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Audio Description

Audio description is the verbal describing of plays, movies, television shows, and other events by trained narrators who describe costumes, settings, characters, facial expressions, movements, etc. that would not be visible to a blind or visually impaired viewer. The narration is timed so that it does not interfere with the dialogue, music, or action in the work.

Audio-described plays are usually preceded by a Sensory Seminar right before the performance, when blind patrons are able to handle props and costumes and sometimes walk through the stage set. All of NJ's major (and some smaller) theaters offer audio-description at some performances. There is no extra charge for the audio description or the seminar.

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) describes many of the movies that are available on video. These can be purchased or borrowed through the NJ Library for the Blind. DVS also describes some IMAX and regular films that are playing in theaters. These films can be shown only in DVS-equipped movie theaters. Very few current movies have been described, so a family cannot simply go to the theater and expect that a described movie is playing. When a described movie is playing, however, no special arrangements have to be made. The blind patron can go to any show on any day and simply ask for a headset at the box office.

Audio-described television shows are available for many PBS shows and Turner Classic Movies. To receive the narration, set your television to the SAP (second audio program) feature.

DVS Home Video
WGBH Educational Foundation
125 Western Ave.
Boston, MA 02134

Audio-described movies to purchase; NJ Library for the Blind has large collection for borrowing.

AMC Clifton Commons
405 Route 3 East
Clifton, NJ 07015

DVS-equipped theater. For a list of DVS-equipped theaters in various states and to find out which movies have been described, visit

Hospital Audiences
548 Broadway, 3rd fl.
NY, NY 10012-7676

Info on audio-described Broadway performances.

Paper Mill Playhouse
Brookside Dr.
Millburn, NJ 07041

Audio-described performances and sensory seminars.

George Street Playhouse
9 Livingston Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Audio-described performances and sensory seminars.

McCarter Theater
91 University Pl.
Princeton, NJ 08540

Audio-described performances and sensory seminars.

State Theatre
15 Livingston Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Audio-described performances and sensory seminars.

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