Make learning accessible with audio description

September 25, 2020
2 min read

A kid sitting in a classroom wearing bulky headphones grins.Teaching online? Add audio description. Make learning accessible so students of all abilities can learn anywhere, anytime.

Today, more than 60% of the world’s students are learning at home. The Covid-19 Pandemic is limiting or temporarily closing educational institutions everywhere to help contain virus spread.

Now, students of all ages are online using interactive video, live webinars, and other multi-media tools to keep connected, skilled, and exam-ready. Online education isn't new; it's an established essential teaching aid. Compared to traditional classrooms, online teaching reaches more students, saves money, and, for corporations training employees, helps meet development, marketing, and growth goals more quickly and cost effectively. It's fun too, and great for younger students, specialized learners, language learners, and people on the autism spectrum. Complex ideas are made simple with animation. Demonstrations can be filmed and shared widely in real time or relayed on demand.

And by adding audio description (AD) or described video (DV) to your online education productions, you’re helping everyone learn more. 

AD is the specialized service that makes visual media accessible to people with blindness or visual impairments. It provides a secondary audio track with a narrator describing key visual elements during the natural pauses in the dialogue. Adding AD to online productions provides inclusive accessible education and it also deepens everyone’s learning experiences.

AD enhances online learning because people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. (Mayer, 2005).

Here’s how: Our brain processes information using two channels: visual and auditory. When information is presented using both channels, the brain can accommodate more new information.

Studies report about 20–30% of students2 retain information more effectively when they can hear it. By taking advantage of our dual processing capability and including AD in online learning tools, we can dramatically improve learning through multimedia instruction for everyone.

Planning an online learning event? Questions about adding AD to your teaching toolkit? Contact us to find out more. Contact Descriptive Video Works via email at  [email protected] or call toll-free: 1-866-818-3897.


  1. Richard E. Mayor, Cambridge University Press, Multimedia Learning: Guiding Visuospatial Thinking with Instructional Animation, 2005. 
  2. Family Education, Is your kid a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner? May 15, 2019. 
July 4, 2024

Remembering Brandon Cole

A note from DVW Studio Head, Rhys Lloyd. Last week we lost our friend and DVW Advisory Council member Brandon Cole, also known to many as @superblindman. Brandon was an award-winning accessibility consultant and… Continue Reading Remembering Brandon Cole
October 24, 2023

Check Out Our New Website and Logo!

We are excited to announce that we have a new and improved website, and a redesigned logo to better serve our clients and audience.  The DVW (Descriptive Video Works) website has been updated and… Continue Reading Check Out Our New Website and Logo!
May 15, 2023

Celebrating 20 years of Descriptive Video Works!

On Thursday, May 4, Descriptive Video Works celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Granville Island Hotel, with a special evening of cocktails, memories, mingling and fun. This milestone event was attended by current and… Continue Reading Celebrating 20 years of Descriptive Video Works!
April 5, 2023

Please help us welcome Jennissary to the DVW team!

Jennissary (she/her) writes about her new role at DVW, as Producer for Live and Interactive Audio Description. About four years ago, someone made a request for sighted assistance on a gaming forum. When I… Continue Reading Please help us welcome Jennissary to the DVW team!
March 30, 2023

Hollywood’s Biggest Night Embraced Accessibility

The 95th annual Oscars™ celebration took place on March 12th, and this year Hollywood’s biggest night was more accessible than ever, with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, custom design for the event including ramp… Continue Reading Hollywood’s Biggest Night Embraced Accessibility
DVW Logo: Descriptive Video Works in white.
Netflix Logo: A red letter N encircled by the words Post Partner Program.
TPN Logo: A shield with the letters TPN is ringed by a reel of tape beside the words Trusted Partner Network. Underneath are the words: Powered by Motion Picture Association.

Copyright © 2023

Opening entertainment experiences to people who are blind and low vision through audio description. On time. On budget. On target.

Descriptive Video Works
147 W 3rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Y 1E6