Audio description one step further: New AD research project

Can we embed audio description into the production process? In collaboration with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK, MediaLT is going to investigate this question.

Story by: Magne Lunde - 15.06.2015

This new project is funded by Delta Center (National Resource Centre for Accessibility and Social inclusion) through their UNIKT research program. In embedded described video, as the name implies, audio description is an integral part of the production process, rather than adding it on afterwards. Embedded AD can be done in two ways:

  • By adaptation of the script / commentary
  • By adaptation of the sound picture

A children's TV series

In collaboration with NRK Super, embedded described video will be tested in a Norwegian children's TV series. The series, "Sol, snart seks", will be produced during the Summer. It is a Scandinavian coproduction of eight 6 minute episodes. The series is about Sol, a little girl who is 5, soon to be 6 years old. She is a little grown up", doing things in her own way to cover up for the grown ups at home who aren't looking after her properly. Sol has found that by inventing her own story she can get herself out of difficult situations.

Sol might arrive at the kindergarten in winter boots in the middle of summer or often in unkempt clothes a size too small. She really wants to be just like one of them, like Linnea and all the others but doesn't get much support from home. Sol keeps herself mainly to herself and doesn't relate easily to other adults. She loves to fly as high as she can on the swings and she is better on the climbing wall than all the children. But she needs help to understand that she is unique and quite alright as she is, also without all the things she thinks other people expect her to have.

For the first time

AMI-tv in Canada is the only TV channel so far to produce a TV series with embedded described video. Their series, called Four Senses, is a food programme. AMI TV is a TV channel intended specially for the visually impaired. In our project for the first time embedded described video will be produced by a public broadcaster.

User testing in the Autumn

User testing of "Sol, snart seks" will take place in the Autumn. If you are visually impaired and would like to participate in the testing, please contact us.

We think that embedded AD will take AD one step further towards Universal Design. Following the completion of the series, we will evaluate whether embedded AD is more generally feasible, looking at both the professional and economic aspects of this, and we will also try to say something about which productions are most suitable for embedded AD.


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