Joel Snyder, a pioneer of audio description, recently released a book, called The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description. As the title suggests, the book delves into the history of audio description — a service by which a skilled audio description team describes critical events and images in a show, play, or other performance — which Joel himself was integral in developing, as well as the best practices for implementing quality audio description.
As Snyder mentions, audio description serves the 21 million Americans who live with low vision or blindness. It is federally mandated for at least four hours of programming per week on major network broadcasters in top-25 markets, as well as the top five cable networks. Captioning, in contrast, is required on all TV broadcasts. “There is simply a lack of awareness of the need and a misunderstanding of the public benefit that could result from reaching out to this population, not to mention the financial benefit that might be gleaned from this untapped market,” Snyder explains in The Visual Made Verbal.
The book is 180 pages long and is available for Kindle or in paperback through Amazon books. Joel recently earned his PhD in accessibility – audio description from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Joel is the president of Audio Description Associates, LLC, as well as the Director of the Audio Description project for the American Council of the Blind.