Creating Described Video for Broadcast Media
Illustration of a binder clip


Interior of Humber’s TV Production Studio

Image: Interior of Humber's TV Production Studio

Let’s review the learning outcomes for this module.

  • Identify described video, live description, integrated described video, and extended audio description in order to compare accessible video content for people who are blind and have low vision.
  • Assess recent policy efforts to make broadcast video content more accessible within Canada in order to identify initiatives to make video and live events more inclusive.
  • Recognize the process of creating described video, integrated described video, and extended audio description in order to evaluate the benefits of each form of accessible video.

Described video, integrated described video, live description, and extended described video make video content like TV shows, movies, sporting events, and news events accessible for audiences who are blind or have low vision. Integrated described video is different from described video because it includes description of important visual elements in the dialogue itself, so there is no need for a secondary narrator and audio track. Live description is when a newsworthy or sporting event is described live, in real time. Extended audio description is when the image on screen is paused periodically to allow more time for a narrator to describe the program.

By 2019, the prime time schedule of certain Canadian broadcasters must be described, and the quality of the described video has to be up to standard as recommended by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC, 2016). There are organizations and broadcasters in Canada and around the world working on innovative approaches to making both pre-recorded, live, and original programming accessible through described and integrated techniques.