18 July 2022

The Pledge for Culturally Competent & Inclusive Audio Description

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.

81 verified
  1. Emilyfern Dayton, Activist, none, Silverton
  2. anonymous
  3. anonymous
  5. Deana Criess, Trainer, Perkins School for the Blind, Boston
  6. Andrea Miskow, audio describer, Sound Associates, Astoria
  7. Sabrina Martinez, Audio Describer, Houston, TX
  8. Zachary Bennoui, Boston
  9. Roberto Cordero, Adaptive technology specialist, Seattle
  10. Spacey, Filmmaker and Musician, Space Dream Productions
  11. Hannah Norby, student, Marina CA
  12. Timothy Peters, Hamilton
  14. Katie Murphy, Audio Describer, Daly City
  15. Rei Ga-Wun Leung, Deaf Artist, Zine-poet, Consultant, Advocate, Vancouver
  16. Tim David, Media professional, JFD Communications, Orlando
  17. Elisha Neal, Project Manager, Unilever, Bristol, England
  18. Shannon Finnegan, Artist, New York
  19. Lindsey Adams, Communications/ Marketing, VocalEye, Vancouver
  20. Sabrina Mapp, AD Narrator/Voice Actir, Washington, DC
  21. sarah Brunning, Described Video Writer, Montreal
  22. Lisa S Ware, Narrator/VO, Asheville, NC
  23. Deb DeVries, Voice Actor, Deb DeVries VO, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
  24. Rhys Lloyd, Studio Head, Descriptive Video Works, Victoria
  25. Chana Smith-Balloffet, International Operations Manager, Desriptive Video Works, Saint Genis Laval, France
  26. Laura Davies, Creative Services Manager, Descriptive Video Works, Vancouver, BC
  27. Darla Biccum, Lead Staff Writer, Descriptive Video Works, Ste. Anne, MB
  28. Jeff Heck, Lead Staff Writer, Descriptive Video Works, Indianapolis
  29. Leslie Knowlton, Voice Over Artist, leslieknowtonvo, Philadelphia
  30. Melissa Hope, AD Client Services, Vancouver
  31. Judy Ardray, Voiceover Actor, Judy Ardray Voiceovers, BAKERSFIELD
  32. Cynthia M Shaler, retired, Boalsburg
  33. Diana Payne, AD Writer, Austin, TX
  34. C.J. Hardee, Audio Description Writer, Freelance, Grandview
  35. Debi Tinsley, Voice Actor, DTVO, Cleveland, OH
  36. Stephanie Van, Physician, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Silver Spring, MD
  37. Davyd Biehn, Quality Systems Specialist, Tasso Inc., Seattle
  38. Claudia Dunn, Voice Actor, Dunn Deal VO, Santa Barbara
  39. Melissa Moran, Voice Actor, Double M Audio LLC, Tampa
  40. Inger Tudor, VO actor, High Priest Productions, Valley Village
  41. Social Audio Description, Audio Description Collective, Remote
  42. Saundi Harrison-Cooksey, Voice Talent/AD Narrator, MyVoiceWorksManagement LLC, Atlanta
  43. Jazzy Frizzle, Voice Actor, Voices of Color, Denver
  44. Adrienne Livingston, Voice Actor and Audio Describer, Adrienne's Artistic Expressions, Happy Valley
  45. JJ Hunt, Describer, Talk Description to Me podcast, Toronto, Canada
  46. Kerry, Writer and consultant, Woodstock
  47. Liz Gutman, AD writer and teacher, New York
  48. Christine Lowe, Voice Actor and Audio Describer, Christine Lowe Voiceovers, LLC, Ellicott City, MD
  49. Wendy Sapp, AD Project Director, Bridge Multimedia, New York
  50. Colleen Connor, AD Teacher and Advocate, Audio Description Training Retreats, Los Angeles
  51. Maria Hendricks, Artistic Advisor/Language Interpreter/Actor, New Repertory Theatre, Boston
  52. Mary S Hanks, audio describer, Houston
  53. Kevin Mark, co-organizer, NYC icarus project, Brooklyn
  54. Lawrence Carter-Long, Explorer, Not An Expert, DisArt, Oakland
  55. Tamarrah Morgan, Undergrad Student, Ann Arbor
  56. Roy Samuelson, Voice Talent and advocate, The ADNA, Los Angeles
  57. Connor Scott-Gardner, PhD Student, Leeds
  58. Yue-Ting Siu, Educator, San Francisco State University, San Francisco
  59. Ricky Enger, Technology content creator, Hadley Institute, Charlotte
  60. Lisa Niedermeyer, Producer
  61. Eddie Maisonet, Storyteller, NYC
  62. Stefanie Bell, Freelance Audio Describer, Cardiff
  63. Elaine Joseph, Audio describer, London
  64. Vicky Ackroyd, Access Champion & Audio Describer, Freelance, Leeds
  65. Jen Calleja, translator and wannabe AD, Self-employed, Hastings
  66. Ellen Bartlett, Syracuse, NY
  67. Amy Stannard, Don’t have one, Leeds
  68. Scott Blanks
  69. Lucy Jiang, PhD Student, VerbalEyes, New York City
  70. Tamer Zaid, Support Specialist, NA, Friendswood
  71. Roz Chalmers, Audio describer, Freelance, London
  72. Annmarie Garzon, N/A, Bangor
  73. Áine Kelly-Costello, Audio description consumer, Bodø, Norway
  74. Ezequiel Rodriguez Andino, Independent radio and podcast producer, Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico
  75. Matt Lauterbach, AD Writer/Producer, All Senses Go, Chicago
  76. Dwight Brady, Audio describer/narrator, Social Audio Description, Hove, UK
  77. Kensuke Nakamura, AD writer, Social Audio Description, Nashville
  78. Oliver Baker, Audio describer, SADC, Portland
  79. Robert Kingett, Audio Description writer, Social Audio Description, Los Vegas
  80. Cheryl Green, Audio describer, Social Audio Description Collective, Portland
  81. Thomas Reid, Host & Producer, Reid My Mind Radio, Stroudsburg
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