The American Council of the Blind (ACB) proudly announces the inaugural launch of the ACB Audio Description Awards Gala in media on November 18, 2021. The Gala will celebrate audio description through recognition of achievements in the industry and by expanding awareness of the benefits of audio description.

There has been enormous success in recent years toward expanding audio description for audiences who are blind, visually impaired, or have other sensory disabilities that create barriers to full inclusion in visual media. In case you’ve never heard of Audio Description (AD) is essentially an isolated audio track that describes the actions taking place on the screen. AD has been around for 30 years but has absolutely blossomed as of late becoming an integral part of every television network, film studio and streaming service’s inclusion strategy.

The Audio Description Awards Gala in media will celebrate the best-of-the-best within the art and science of inclusive audio described media. At the same time, we will work to expand awareness as to the transformative value that audio description has made in the lives of people with disabilities. While we have seen great progress in recent years, there is still a lot of work ahead of us, and we could use your help to make this event a success.

“The goal is to elevate high achievement and bring attention to the importance of inclusive media, by recognizing those who lead in the craft of audio description,” said gala chair Will Butler, Vice President at Be My Eyes. 

The evening highlight will take place as the event bestows the newly created ACB Barry Award, in honor of the great Barry Cronin; these awards will be recognizing the best-of-the-best in the field of audio description in media.

Founded in 2009, the ACB Audio Description Project (ADP) works with stakeholders and industry leaders to provide accessible video entertainment through the delivery of audio-described content. As the ADP continues to sponsor a broad range of activities designed to build awareness of audio description among the general public as well as its principal users, people who are blind or have low vision. 

The mission of the ACB’s Audio Description Project (ADP) is to promote and advocate for the use of high-quality Audio Description in television, movies, performing arts, museums, educational materials, and other venues where the presentation of visual media is critical to the understanding and appreciation of the content. 

Consumption of media and entertainment over the past year has been nothing short of historic. With more on-demand and streaming options being released each day, audiences have moved from a golden to a platinum age of media-rich with compelling stories available at the push of a button.

Please consider donating to help support the mission of the Audio Description Project and to help achieve our goal of accessible media for the blind and low vision community, Donate Today.

For more information about the event or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the gala, please visit the Contact Us page.

Gala Accessibility

The 2021 Audio Description Awards Gala event will be totally accessible for people who are blind and people who are deaf: open audio description (an “always-on” secondary audio channel) will provide a description of visual images, and open captioning (“always-on” captions) will offer captions for the spoken word and other audio elements.