Audio Description for the Blind Will Be Provided for the First Time in Telecast’s History
Closed Captioning Available for Viewers Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Google is joining ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ efforts to broaden access of the 93rd Oscars® by sponsoring this year’s closed captioning, and in a telecast first, audio descriptions for the live telecast nationwide. The addition of audio description, which is audio-narrated descriptions of a program’s key visual elements, ensures that viewers who are blind and low vision will be able to take in all the action occurring on the screen and provide a much richer experience as they listen to the more traditional aspects of the show from the presenters, winners and performances. The closed captioning will be provided by VITAC, and the audio description will be provided by VITAC and Audio Eyes.
“Google is committed to making the world a more accessible place by working to ensure disabled people are represented in the stories we tell and the products we build,” says KR Liu, head of Brand Accessibility. “We are excited to do our part in making this year’s Oscars accessible for everyone by helping to make audio descriptions and captions available for viewers.”
“During the show, Google will also run an ad that features the story of Google employee Tony Lee, a child of deaf parents, also called a CODA. The spot explores how his family communicates today with the help of Google products including Live Transcribe, Captions in Google Meet & Live Caption on Android and Chrome.”
Please check with your television manufacturer, cable company or streaming service for details on how to access these functions on your respective televisions.
The 93rd Oscars will be held Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and international locations via satellite. “Oscars: Into the Spotlight” will air live Oscar Sunday, April 25, on ABC at 6:30 p.m. EDT/3:30 p.m. PDT. “The Oscars” will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. “Oscars: After Dark” will immediately follow the Oscars show.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Google Cloud, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.
ABOUT AUDIO EYES
Audio Eyes is a partnership of audio engineers, producers, accessibility experts, blind professionals and audio description professionals who are passionate about providing high quality services in a creative, inclusive work environment. The Audio Eyes production team has more than a decade of experience providing live audio description in theaters as well as recorded audio description for broadcast television networks , nationally distributed DVDs,government agencies, and private entities. Additionally, they have extensive experience producing audio dramas, audio books, music, radio programs, radio ads, and a variety of business-to-business audio products. The Audio Eyes progressive work environment, inclusive hiring practices, and technical expertise keep the company at the leading edge of the accessible media production industry.
VITAC Corp., a full-service captioning and communications accessibility company, is the largest provider of realtime and offline captioning, audio description, subtitling, and transcription products and services in North America. Responsible for captioning more than 550,000 hours of programming each year, VITAC’s clients include every major broadcasting company, most cable networks, program producers, corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies. For more information, please visit www.vitac.com.
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 10,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.