Audio description helps to ensure that people who are blind or have low vision enjoy equal access to cultural events by providing the essential visual information. Audio description uses the natural pauses in dialogue or narration to insert descriptions of the essential visual elements: actions, appearance of characters, body language, costumes, settings, lighting, etc.
Descriptions are delivered through a wireless earphone to permit people who are blind or have low vision to sit anywhere in the audience. The Standards for Audio Description reflect audio description’s origin as a means of making live theatre performances accessible; however, the spirit of these principles applies to almost all audio description situations.
Other art forms and media call for variations from these original principles, which are discussed in separate sections later in this document. The Code of Professional Conduct for Describers, near the end of this document, addresses the responsibiities of audio describers and trainers in terms of obligations to clients and consumers, privacy and confidentiality, behavior, business practices, and continuing development.