How good was the ABC's audio description trial on iview?

08 March 2017

Vision Australia, on behalf of the blindness and low vision sector, has submitted a report to the Minister for Communications on the ABC's trial of audio description on iview. 

The report evaluated the blindness and low vision community’s experience of the trial which started in April 2015 and concluded in July 2016.

"People who viewed programs over the streaming service stated that the experience was generally positive, the quality of the audio description was good and the mix of programs satisfactory," Bruce Maguire, Lead Policy Advisor confirmed.

"However, many people reported they were unable to participate in the trial for reasons including lack of access to a smartphone or internet technology, low bandwidth or slow data speeds, and the prohibitive cost of downloading data."

Feedback was also provided by people who had participated in the 2012 trial of audio description on the ABC's free-to-air channel ABC1.

"There was a near-unanimous consensus that although the iview experience was valuable, any future audio description service of this type must be in addition to, and not a substitute for, a permanent audio description service on free-to-air television," Mr Maguire advised.

It's time to make television inclusive for everyone.

Vision Australia calls on the Australian Government to immediately legislate for minimum audio description targets on free-to-air television, and to ensure that the audio description service on iview becomes permanent.

You can read a copy of the Blindness Sector Report on ABC Iview Trial of Audio Description (1.81MB, Word) report here. To order a copy of the report in a different format contact Vision Australia.  

The report was prepared in collaboration by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Blind Citizens Australia, Blind Citizens NSW, Media Access Australia, the Royal Society for the Blind, VisAbility, and Vision Australia.