Museum audio described online

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Thursday, 8 October 2015 10:48am

A common approach for museums and galleries is to provide tours and information online, so that people who do not live in the place where it is located can still access parts of their collection.

The Rosetta Stone. Image credit: The British Museum

This approach can provide access for people with disabilities, particularly those with physical disabilities that might prevent them from visiting the physical building. The British Museum in London has taken this to a new dimension by offering audio description of some of its objects online.

This mini-tour of 20 objects is selected highlights from five of the Museum’s galleries – African Galleries, Parthenon Sculptures, Living and Dying, the Enlightenment Gallery and Egyptian Sculpture.

The descriptions are provided in mp3 format and are downloaded from each page of the online tour. Commissioned by the British Museum’s Department of Learning, the descriptions were provided by the main arts and culture describing organisation in the UK, Vocaleyes.

The online audio described tour differs from normal audio description in that the tour description combines both description of the object itself with historical information to provide context and understanding of the importance of the object.

The Museum hopes to expand beyond the initial 20 objects included in this tour to make it a more regular feature of its online offerings.

More information on audio description in the arts in Australia and news regarding developments is available on the Media Access Australia website.

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