Case Study 9.4: UniDescription: A Deeper Dive into Audio Description
If you would like to learn more about audio and visual description, this section takes a look at a resource you might want to consult for training purposes or use to describe visual media at your own institution.
UniDescription (UniD) is a grant-funded research initiative based at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, that facilitates audio description with tools, training, research, and collaborations. The UniD team developed an open-source application that can be used by libraries, museums, and other institutions to produce audio descriptions in multiple formats. UniD has been especially active in partnering with the National Park Service to create audio descriptions of park brochures that can be accessed via a mobile application available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. For instance, Yellowstone National Park created an audio guide that includes detailed descriptions of wildlife one can see in the area.
The UniD project team leads Descriptathons, which provide a gamified environment for learning and practicing audio description in community. Templates and best practices for audio description are posted on the UniD website that include discussions of how to describe portraits, cultural artifacts, maps, and similarly complex visual media.