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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC launches audio description on BBC iPlayer

The BBC today announces that approximately 25 hours per week of the BBC's audio-described programmes are now available on BBC iPlayer.

Audio description describes what is happening on screen using the gaps between dialogue in programmes. This helps viewers with visual impairments to better follow what is happening in the programme.

Audio-described programmes from a variety of different genres are available including dramas, such as Doctor Who, Being Human and EastEnders; comedy including Little Britain and Jam And Jerusalem; and children's programmes such as Tracy Beaker and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

There are also plans to extend the coverage of the service to include more of the BBC's weekly broadcast audio described programmes in the future.

To access the service, users need to go to the "Audio described" category in BBC iPlayer and select the programme they would like to play from the list of the audio-described programmes available from the last seven days.

Jonathan Hassell, BBC Future Media Head of Audience Experience & Usability, said: "The BBC is committed to high standards of accessibility across all of its sites and services, especially popular new services like BBC iPlayer which aim to deliver the benefits of emerging technologies to all our audiences.

"We're therefore delighted that the BBC is the first broadcaster in the world to include audio-described TV programmes for our blind and visually impaired audiences in its video-on-demand service."

Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chief Executive, RNIB, said: "RNIB welcomes the launch of audio description on the BBC iPlayer and recognises this as a major breakthrough and great leap forward in access for blind and partially-sighted people in the UK which will hopefully reverberate around the world."


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