Audio description makes a cinema visit accessible for blind and visually impaired people.
In 2015, Symfoon, the Flemish platform for the blind and visually impaired, introduced a clause in the regulations of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), which is responsible for supporting the production of Flemish film in Flanders, that specifically relates to the community of blind and visually impaired people. Thanks to this clause, all Flemish feature films shown in cinemas are accessible with audio description.
What is audio description?
Audio description enables blind and visually impaired people to follow a film or television series in the best possible way. With audio description, someone describes all the important visual elements in the image. A voice narrates, between the dialogues and sounds (e.g. a gunshot), what can be seen on screen. Images are converted into words so that blind and visually impaired viewers can follow the story autonomously.
How does it work?
Via the Earcatch app, blind and visually impaired users can access Dutch audio description on their smartphone. Through an earpiece, they hear the narrator describing – between the dialogues – what is to be seen on the screen.