Australian Communications Consumer Action Network

Blindness Sector Report on the 2012 ABC Audio Description Trial

This collaborative report, prepared by Blind Citizens Australia, Vision Australia, ACCAN and Media Access Australia, aims to highlight the consumer experience of the audio description (AD) technical trial on ABC TV to help inform Government’s thinking regarding the introduction of a permanent AD service.

While we understand that the trial was commissioned to investigate the technical issues with delivering a receiver-mixed AD service, the impact of AD on the lives of hundreds of thousands of blind and vision impaired Australians and their friends and families has resulted in a strong push for AD to continue.

This report attempts to reflect such demand through communicating the consumer response to the trial, outlining the benefits of AD and providing an outline of the ‘It’s as easy as ABC’ campaign, which ran in the last month of the trial and gained support from consumers, organisations and media around Australia.

Feedback on issues involving programs, timing, equipment, promotion and evaluation serves to inform Government and the ABC of issues that consumers faced during the trial that should be considered for any future service.

The report then outlines considerations for the Government’s establishment of a permanent service, including the legal imperative, receiver standards and costs involved, in an appeal for AD to continue at the same level maintained throughout the trial.

Finally, in order to achieve this and bring Australia in line with international counterparts, and as Senator Stephen Conroy acknowledged, cooperation between all parties to address the technical issues raised in the ABC’s report on the trial is essential.

Download: Blindness Sector Report on the 2012 ABC Audio Description Trial [Word Document - 387.5 KB]

Download: Blindness Sector Report on the 2012 ABC Audio Description Trial [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 226.43 KB]