Audio description increasing on DVDs in the USA

Tuesday, 4 May 2010 17:04pm

Audio description (AD) is gaining momentum in the USA with 13 DVDs released to the Region 1 market with AD so far in 2010. 

Although there are still teething problems which the studios, the Audio Description Project and WGBH are working out, consumers are beginning to see the results of their efforts over the last few years to make DVDs accessible to people with vision impairments. 

Recent steps forward include the USA's alternative term for audio description, DVS, beginning to appear on DVD covers. (DVS stands for Descriptive Video Service.)  Also, consumer education about purchasing means that more people are aware that they need to purchase the theatrical version of the DVD, as opposed to a 'director's cut' or other special edition. This is because the file used for the description on the DVD format has been taken directly from the edition of the movie seen in cinemas, i.e. the theatrical release.    

Americans with vision impairments are also celebrating the first Blu-ray release with audio description, Avatar.   

The titles released in Region 1 on DVD with audio description this year are:

It's Complicated

Toy Story

Toy Story 2

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

The Fourth Kind

Planet 51

The Princess and the Frog


Cirque du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant

Couple's Retreat

The Stepfather

Love Happens


Learn more about audio description on DVD in the USA at


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