Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Free Audio Description Tool

Screenshot of YouDescribe video

YouDescribe is a free accessibility tool to add audio description to YouTube videos.  It allows anyone, anywhere to contribute description of an existing video and let a viewer who is visually impaired check it out right away. The best part is that it does so without modifying or redistributing the existing YouTube video. It's not a separate version, but rather it's the same version with description added while you watch. 

How does YouDescribe work?

Those who are interested are invited to register on the site for free and step-by-step guidelines are provided on the site.

People who are sighted can view YouTube videos and record descriptions of what they see. When the video is played with YouDescribe, the descriptions are played back with the video to give viewers who are blind better access to the content. Underneath the hood, YouDescribe uses the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX) to store description clips and information about them. DVX knows what video each clip belongs to and what time the clip should be played. Lots of other information is stored along with the descriptions, including who recorded it, when it was recorded, how popular it is, etc. YouDescribe is the first video service to use DVX to allow anybody, anywhere, to record and upload video descriptions to the cloud. It provides a unique way for blind people to get descriptions for the instructional, informational, and entertainment videos offered on YouTube.
 
 

Video Demonstration of Recording Descriptions with YouDescribe

In the video below, Dr. Yue-Ting Siu shows how to add audio descriptions to a YouTube video with YouDescribe.

The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center developed the Descriptive Video Exchange and YouDescribe. YouDescribe was developed in collaboration with The Ideal Group and the Description Leadership Network.
 
Posted on October 23, 2014
Updated on: March 4, 2019