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The Audio Description Project

2021 Audio Description Project Conference

Notice - Conference Recordings!

All of the conference RECORDINGS are available via the following link: 2021 ADP Conference.

Our 2021 Conference

The 2021 ACB Conference was virtual.  It ran from July 16 through July 23, 2021.  The "ADP Conference" agenda items were scattered over the various days of the ACB conference, rather than held on three afternoons as we have done in the past.

The ACB Conference started off on Friday night with a showing of the audio described version of the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, Nomadland.  Below, you will see the complete list of the ADP-sponsored presentations.  You can also view the entire ACB Conference Agenda online, or just the ADP Conference Agenda items as a PDF.

A list of tours you can listen to online is available.  Some links may break over time.


Friday, July 16

7:00 pm - 8:45 pm ACB Film Night
Winner of the 2021 Best Picture Academy Award, Nomadland is about a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. Frances McDormand also won an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and the director, Chloe Zhao, won the Academy Award for Best Direction.

Saturday, July 17

1:00 PM to 2:15 PM: Federal Communications Commission and How You Can Be A Change Agent, Co-Presenters: Suzy Rosen Singleton, Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, and Michael Scurato, Assistant Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC; Moderator: Clark Rachfal, Director, ACB Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, Alexandria, VA
This session will provide overviews and updates from the FCC regarding audio description, user interface rules, telephone equipment and services accessibility, and advanced communications services; and will share information about the Commission's accessibility-related stakeholder engagement initiatives such as the complaint process, the Disability Advisory Committee, the comment filing process, AccessInfo listserv, and other activities under the purview of the Commission.

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM: Audio Description and Museums
This panel of leading museum access professionals profiles various ways audio description is used in museum settings, and how each museum has coped with providing description services during a pandemic. Moderator: Joel Snyder, PhD, Founder and Senior Consultant, ACB Audio Description Project, Takoma Park, MD. Panelists include: Beth Ziebarth, Director, Accessibility Services, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Jessica Doonan, Manager, Accessibility, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Charlotte Martin, Senior Manager, Access Initiatives, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York, NY; and Robert Bready, Vice President for Operations, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, Colorado Springs, CO

5:30 PM to 6:45 PM: ADP/FIA/AABT Session
Film Screening: "Straight Off the Canvas"
This film is the winner of several industry awards. Created with audio description, it profiles Elizabeth Castallano, a visually impaired art teacher and artist . It also tells the story of blind art teacher Jessica Jones and her students at the Lavelle School for the Blind in Bronx, NY. Film producer Anthony Saldana, and other team members who worked on the production, will be in attendance, will speak about working on the film, and will answer questions from attendees.

Sunday, July 18

1:00 PM to 2:15 PM
Audio Description Project Website Overview and Update (
The number of audio described videos available has increased dramatically in the past year to the 6000-plus range. The ADP website is the place to find pointers to them all. This presentation will cover how you can best use the website to find what interests you and how to access description resources. Presenter: Fred Brack, ADP Webmaster and Social Media Manager, Raleigh, NC.

Monday, July 19

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Audio Description and Performing Arts:
This panel of leading theater access professionals highlights various ways audio description has been provided in performing arts venues, and how each has evolved to provide virtual description services during a pandemic. Moderator: Joel Snyder, PhD, Founder and Senior Consultant, ACB Audio Description Project, Takoma Park, MD.
Panelists include: Brenna Nicely, Education and Engagement Director, American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA; Mary Hanks, Audio Describer, Houston Grand Opera, Houston, TX; Jess Curtis, Artistic Director, Jess Curtis/Gravity, San Francisco, CA; and Alice Shepherd, Artistic Director, Kinetic Light, London, UK.

5:30 PM to 6:45 PM: Amazon Sponsor Session
Audio Description at Amazon: Over the last few years, Amazon has made great strides in expanding the availability of audio description, now offering more titles with AD than any other streaming service. In this session, Amazon experts from Device Accessibility and Prime Video will discuss how they have been able to scale up audio description production, and the many advantages they anticipate this will have for customers who are blind or visually impaired.

7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
An Evening with ACB: Audio Description and Streaming Services:  Streaming Services Part 1 and Streaming Services Part 2.
This industry panel features representatives from major streaming services to discuss their product's, programming, services, and offerings.
Moderator: Carl Richardson, Co-Chair, ACB Audio Description Project, Brighton, MA.
Panelists will include: Melanie Goodman, Lead Digital Supply Chain Specialist, HULU, Agoura Hills, CA; Martha Heller, Vice-president, Government Relations and Regulatory Counsel, Viacom CBS, Paramount+ Washington, DC; Sarah Herrlinger, Director, Global Accessibility Policy & Initiatives, Apple, Cupertino, CA; Daniel Kocmarek, Sr., Manager, Prime Video, Seattle, WA; Mirka Pavlikova, Manager, Technical Production, Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, CA; Allison Smith, Globalization Innovation Manager, Netflix, Los Gatos, CA; Andy Larkin, Senior Manager, Accessibility, HBO Max, Chicago, IL; and Peacock with Thomas Wlodkowski, Vice President, Accessibility, Comcast, Philadelphia, PA.

Tuesday, July 20

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
ADP Awards Presentation

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
Podcasts Related to Audio Description
Meet the hosts of five podcasts featuring audio description, and learn how each got started, what they cover, and their plans for the future.
Moderator: Kim Charlson, Co-Chair, Audio Description Project, Watertown, MA.
Podcasts include:

Wednesday, July 21

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM: ADP/BRL/LUA Session
4:00 PM to 4:35 PM: Meet Judy Dixon, Writer, Arlington, VA
Judy has just authored Audio Description: What it is, Where to Find it, and how to Use it, published by National Braille Press. Learn about how she came to write this book, do her research, and ask your questions.

