Screen Actors Guild Awards Featured Live Captions and Audio Description

By: David Titmus
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Rare addition of live description made program accessible to millions

For the first time in its 28-year history, this year’s nationwide broadcast of the Screen Actors Guild Awards on TNT and TBS featured both live closed captioning and live audio description.

VITAC was proud to provide the live captioning for the awards show, and to work with our partner Audio Eyes and its founder Rick Boggs to provide live audio description during the broadcast.

The addition of audio description — audio narrated descriptions of a program’s key visual elements — ensures that viewers who are blind or with low-vision will be able to take in all the action occurring on the screen and provide a much richer experience as they listen to the more traditional aspects of the show from the presenters and award winners.

“Live audio description is common for stage performances in the United States, but it is rare in broadcast television,” said Boggs. “This live audio description is going to be both unique and historically significant.”

This year’s broadcast also marked the first time that a blind professional voiceover artist provided live audio description narration during a telecast.

The only televised awards show to exclusively honor performers, the Screen Actors Guild Awards presents 13 awards for acting in film and television. The awards focus on individual performances as well as on the work of the entire ensemble of a drama series and comedy series, and the cast of a motion picture.

The 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was broadcast on TNT and TBS from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA.