Audio description trial hailed a great success

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012 11:22am

The trial of audio description on Australian television ended Sunday night on ABC1, with the Australian drama Dangerous Remedy being the last program to be described for blind and vision impaired viewers.

Since the trial commenced on 5 August, an average of two hours of audio described content was broadcast each night. Other Australian programs described during the trial included Rake, Lowdown and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

“The ABC is to be commended for doing such a good job with the trial,” said Chris Mikul from Media Access Australia. “The quality of the audio description, particularly on the locally produced shows, has been terrific.”

In the last few weeks, a campaign, It’s As Easy As ABC, saw over 30,000 postcards addressed to Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy and ABC Managing Director Mark Scott, asking them to keep the service going.

Senator Conroy stated in a media release, "The audio description trial is an important first step on the pathway to establishing a permanent audio description service on Australian television, and we were pleased to be able to provide funding for it in very tight economic circumstances."

Lauren Henley, a spokesperson for the It’s As Easy As ABC campaign said, “There are some technical aspects of the trial that need to be ironed out, but we’re hopeful that the government can work through those as quickly as possible to get audio description back on our ABC and across all television networks.”

The ABC will now prepare a report on technical aspects of the trial, which it will deliver to the Federal Government before the end of this year. Senator Conroy has stated that the government will work cooperatively with interested parties, including blind and vision impaired viewers, to ensure audio described TV can be delivered in the future.

Further detail on the success of the trial, and the campaign is available in the It’s As Easy As ABC media release.

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