Audio description is a commentary for people with sight problems who have difficulty seeing a screen, stage, exhibition or match. In theatre, it helps them to follow what is going on by describing the essential action, body language, facial expressions, costume and scenery. ADA (Scotland) was formed in 1999 by a group of users, describers and theatre managers wishing to establish a quality description service that makes performances accessible to people with sight problems
Audio description is available on television, at theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries and outdoor events including sports venues.
Many theatres across Scotland provide an audio description service, scheduling one or two described performances per run. Audio description does not interfere with the performance, but conveys information in dialogue gaps so that people with a sight problem can follow the plot. Audio description is delivered via a headset or ear-piece using radio or infrared transmitters. A touch tour of the set and costumes beforehand can further enhance the performance.
Many cinemas, museums, galleries and some sports venues offer audio description, making a visit more enjoyable for people with a sight problem. It is advisable to contact the venue beforehand to find out what its audio description arrangements are.