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Audio Description Training Available

December 1, 2009 - The Disabilities Network of NYC/disTHIS! Film Series is recruiting individuals to be a part of a unique ongoing professional Audio Description service for disTHIS! events and the annual Reel Abilities Film Festival.

Audio Description makes visual elements of film (and theatre, etc.) accessible to people who are blind or have low vision - with audio description the visual is made verbal. For example, in audio described films, users of the service hear a description of the visual elements of the performance through a small FM receiver and headset, with the descriptive narration delivered inconspicuously between lines of dialogue. The result is closer to that of sighted audience members. The technique is also used with a range of performing arts forms, in museums, and with television broadcasts. Other possible uses include writing audio descriptive scripts for movies and television or audio describing live performances. Professionals in the field get paid up to $200 for script preparation or $250 for describing live events.

The Disabilities Network of NYC and the UJA has scheduled the description training sessions for December 9-11, 2009 which will be conducted by Audio Description Associates and the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Program. Director Joel Snyder will be conducting the training. Snyder is a twenty-eight year veteran of audio description across the USA and abroad. He was one of the first audio describers in the United States.

Location: UJA-Federation of New York, 130 East 59th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), New York, NY 10022. Directions: N, R, W subway to Lexington Avenue; 4, 5, 6 to East 59th Street. Parking lots: 58th Street between Park and Madison and 59th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue.

Training times:
- Dec 9 (Room 1004): 1-5pm. Followed by audio described screening of the award-winning documentary “War Against The Weak” at the disTHIS! Film Series at 6:30pm (attendance at the film screening is optional but strongly encouraged)
- Dec 10 (Room 717): 2-9pm
- Dec 11 (Room 654): 9-4pm

Because of the limited number of slots available, participants must be able to attend all training sessions. Training is provided free-of-charge in exchange for providing audio description services upon request a minimum of two times in the coming year for either disTHIS! or Reel Abilities screenings or events. Upon successful completion of audio description training participants will receive a certificate from the American Council of the Blind and Audio Description Associates showing they’ve completed the course. Deadline for registration is December 1. Participation is limited to the first 20 who register.

Describers should have a clear voice, good verbal skills, a love of the arts and a demonstrated interest in assisting people who are blind or have low vision to be an excellent prospect for audio description. They should have a creative vocabulary and enjoy the arts including cinema, theatre, dance, museums, etc. The ideal candidates are enthusiastic self-starters who want to add audio description to their skill set and are eager to use their new skills.

Funding for this program has been provided through the UJA Federation. For further information, or to register for the audio description training program, contact Lawrence Carter-Long at or call 212-590-9493.

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