Great news! Australia’s first-ever audio described television will be broadcast on ABC1 from August 5 this year. Audio Description (AD) is an additional verbal commentary that complements the existing soundtrack of a program for people who are blind or vision impaired. It is a narration that explains what is happening visually on screen during a television program.

ACCAN along with our member organisations, Blind Citizens Australia, Media Access Australia and Vision Australia, have long been lobbying for AD services on free-to-air television to ensure people who are blind or vision impaired have the same access to television news, information and entertainment as other Australians.

How the trial will work

The ABC will be running a 13-week trial of AD, funded by the Federal Government, broadcasting 14 hours of AD programming per week, during prime-time, between the hours of 5pm and midnight. Information about the programs that will be audio described can be found on the ABC website:

The AD programming will be broadcast using ‘receiver mix’ technology, which means that in order to hear the audio-described soundtrack, users will need a receiver mix compatible digital television or digital set-top-box. Information about compatible equipment can be found on the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy website:


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