VITAC Provides Audio Description for Halloween Classic "Nosferatu"

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YouTube release makes silent film accessible to blind and low-vision audiences

"Providing audio description for 'Nosferatu'...challenged me to make an intricate plot accessible without the aid of dialogue," Joel Snyder, Ph.D., President, Audio Description Associates

VITAC, in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project, announced today the release of 1922 Halloween classic "Nosferatu" with audio description. The project is meant to celebrate both the federally mandated accessibility service for blind and low-vision audiences – audio description – and the Halloween season. The film is available with audio description and captioning on VITAC's website and YouTube page, and will be broadcast as a described audio track on ACBRadio at 9:00 pm EDT on Halloween at

"Nosferatu," about a Dracula-like character who spreads terror and pestilence through the protagonist's hometown before his lust for blood destroys him, is the fourth installment of VITAC and the ACB's series of audio described Halloween programs.

“We’re excited to present an accessible version of what Roger Ebert called ‘One of the greatest of all silent films,’” said Heather York, VP Marketing for VITAC. "As with all programming, we feel that 'Nosferatu' should be accessible to everyone, and we encourage sighted people to watch and enjoy the movie alongside their blind or low-vision friends."    

Sometimes known as "video description" or "descriptive video service," audio description is a voiceover track mixed with a program's primary audio, in which a narrator describes significant on-screen images and events. The FCC requires 4 hours of audio description per week on top-25-market affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, as well as on the top 5 cable networks – Disney, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT, and USA.

To describe "Nosferatu," VITAC partnered with Audio Description Associates, an accessible media group that provides audio description for a broad array of television and live performance events (theater, opera, and dance), as well as museum exhibits, meetings, tours, circuses, parades, and sporting events.

“Providing audio description for 'Nosferatu' was a pleasure,” says Dr. Joel Snyder, President of Audio Description Associates, who described the video and directs ACB's Audio Description Project. “It challenged me to make an intricate plot accessible without the aid of dialogue, and allowed me to bring the movie to life for an audience that lacks access to the visual image, whether blind or just in the next room.”

Previous films in the series include 2012's Popeye episode "Fright to the Finish," 2011's cult favorite "Carnival of Souls," and 2010's zombie classic "Night of the Living Dead." However, unlike previous years, "Nosferatu" is a silent film, lending greater significance of the audio description to blind and low-vision viewers.

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