5:30 PM to 6:45 PM
Audio Description in the Out of Doors: National Park Service, the UniDescription Project, and the UniD App: This session features the National Park Service's work to bring audio description and increased access into park settings and highlights the NPS's collaboration with the University of Hawai'i's UniDescription Project to use its UniD app in U.S. and Canadian parks.
Moderator: Jo Lynn Bailey-Page, ACB Audio Description Project Coordinator. Panelists include: Brett Oppegaard, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Communications, University of Hawai'i at Manoa and Principal Investigator of the UniDescription Project, Honolulu, HI; Michele Hartley, Media Accessibility Coordinator, Harpers Ferry Center, National Park Service, Harpers Ferry, WV; Holly Griesemer, Management and Program Analyst for the National Park Service Midwest Region: Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance and Accessibility Programs, Omaha, NE; and Clark Rachfal, Director, Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, American Council of the Blind (ACB), Alexandria, VA

Thursday, July 22

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM ADP/MCAC Session
Diversity: Describing Race, Skin Color, Ethnicity, Gender, and Disability in Contemporary Audio Description
Direct and thoughtful discussion by a panel of audio description experts on the importance of diversity within the field, how to describe in today's diverse world, and reflecting what consumers want to hear in their description.
Moderator: Kim Charlson, Audio Description Project Co-Chair, Watertown, MA.
Panelists: Dr. Rachel Hutchinson, Project and Community Engagement Manager, Royal Holloway, University of London, Inclusive Description for Equality and Access (IDEA) #InclusiveAD, London, UK; Thomas Reid, Reid My Mind Radio, Stroudsburg, PA; Cheryl Green, Audio Describer/Voicer, Portland, OR; Maria Vicky Diaz, Ph.D. , Dicapta Foundation, Oviedo, FL; and Renee Arrington-Johnson, Audio Description Consumer, Member, ACB ADP Steering Committee, Lyndhurst,, OH.

Friday, July 23

6:00 PM to 7:45 PM
Evening with ACB: Audio Description and Olympics Opening Ceremony Extravaganza
Pre-Show Olympic coverage spotlighting the process of providing audio description for the Olympics through interviews with NBC personnel responsible for delivering television coverage of the event, profiles of the audio describers, interviews with present and past paraolympians, the members of the U.S. Goalball team, and much more. Followed at 8:00 PM with the Olympic Opening Ceremony with audio description carried on all ACB media outlets, making one huge audio described "Watch Party". Our thanks to NBC for their collaboration on this event!

ACB Tours

ACB tours are one of the most popular offerings during our annual convention!  Although our tours aren't in person this year we have a plethora of wonderful audio described tours for your enjoyment. Our tour channel will be available Friday, July 16th through Friday July 23rd on ACB Media three.  The tour loop will run at six-hour intervals and below is a list of the tours and the hour within that interval the tour will be presented.  The tours will start at 10am and will repeat again beginning at 4:00pm, 10:00pm and 4:00am Eastern time.

Many but not all of our tours will be available as podcasts after the convention. Tours not available as podcasts are annotated on the below tour schedule.

All eligible 2021 Convention Virtual Tours are now available by Podcast!  Visit under the Media tab and select Podcast to access this year's tours and subscribe.  Tune in to ACB Media 3 to listen to the tours on rotation and you can find the schedule of the tours playing on ACB Media 3 by visiting

Tour Schedule:

Friday July 16 and Tuesday, July 20
Hours 1 and 2: Flight 93 Memorial and Visitor Center – Shanksville, PA
Hour 3: Castle Williams, National Park Service
(not available for Podcast)
Hour 4: Horseshoe Bend National Battlefield Park, National Park Service
(not available for Podcast)
Hours 5 and 6: Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Mount Rushmore Society
(not available for Podcast)

Saturday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 21
Hours 1 and 2: 90 Minutes: Walt Disney Family Museum
(not available for Podcast)
and 30 Minutes: U.S. Channel Islands National Park – Ventura, CA
Hour 3: Chicago Botanic Garden's Buehler Enabling Garden and Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Elephant Diorama
Hour 4: Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL.
Hour 5: U.S. Olympic and Paralympics Museum: selected exhibits – Colorado Springs, CO
Hour 6: National Portrait Gallery: selected presidential portraits – Washington, DC

Sunday July 18 and Thursday, July 22
Hour 1: Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, US Army Corp of Engineers
(not available for Podcast)
Hours 2 and 3: 30 Minutes: Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of American History:  The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag That Inspired the National Anthem – Washington, DC. 
90 minutes: Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, National Park Service
(not available for Podcast)
Hour 4: Smithsonian Institution/Air and Space Museum, Einstein Planetarium: "And A Star to Steer Her By" with Alec Guinness – Washington, DC
Hours 5 and 6: Flight 93 Memorial and Visitor Center – Shanksville, PA

Monday, July 20 and Friday, July 23
Hour 1: Dry Tortugas National Park/Fort Jefferson – Florida Keys, FL and U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum: The Hall of Witness and the Hall of Remembrance – Washington, DC
Hour 2: White House – Washington, DC
Hour 3: Guggenheim Museum "In the Mind's Eye" – New York, NY
Hour 4: Getty Museum: selected items – Los Angeles, CA
Hours 5 and 6: Holocaust Museum Houston
(not available for Podcast)

Previous Conferences