The Routledge Handbook of Audio Description  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Audio Description

ISBN 9780367434199
Published April 7, 2022 by Routledge
666 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Recipient of the 2022 Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Audio Description Achievement Award for Research and Development

This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the expanding field of audio description, the practice of rendering the visual elements of a multimodal product such as a film, painting, or live performance in the spoken mode, for the benefit principally of the blind and visually impaired community. This volume brings together scholars, researchers, practitioners and service providers, such as broadcasters from all over the world, to cover as thoroughly as possible all the theoretical and practical aspects of this discipline.

In 38 chapters, the expert authors chart how the discipline has become established both as an important professional service and as a valid academic subject, how it has evolved and how it has come to play such an important role in media accessibility. From the early history of the subject through to the challenges represented by ever-changing technology, the Handbook covers the approaches and methodologies adopted to analyse the “multimodal” text in the constant search for the optimum selection of the elements to describe.

This is the essential guide and companion for advanced students, researchers and audio description professionals within the more general spheres of translation studies and media accessibility.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Contributors



  1. The question of accessibility - Gian Maria Greco
  2. Access services for the blind and partially sighted: a social and legal framework for the promotion of audio description - Joan Bastard-Bou and Blanca Arias-Badia
  3. A profile of audio description end-users: linguistic needs and inclusivity – Elisa Perego and Christopher Taylor
  4. A cognitive approach to audio description: production and reception processes – Jana Holsanova
  5. Narratology and/in audio description – Gert Vercauteren
  6. Linguistic and textual aspects of audio description – Iwona Mazur
  7. Audio description and culture specific elements Anna Jankowska
  8. "Ut pictura poesis": the rendering of an aesthetic artistic image in form and content -Loretta Secchi
  9. Audio description for the theatre: a research-based practice – Aline Remael and Nina Reviers
  10. Opera and dance audio description – Joel Snyder and Esther Geiger
  11. Audio description for the screen - Maria Joaquina Valero Gisbert
  12. Museum audio description: the role of ADLAB PRO – Christopher Taylor and Elisa Perego
  13. Audio description in museums: a service provider perspective – Anna Fineman and Matthew Cock
  14. Visitor studies: the impact of inclusive museum audio description experiences – Rachel Hutchinson and Alison Eardley
  15. Audio describing churches: in search of a template – Ralph Pacinotti
  16. The audio description professional: a sociological overview and new training perspectives – Elisa Perego
  17. Audio description: a public broadcaster’s core business and headache – Gunter Saerens, Tine Deboosere and Jan-Willem Van Hoof
  18. Profiling audio description service providers: a questionnaire-based snapshot – Irene Hermosa-Ramirez
  19. Research in audio description – Nazaret Fresno
  20. Audio Description Software – Vincenza Minutella
  21. Receptor Tools - Wojciech Figiel and Kamila Albin
  22. Artificial Voices - Agnieszka Walczak and Gonzalo Iturregui Gallardo
  23. Video games and audio description – Carme Mangiron and Xiaochun Zhang
  24. Automating audio description – Sabine Braun and Kim Starr
  25. Audio description personalisation – Pilar Orero
  26. Audio introductions – Pablo Romero-Fresco
  27. Audio subtitling – Anna Matamala
  28. Audio description translation: a retrospective – Estella Oncins
  29. Audio description translation: a pilot study Chinese/Spanish – Yuchen Liu and Irene Tor-Carroggio
  30. Audio description for the non-blind – Kim Starr
  31. University training – Agnieszka Chmiel
  32. In-house training: the course at Bayerischer Rundfunk . Bernd Benecke
  33. Audio description in the United States – Joel Snyder
  34. Audio description in Canada – Rebecca Singh
  35. Audio description in Australia – Kari Seeley
  36. Audio description in Russia – Ivan Borschevsky and Alexey Kozulyaev
  37. Audio description in Brazil – Eliana Franco and Vera Lucia Santiago Araujo
  38. Audio description in Slovenia – Mateja Vodeb and Veronika Rot


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Christopher Taylor is Full Professor (retired) of English Language and Translation at the University of Trieste, Italy.  He is author of Language to Language (CUP, 2000) and more than eighty articles on general translation, audiovisual translation and audio description.

Elisa Perego is Associate Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Trieste, Italy. She is author of Accessible communication: A cross-country journey, and numerous articles on audiovisual translation, audio description, and language simplification.


"Spanning the breadth of audio-descriptive applications, this rich compendium shows that AD has finally come of age and is no longer the Cinderella of AVT. This book will be invaluable to anyone interested in accessibility, particularly researchers in AVT."

Dr Louise Fryer, audio describer and independent researcher