This workshop presents a proposed Audio Description (AD) teaching approach that combines practices from different areas, which can form the basis for training new professionals with a unique profile.
Most AD modules and seminars focus on the practice of scripting. When technology is used for scripting, it is usually inadequate to the nature of AD, since there are very few technological solutions for AD practitioners that are not provided in-house by AVT providers, and those are mostly incomplete. A tool that combines features that allow students to practise on scripting and timing within a dedicated interface, while also rehearsing and recording their descriptions, is considered extremely important in the approach introduced in this workshop, as it is an important skill for future describers, who are better prepared for the reality of the profession.
At the same time, Disability Studies can help new describers build a background on disability and gain deeper understanding of the linguistic, social and political dimensions of disability, thus understanding the target audience from a more comprehensive point of view. With focus on the social model of disability, Disability Studies as a field can offer opportunities to build this essential background that could potentially result in descriptions that have been created from people who are informed of the needs, the views, and the perceptions of reality of the intended audience.
Finally, AD is a practice that is potentially best delivered - depending on the medium (i.e. TV, cinema, theatre etc.) - by those who have knowledge of that medium and its constituent parts. A good describer is not necessarily a good linguist, but could also be a person with a different background, who combines linguistic and contextual knowledge and understanding. It is important for new describers, regardless of their background, to identify the areas on which they need to train further in order to achieve this balance in knowledge that will make them good professionals.
With the example of an MA/MSc module delivered in 2019-2020 and professional courses in AD offered in 2019-2022 at University College London, this workshop aims to suggest a combined teaching approach by allowing participants to experience new technologies and produce AD using one such tool, discuss relevant topics in Disability Studies and elaborate on an approach to the describers' profile, that combines different knowledge and skills.
- Introduction to the main AD practices and information on the module used as an example during this workshop. Presentation of the main organisation of the module and the topics covered - 50 mins
- Q&A - 10 mins
- Discussion on relevant principles of Disability Studies that can be incorporated in AD teaching and the profile of audio describers considering their context of practice - 45 mins
- Q&A - 10 mins
- Coffee break - 15 mins
- Introduction of new technologies, with examples with freeware and focus on the platform used during the module - 30 mins
- Practical exercises with the tool - 55 mins
Target Audience: Audio Description trainers, Audio Describers, Students and researchers of AD, AD Scriptwriters and voice talents
Target Audience Sector(s): Audio description trainers, audio describers, students and researchers of AD, AD Scriptwriters and voice talents
Participant Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite knowledge: It is important that participants have basic computer skills and basic knowledge of the nature of audio description or primary experience as users of audio description
- Experience in a new teaching approach to AD
- Information on relevant Disability Studies principles
- Experience on the practical steps involved in AD with the example of an AD platform
- Consideration of combined AD skills for professionals
Requirements: Participants will need to bring their own laptop and headphones and will be contacted by the presenter in order to create accounts for the tool that will be used for practice during the workshop.