Guidelines for embedded described video

The first draft guidelines for embedded described video are now in place. These guidelines form part of a report presenting the current situation for embedded described video in Norway and in other countries

Story by: Magne Lunde - 12.08.2015

In early summer we started the project Embedded audio description. This project is supported by the Norwegian Delta Center (National Resource Centre for Accessibility and Social inclusion) through their UNIKT research program. The report is one of the results of the project.

Eliminates the need for an extra voice

Traditionally, audio description (AD) has added an extra voice which describes what is happening in a film or TV programme. Embedded described video removes the need for this extra voice by integrating the AD into the production process thereby eliminating the need to add AD afterwards. Adaptions to the dialog / commentary and film sound allow visually impaired to follow the action in a natural manner.

Useful collaboration

Early in the project we initiated a cooperation with AMI-tv in Canada which has been very helpful to us. AMI-tv is the only TV company in the world that offers embedded described video, and they were the first to introduce the concept of embedded described video (EDV). AMI-tv have set themselves the goal that everything they broadcast should be as universally designed as possible. They formulate their vision in the following way: "AMI's mission is to make accessible media for all Canadians." AMI-tv broadcasts 24 hours a day on two channels.

Same version for all

AMI-tv wanted to take audio description a step further by seeing if it was possible to make TV programmess without the need to add AD afterwards. The reason was a desire to create universally designed TV, which both visually impaired and sighted could watch together. All their own programmes are now produced with EDV, a requirement that also applies to external suppliers who produce programmess commissioned for AMI-tv.

Children's TV series with embedded described video

The first part of the work of the project has been to prepare a status report on EDV nationally and internationally. Based on this status update, we have formulated the first draft guidelines for embedded described video. Some of the ideas in the guidelines derive from experiences AMI-tv have shared with us. In our project EDV will be tested in a children's TV series "Sol, snart seks" (Sol, nearly six). The series is now being produced in 2015, and the EDV is being done in collaboration with the Norwegian Broadcasting corporation (NRK Super). The status report including the guidelines constitute a foundation for this work.(/p>

User testing

This autumn, the EDV in the series will be tested. MediaLT wish therefore to contact people in three user groups:

  • Visually impaired children
  • Visually impaired parents
  • Parents of visually impaired children

Please contact us by phone 21:53 80 10 or by email:, if you wish to be a tester. Based on the feedback from user testing the guidelines will be revised. We do however already now welcome your feedback on the guidelines. Send this by email to

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