VITAC Provides Live Captions, Audio Description for 94th Academy Awards

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As part of their ongoing efforts to broaden access for all viewers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ and ABC Television’s presentation of the 94th Academy Awards once again featured live closed captioning and live audio description during its telecast.

VITAC provided live closed captioning for this year’s Oscars and VITAC accessibility partner Audio Eyes provided live audio description during the broadcast.

Captioning is the art of transcribing the audio portion of a video, program, or event into text and displaying that text on a screen. Captions largely are used by members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, but have been shown to benefit all viewers and make content inclusive and accessible to all.

Audio description makes video content more accessible by inserting narrated descriptions of a program’s key visual elements during natural pauses in the program’s dialogue. This ensures that viewers who are blind or with low-vision will be able to take in all of the on-screen action, including wardrobes, visual comedy, dance movements, body language, gestures, and facial expressions.

“Captioning and audio description are key to making sure content – whether it be a TV drama, documentary, or high-profile awards show – is accessible to all viewers,” said VITAC General Manager Doug Karlovits.

The 94th Academy Awards was held at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center, and aired live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

The broadcast marked only the second occasion the Oscars included live audio descriptions, and came just one month after VITAC provided live captions and description for the Screen Actor Guild Awards for the first time in its 28-year history.