant sounds and images on screen, to create meaning. Once meaning in context is created, learning can proceed.
  • The use of audio description provides a more comprehensive and global ‘picture’ of visual media for students and increases understanding and thereby facilitates comprehension
  • Audio description helps to bridge the gap for students  in an increasingly visual classroom
  • The provision of access in this form helps reduce students’ feelings of isolation and increases independence

Students who would greatly benefit from audio description are able to access some educational materials, in some instances via podcasts, where available.

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