Monday, 3 November 2008



A guide to Audio Description

Ofcom is committed to ensuring that disabled and older people can fully enjoy the wide selection of communications services available today.

They depend on communications services as much, if not more, than anyone else and it is one of our statutory duties to help them get the most from these services.

There are already a number of features in place to help disabled and older TV viewers enjoy their favourite programmes.

Subtitles are provided for deaf and hard of hearing people on all five main terrestrial channels, as well as over 60 other channels on digital TV.

Audio Description

There is also some provision of signed programming on analogue and digital TV, as well as audio described (AD) programmes for blind and partially sighted people.

Audio Description (AD) is an additional narration on TV programmes that describes on-screen action, body language and facial expressions between programme dialogue.

It is a free service specifically produced for each programme and allows people who have difficulties seeing the TV to hear what they can’t see.

Audio Description is available on many popular programmes.

Set-top boxes

These include soaps like Coronation Street, Eastenders and Home and Away and dramas such as Ugly Betty and Lost, as well as many factual, comedy and children’s programmes.

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