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Insider Positionality: Creating Tools and Translations to Investigate Audio Description

Thu, May 25, 19:30 to 21:30, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo Ballroom B


The U.S. National Park Service – the caretaker of many of the country’s most revered places – has a causality dilemma in relation to its service of blind and visually impaired visitors. Not many patrons with vision problems come to the parks today, and audio-description service is not given a high priority, making its presence spotty or nonexistent. Blind and visually impaired people acknowledge that they generally don’t visit national parks, but almost three-quarters of them say they would, if better audio description became available (RNIB, 2003).
The American Foundation for the Blind (2016) estimates vision loss is experienced by 22.5 million adult Americans. U.S. federal laws, such as Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, address the imperative for equivalent access by persons with disabilities to the bureau’s public facilities and learning materials (National Park Service, 2016). Legal pressures therefore just add to the inherent ethical, moral, and economic motivations to do something about this situation.