Audio Description on TV

The ABC is launching an Audio Description trial on ABC iview this Tuesday 14 April on iOS devices.

Please see information below regarding the trial, the programs that will be audio described and how to access it.

Vision Australia continues to campaign for audio description to be made available on broadcast television.

In the meantime Vision Australia’s Advocacy and Engagement team are working closely with the ABC to ensure that this trial benefits the blind and low vision community. 

Please send any feedback that you have on the trial to

Here is an instructional clip with information on how to access AD on iview link  - 

Here are FAQs on the trial – link to separate VA page with information in attachment   

Below is a summary of Week 1 programming highlights.

Episodes will be available from the following television series:

Poldark – a drama series from the BBC set in the 18th century, with Ross Poldark returning to Cornwall after having been wounded during the American War of Independence. After spending three years away, he returns to find his father has died, his sweetheart 
Elizabeth about the marry his cousin and his family estate in ruins.

Redfern Now Telemovie – revisits characters from the first two seasons and follows the case of a rapist who attacks two Indigenous women and how the community responds. Starring Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair, Rarriwuy Hick, Anthony Hayes.

New Tricks – drama series about a police unit made up of retired detectives and a long-suffering boss, investigating unsolved crimes.

Tattoo Tales – an observational documentary that captures the day-to-day antics and artistry inside a busy tattoo studio on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. This series reveals unique, entertaining and often poignant insights into why so many Australians get inked.

Bubble Bath Bay – a preschool animated series. Sail away to a world of fun and adventure with Sydney the sailboat and Zip the water taxi as they learn to ride the waves with their friends in bustling Bubble Bath Bay.
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Vision Australia's campaign message

Dear Minister Turnbull,

I implore you to take action to ensure that audio description is finally made available on Australian television.

Audio description is the auditory narration of the visual elements of a television program, such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes, through a separate soundtrack between gaps in dialogue.

Without audio description, people who are blind or have low vision are unable to fully engage with their favourite television programs.

They also can’t appreciate the experience of watching or discussing television with others, which is a regular pastime that most Australians take for granted.

Limiting audio description to catch-up services online also don’t allow for this and are particularly useless for sport, news and current affairs.

Making audio description available on all Australian television stations by establishing mandated service levels would allow people who are blind or have low vision to experience television in a more inclusive way.

Australia has fallen behind the rest of the world. The majority of comparable countries around the world have audio description on television, including both the United Kingdom and Canada, who have compulsory standards for television broadcasters in the provision of audio described content.

My personal interest in audio description is...


Your personal experience Please explain your personal experience of audio description in the following field and why you want it on Australian television. This explanation will be added to the Vision Australia campaign message (Word, 97KB) and sent to Minister Turnbull on your behalf.

This issue is begging for your leadership.

I look forward to receiving your response. 

Yours Sincerely,