Volume 28, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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Audio description (AD) is a unique form of communication that guarantees access to audiovisual material for blind people through an additional verbal commentary that describes relevant visual cues. In spite of its original purpose and target audience, some scholars and some guidelines maintain that AD can be useful for other sectors of the population, and suggest that sighted viewers could usefully listen to AD when ‘watching’ a film with blind people. In order to determine whether AD affects the sighted viewer’s cognitive performance and appreciation of the film, and whether AD can be exploited as an integration tool allowing blind and sighted users to mingle when ‘watching’ a film, we assessed the effect of AD on sighted viewers ( = 125, 18-28 years) empirically. Results suggest that the addition of AD to films does not negatively affect the cognitive aspects of the viewing experience (i.e., general understanding and film scene recognition), nor does it dramatically affect its overall enjoyment, whereas listening to AD without the visuals poses some challenges to sighted viewers.


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