Toronto Metropolitan University
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"Suit the Action to the Word, the Word to the Action": An Unconventional Approach to Describing Shakespeare's Hamlet

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posted on 2023-07-19, 15:01 authored by John-Patrick Udo, Deborah FelsDeborah Fels

[First paragraph]: "Without access to audio description, individuals who are visually impaired (that is, are blind or have low vision) may be at a unique social disadvantage because they are unable to participate fully in a culture that is based on and heavily saturated by the enjoyment of audiovisual entertainments (Packer & Kirchner, 1997). Audio description was introduced as an adaptive "after-the-fact" strategy to give individuals who are visually impaired better access to entertainment media (Fels, Udo, Ting, Diamond, & Diamond, 2006). With audio description, visually important elements of the "entertainment experience" are described during pauses in the dialogue (Packer & Kirchner, 1997). Conventional audio description practices, as outlined by Snyder (2005, 2007), have been adopted as an access strategy for live theater, television, and film, although little research has informed these practices (Gerber, 2007). Alternative audio description strategies are also being explored and developed, mainly by theater (for example, British Council for the Arts, 2007; Graeae Theatre Company, n.d.) or dance troupes (for example, CandoCo Dance Company, 2008; StopGap, 2008) whose mandates are focused on the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in their casts."