Delivery approaches in audio description for the scenic arts
Year of publication
Audio description (AD) is becoming an increasingly mature modality within Audiovisual Translation Studies (AVTS) and Media Accessibility Studies. Concurrently, technological advances are steadily being put at the forefront of its practice. The aim of this article is to define the current status and development of AD for the scenic arts from a technical perspective. First, an overview of guidelines that specifically include recommendations on delivering AD for the scenic arts is presented. The emphasis is then placed on the implications of the delivery approaches currently applied to this modality. In this context, theatre venues can offer AD – along with other access services – in a live, semi-live or automated manner. The advantages and challenges for each approach are thus analysed and compared by presenting examples and applications in practice. Ultimately, the present descriptive study concludes that the live, on-site delivery approach is no longer the default in Spanish venues. This conclusion opens up new research paths on the reception of innovative practices and software solutions. It is tentatively suggested that involving the creative team and the blind and visually impaired patrons would be key to choosing the most suitable delivery approach for each production.