Menu  Audio Description Project


Skip Navigation

The Audio Description Project

The 2016 ADP Conference

ADP Logo  Audio Description Logo  ACB Logo

Audio Description Project Conference Highlights

2016 Audio Description Project (ADP) Conference
An Initiative of the American Council of the Blind (ACB)


Hyatt Regency - 1300 Nicollet Mall - Minneapolis MN

July 3-5, 2016

Once again, we had a terrific Conference this year!  There were 46 participants, eight nations represented (including speakers), and attendees from 16 USA states and the District of Columbia.  We had a good split between users and providers of audio description, with excellent opportunities to interact.  This is the second year that our new mentor program also paired describers with ACB Conference attendees who weren't otherwise directly involved in our project.  The mentors/mentees learned from each other.

See Also:  2014 ADP Conference.

Do you have a suggested topic for our next Conference two years from now?  Drop us a line!  We'd really like to hear from you.

Joel SnyderDay I – Sunday, July 3, 2016 

Listen to a podcast of Day 1

   1:00 pm-1:45 pm    Welcome/Introduction to the ADP – (STARTS AT 0:00 IN PODCAST.  )

                                      Kim Charlson, President, American Council of the Blind

                                      Dan Spoone, Chair, ADP Committee

                                      Jo Lynn Bailey-Page, Chair, ADP Conference Sub-Committee    

                                      Dr. Joel Snyder, Director, ADP

   1:45 pm-2:45 pm  Getting the Most Out of the ADP Website: How to Access Audio Described TV, Movies, and Videos – Fred Brack, ADP Webmaster.  STARTS AT 50:10 IN PODCAST.

    2:45 pm-3:00 pm    break 

   3:00 pm-3:45 pm  Legislative Update  STARTS AT 1:59:20 IN PODCAST.  A review of the current status of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act’s mandates for broadcast description; broadcast description in the digital era (via smart phone apps, for example) and the FCC; Department of Education funding for broadcast description.  Eric Bridges, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind (ACB); Anthony Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, ACB; Eliot J.  Greenwald, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission; Matt Kaplowitz, Bridge Multimedia (Department of Education grant recipient)

   3:45 pm-5:15 pm   The ADA + 504 + 508 = Accessibility  STARTS AT 2:54:49 IN PODCAST.  Chaired by Pat Sheehan, Section 508 Coordinator, Department of Veterans Affairs.  How does existing law at the federal level support audio description?  The Americans With Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended) and  Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act mandate accommodations for people with disabilities.  Experts in access and legislation will outline how these important legislative actions provide for audio description.  Invited panelists include Beth Bienvenu, Director of Accessibility, National Endowment for the Arts (via Skype); Anita Walker, Executive Director, Massachusetts Cultural Council (invited); and  Mark Urban, Section 508 Coordinator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

   5:15 pm-6:00 pm  Mentoring Meet-Up – Chaired by Susan Glass, ADP Steering Committee.&nbs  STARTS AT 4:09:17 IN PODCAST.  For the second time, the ACB Audio Description Project is offering its unique “mentorship” program: sighted attendees of the Audio Description Project Conference will be paired with a blind or visually impaired mentor.  The best describers develop an understanding of  the audience for whom they are providing a critical service.  What better opportunity for such interaction than at the ACB Conference and Convention, where some 1500 blind people will likely be present?  (Sunday evening on July 3 and mornings on Monday and Tuesday, July 4  aand 5 are kept open for attendance at ACB Convention plenary sessions.)

At this meet-and-greet session, ADP Conference attendees will have the opportunity to meet and be mentored by an ACB member/description enthusiast and join him/her for the opening plenary session of the ACB Conference and Convention AND at least two other activities during the sessions over the next two mornings—e.g., touring the exhibit hall together, attending an affiliate meeting or an additional ACB general session, taking a walk, eating a meal together, or watching an audio described film.  We hope that these interactions will give you lots of practical experience interacting with a blind person—and you may forge a new friendship and increase understanding between the sighted and the blind communities.

Dinner on your own

  7:00 pm-10:00 pm – ACB Opening Session

Day II – Monday, July 4, 2016

Listen to a podcast of Day 2

   1:30 pm-3:00 pm  Teachers and Audio Description –- Chaired by Jo Lynn Bailey-Page and Susan GlassSTARTS AT 1:45 IN PODCAST.  Programs like the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) and several published papers have demonstrated how teachers can use audio description as a classroom aide and can build literacy for all students.  Panelists including Jason Stark of the DCMP (invited); Judy Dixon of the National Library Service (invited); Hillary Kleck, mother of the vibrant 9-year-old Madilyn who happens to be blind (invited); Carla Hayes, First Vice-President, American Association of Blind Teachers; and Kim Charlson, President, ACB and Librarian, Perkins School for the Blind.  Our special guests attending this session are members of the American Association of Blind Teachers.

