Joel Snyder Releases New Book About Audio Description
TAKOMA PARK, Md.
People with vision impairments experience the world aurally, to a great extent, and for the last few decades they've had help "seeing" plays, art exhibits, media events and television shows - thanks to audio description. In this new book, audio description pioneer Dr. Joel Snyder offers an overview of the field, based on his extensive experience. That experience wasn't just with clients: Snyder's own father developed macular degeneration at age 80 and was legally blind the last 16 years of his life, but he enjoyed audio description provided by his son on nationally broadcast television, on DVDs, at live performing arts events and museum exhibitions.
With more than 21 million U.S. residents with vision loss, according to the American Foundation for the Blind, audio description - which uses succinct, vivid and imaginative words to describe visual images - is more important than ever. Its concise, objective translation of key components of art and body movements can benefit others as well, enhancing powers of observation. In "The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description" Snyder includes audio description's history, application to a range of mediums, description of fundamental training techniques and how audio description can brought to a community. Snyder's passion for the subject is clear, and he likens audio description to the literary art of haiku, with a few words conveying visual images for those who can't see for themselves.
Written in terms easily understood by laymen, the book offers a list of resources and extensive appendices, including a list of what people around the world are doing in the field, as well as equipment needs for potential describers.
Author Joel Snyder, president of Audio Description Associates, LLC, has a Ph.D. in accessibility-audio description from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Known around the world as one of the first "audio describers," Snyder helps make theater events, museum exhibitions, television shows and live events accessible to people who are blind or have low vision through his company. As director of described media for the National Captioning Institute he supervised production of description for "Sesame Street" and dozens of feature films and national television broadcasts, as well as displays at The Getty Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Albright-Knox Gallery and National Park Service visitor centers.