Audio Description: Best Practices for the Web

  • Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters have recently worked together to develop best practice guidelines for described video for the Canadian broadcasting industry.

    The Described Video (Audio Description) Best Practices for the Canadian broadcasting industry were devised by 14 organisations, including broadcasters, private for-profit description houses and community advocacy organisations. There are currently six artistic and seven technical guidelines for described video. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide consistent description across the broadcasting industry. Designed for English post-production broadcast content, the intent is to eventually consider French guidelines as well as live and embedded description guidelines for on air as well as online.

    The goal in providing description in any context is to increase the accessibility of media content for those requiring description due to disability or those who simply enjoy described content. If the widest possible audience of users can consume the media content and gain the same experience regardless of their abilities, then the content is accessible.  So then if artistic description techniques are applied to solely online content, an analysis of how that content is consumed needs to be conducted in order to define what those online artistic description techniques would be.

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