   3:00 pm-3:15 pm  break

    3:15 pm-4:45 pm  Minneapolis—Audio Description Heaven! — Chaired by Jon Skaalen, Accessibility and Grants Coordinator, VSA Minnesota.  STARTS AT 1:37:00 IN PODCAST.  Minneapolis has a wealth of audio description available at area theaters, museums, performing arts centers, in media, in museums, and at and other venues.  Jon Skaalen will provide an overview of all of this activity and the secrets of its success.  Local describers and consumers of audio description will share their perspectives.  Panelists:  Freelance describers Rick Jacobson and Laura Wiebers and AD consumer Ken Rodgers.

   4:45 pm-6:00 pm  Audio Description and Broadcast TelevisionSTARTS AT 3:03:26 IN PODCAST.  How and where do audio describers become employed, especially for film and TV?  What about opportunities for AD consumers to contribute to the process?  Matt Kaplowitz, Bridge Multimedia, supervisor of description for nationally broadcast television and feature films, will chair the session with panelists Rick Boggs, Audio Eyes; Peter Burke, Accessible Media, Inc. (Toronto); Diane Johnson, Descriptive Video Works (Vancouver) via Skype; and a representative from CaptionMax based in Minneapolis.&n 

Dinner on your own

Day III – Tuesday, July 5, 2016:p>

Listen to a podcast of Day 3

   1:00 pm-2:00 pm  Luncheon with guest speaker – Rick BoggsSTARTS AT 0:0:47 IN PODCAST.  Mr. Boggs is the Founder and General Manager of Audio Eyes, Inc. based in Los Angeles.  Rick Boggs is a leader in making audio production tools accessible for audio professionals with vision loss. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to developing strategies to improve the quality of audio description through inclusion of blind professionals in the production process. In 2003, Mr. Boggs, then President of We See TV, received the California Governor’s Trophy at the National Business Leadership Conference for his inclusive employment practices. He employs numerous blind and disabled voice-over artists and recording engineers at We See TV.  Among a range of issues, Rick will address the future of AD delivery via apps and smartphones and how consumers can most effectively provide feedback to description producers.

 Rick Boggs was the 2013 recipient of the ADP’s Barry Levine Memorial Career Achievement Award in Audio Description.

   2:30 pm-2:45  break

  2:00 pm-2:30 pm  Announcement of 2016 ACB-ADP Audio Description Achievement Awards – Chris Gray, committee chair – STARTS AT 0:48:40 IN PODCAST

Achievement in Audio Description - Performing Arts: Arts Access, Raleigh, NC
Achievement in Audio Description - Media: Fred Brack, ADP Webmaster, Raleigh, NC
Achievement in Audio Description - Museums: Dole Institute of Politics / Audio-Reader Network, Lawrence, KS
Achievement in Audio Description - International: Bos Soluções e Serviços Ltda. - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Special Recognition Achievement in Audio Description: Alice Austin, Eliot, ME
Special Recognition Achievement in Audio Description: Mark Messersmith, The Visual Voice - Mountain View, CA
Dr. Margaret R. Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award in Audio Description - Research and Development: Disney / Pixar "Disney Movies Anywhere App" - Los Angeles, CA
Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description: Dr. Francisco Lima - Recife, Brazil

Photos on Facebook.

  2:45 pm-4:15   Audio Description—The Best It Can BeSTARTS AT 1:27:10 IN PODCAST.  Coordinated by Joel Snyder, this session will provide all attendees an opportunity to evaluate excerpts from audio described films.  As a group, we’ll try to answer:  How do providers of description know they are doing a good job?  What criteria can be used to assess quality in audio description?  How do describers/description producers know if AD consumers are getting the most out of a described video or film?  Film clips with audio description provided by the U.K.’s Your Local Cinema, a comprehensive list of described videos, films and DVDs.  Derek Brandon, coordinator of the Your Local Cinema website will join us via Skype.

   4:15 pm-5:45 pm  AD AD Around The World (panelists in person and via Skype) – STARTS AT 2:37:00 IN PODCAST .  Chaired by Joel Snyder.  What in the world?  AD, actually.  This session will introduce you to the world-wide spread of audio description with presentations by:

Dr. Bernd Benecke of Bayerischer Rundfunk (German television), and author of Audio Description As Partial Translation - Model and Method

Dr. Pilar Orero, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Sonali Rai, Royal National Institute of Blind People

Dr. Francisco Lima, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil and Andrea Garbelotti, Founder, AG-Tradução, Interpretação e Áudio-descrição, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Diane Johnson, President, Descriptive Video Works, Vancouver, Canada (via Skype). 

Shakila Maharaj, AD Consumer, Durban, South Africa, and Dr. William Rowland, AD Consumer and former President, World Blind Union, Pretoria, South Africa

Nicola Owen, freelance  describer, Auckland, New Zealand

   5:45 pm-6:00 pm  Conference Conclusion/Wrap-Up – Acknowledgement of 2016 ACB-ADP Audio Description Achievement Award winners

 Evening – Meeting/Reception with the ACB International Committee

For questions or additional information, contact Joel Snyder at [email protected] -- 202 467-5083 or 301 920-0218.