Described videos provide narration of a program’s key visual elements, such as characters' actions, costuming, gestures, and facial expressions. These descriptions are heard during the natural pauses in dialogue. The result is a finished soundtrack that enables visually impaired viewers to fully understand the film through listening.
Description for Live Theater & Museum Exhibits
A number of Massachusetts performing arts organizations and museums offer live audio description for plays and other theatrical performances. To check on scheduling for audio described performances contact theaters directly for dates and times.
The following theaters offer described performances of certain productions:
Calendar of Audio Described Performances:
Description at the Movies
Audio described movies are shown at the following theaters. Contact Bay State Council of the Blind at 617-923-4519 to have your name added to the weekly movie theater update email list.
Description on Television
The availability of description on television has grown dramatically since the national debut of WGBH's Descriptive Video Service on PBS in January 1990. Description is available on programs carried by the following commercial networks and cable providers:
CBS: Below is a list of CBS programs with DVS®. Please check your local CBS station listings for exact broadcast times.
- Criminal Minds
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Without a Trace
- Specials, movies and mini-series as scheduled
FOX: Below is a list of FOX programs with DVS®. Please check your local FOXstation listings for exact broadcast times.
PBS:The following PBS daytime series are available with video description provided by Descriptive Video Service®. Please check your local PBS station listings for broadcast times.
- Barney and Friends
- Between the Lions
- Curious George
- Design Squad
- Dragon Tales
- Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman
- Franny's Feet
- It's A Big Big World
- Martha Speaks
- Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (select episodes of the series air with description)
- Real Simple
- Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat
- Simply Ming (select episodes of this series air with description)
- Thomas and Friends
- The Victory Garden (select episodes of this series air with description)
- World World
PBS: The following PBS prime-time series are available with video description. Please check your local PBS station listings for broadcast times.
- American Experience
- Masterpiece Classic
Nickelodeon: Below is a list of Nickelodeon programs with DVS®. Please check your local listings for exact broadcast times.
- Dora the Explorer
- Go, Diego, Go!
Visit the WGBH DVS® On TV page for more information.
To access description on television, a viewer must live within range of a television station that broadcasts description and have a stereo TV or a stereo VCR that includes the Second Audio Program (SAP) feature, standard on most newer stereo televisions and DVD players. Viewers who subscribe to cable or satellite TV should ask their provider to "pass through" stereo with SAP.
For additional information on audio description on television (including digital television requirements) contact:
Descriptive Video Service (DVS)
WGBH Educational Foundation/Media Access Group
One Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135
(617) 300-3490 or toll free (800) 333-1203 (DVS info line)
Fax: (617) 300-1035
The Audio Description Project's website: www.acb.org/adp.
The mission of the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project (ADP) is to boost levels of description activity and disseminate information on that work throughout the nation, sponsoring a board range of activities designed to build awareness of audio description among the general public as well as its principal users, people who are blind or have low vision.
Download Making Theater Accessible as a word document or brf file.