2010 Conference: Audio Description Services; Collaboration across the Tasman by John Simpson

This presentation was made at the 2010 conference of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities. You can download an audio recording of the presentation below.

Download this presentation

Audio recording of John Simpson’s presentation (MP3, 43.5 MB)

Audio recording of questions to Alex Varley and John Simpson about audio description (MP3, 10.2 MB)

John Simpson


Audio Description (AD) can be described as “Putting into words the picture that a sighted person can see”. It has application across the Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Education.

Internationally, particularly in the USA, UK and Canada, the provision of AD is now considered a fundamental Access Right, alongside the provision of Captioning and Sign Language Interpreting for people with a hearing impairment. AD enhancement is provided in association with: live theatre, the visual arts, cinema, DVDs; broadcast Television, Educational and information video presentations (including those delivered on-line).

In the context of Vision Australia’s Mission Statement, the organisation has addressed the question “how to best apply Vision Australia’s resources and influence to ensure that people who are blind or have low vision can access Audio Description to assist them to participate in the Arts, Cultural, Entertainment and Educational activities that they choose”.

This presentation will focus on the value of Audio Description as an Information Access service and detail the various initiatives that Vision Australia has implemented to secure the wide availability of AD services.

As Australia and New Zealand share many cultural and entertainment products and events collaboration to promote the need for and value of Audio Description is in the best interests of people who are blind or have low vision in both countries.


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