I, [Your Name Here],
As an audio description consumer, professional, or benefactor, pledge TO support & advocate for culturally competent and inclusive audio description.
I believe that equitable access to information is a right that should be available to everyone. Visual content including online video, streaming, broadcast , in theater, on stage should be accessible to people who are Blind or have Low Vision.
While I recognize there are a variety of constraints that restrict what information is made available during the moments of the content without dialogue, I believe significant effort should be made to make this information available, for example, pre-show time to provide a variety of details for the consumers. This includes identity such as race, ethnicity, skin color, disability, gender and more.
The audio description narration should be considered an extension of the film. Content with a specific cultural reference should be voiced by someone best being that culture.
It should be clear that this call for equitable access does not mean only describing BIPOC characters. Choosing to only describe people of color is a perpetuation of white supremacy that assumes white is "normal" or the default. Inclusive means describing all of the film's pertinent characters.
Audio description providers should take time to develop relationships with professional narrators to assure they can meet the demand. As most AD work is done by freelance voice over talent, often a suitable candidate is just a referral away.
As an AD professional, I commit to :
• Recognizing when my lived experience may not be suitable for a project.
• Seeking out those with lived experiences to either perform the work or consult with.
• Recognizing that if given an assignment where I am not representative of the culture, as an ally, it is my responsibility to step down from the role and suggest a more suitable person is given the opportunity.
This call for equitable representation in no way should limit BIPOC voice talent to work specific to their cultural background. BIPOC voice talents are just as suitable for Content that is not culturally specific.
I support the inclusion of Blind professionals in all aspects of audio description. This includes but is not limited to writers, narrators, quality control, project managers, audio engineers including editing and mixing. In each, I recognize that fair accommodations may be needed in order to complete the work. There are multiple processes of creating audio description, only utilizing those that require vision amounts to discrimination.
In addition, all software used in the process of creating AD, i.e. writing, recording, editing and mixing, must be accessible to those using screen reader and magnification and other access technology.
I acknowledge that supporting this pledge doesn't reflect my personal preference for audio description. It is however an acknowledgement that I support the right of those who are Blind or have low vision to access information that is readily available to others. What that individual does with that information, similar to those who can easily access it, is their personal preference.