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Day 18: Add Audio Description to Videos

Audio describe one of your favourite commercials.

Audio description is a secondary audio track with verbal narration for audiences with low or no vision. This accessibility feature helps people imagine what is happening on screen and allows other viewers to multitask while consuming your content. Audio description also provides narration of important visual elements during periods of silence and gaps in dialogue. For an example of audio description, check out Current Global’s Accessible By Design Video.

To complete this challenge:

  1. Select a commercial from YouTube.
  2. Watch it, taking note of important visual elements.
  3. Listen to it with your eyes closed to observe what visual elements require audio description.
  4. Read our tips for creating audio description.
  5. Follow the steps below to add audio description with YouDescribe, the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute’s free tool for adding audio description to YouTube videos.
  6. If you have a microphone, use it to enhance the sound quality of your recording.

Tips for Creating Audio Description:

  1. Describe what you see objectively.
  2. Use the present tense in an active voice while providing third-person narration. For example, Tim arrives home and unlocks his door.
  3. Use complete sentences when possible.
  4. Describe actions while or slightly before they occur on-screen.
  5. Avoid recording your description over dialogue.

Adding Audio Description with YouDescribe:

  1. Using a desktop or laptop, open a browser in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Like YouTube, you will need a Google account. Sign up and login with your Google email.
  3. Find your video.
  4. Open the “YouDescribe Editor.”
  5. Notice there are two options for adding your descriptions: “inline tracks” and “extended tracks.” With inline tracks, you record your description within the video’s existing pauses in dialogue. An extended track however pauses the video while you add your audio description.
  6. Review your video again.
  7. Write notes about what to say and when to record inline and extended tracks.
  8. Practice with a run through.
  9. Record your audio description in a quiet place.
  10. Delete, re-record, and save individual tracks until you complete audio describing the commercial.

Let us know what you learned today by posting on social media with #ABD21DayChallenge and #AccessibleByDesign.