Jana Holsanova presented research on audio description at the Book Fair in Gothenburg.

Keywords: audio description, cognition and communication, language and images, multimodality, relevance, mental imagery

Audio description is a means to increase accessibility for people with visual impairment and blindness. Audio describers give verbal descriptions of visual scenes in order to elicit vivid mental images and to improve understanding and involvement of these audiences. Research in this area is theoretically interesting, important for audio description practices, for training of audio describers and has direct consequences for the users. Jana is one of the editors of the book ”Audio description – research and practices” that has been published in collaboration between Lund University, Stockholm University and the Authority for Available Media (MTM).

Many research questions arise in connection to audio description: How can audio describers convey in spoken words what film makers and actors convey by means of visible communicative resources like images, environments, movement, light, postures, gestures and facial expressions? How does the audio describer judge and decide what in the visual scene is relevant to describe? Can people who have never seen see things in their mind’s eye and create mental images with the help of audio description? What is the relationship between language, thought and storytelling? Audio description is also a question of quality: How do users understand and experience verbal descriptions of visual scenes? What preferences do they have? How do they think that audio description can be improved?