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young girl wearing headphones looks to right against black backgroundCurtin University, Department of Internet Studies

Grant round: 2017-18

Amount: $67,316

Audio description, a vital accessibility feature for Australians with vision impairment, is not available on broadcast television in this country. Despite this, video on demand provider Netflix and some online and pay TV providers do offer audio description. While a clear demand exists for this service, many Australians are unaware of how to access the limited services available.

Drawing on focus groups with potential audio description consumers and modelled on international examples of best practice, this project has created an online resource to raise the profile of audio description in Australia explaining what it is and where to access it.

Australia is often described as the only English-speaking country in the OECD that does not offer audio description (AD) on free to air television. While there is clear demand for this service, the Audio Description research found that many Australians are unaware of how to access the limited services available.

The report, to be published in March 2019, provides findings on where AD is available in the Australian telecommunications industry, how consumers seek information about it, and provides recommendations on the best ways to communicate this information to consumers and broadcasters. The report also looks at AD in an international context, evaluating Australia's services in comparison with other countries', and in light of our obligations under human rights law.

The report will be available for download from late March 2019.

Find out more about this research at the Audio Description in Australia website.

How to access Audio Description in Australia

Download the tip sheets below to find all the ways AD is available: 

docxAD Tip Sheet - Around Australia58.79 KB

docxAD Tip Sheet - Apps53.49 KB

docxAD Tip Sheet - Cinema53.62 KB

docxAD Tip Sheet - DVDs53.89 KB

docxAD Tip Sheet - In-flight52.42 KB

docxAD Tip Sheet - Video on Demand54.66 KB