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YouDescribe Audio Description Tool

Anyone anywhere can describe YouTube videos using YouDescribe

Anyone anywhere can describe YouTube videos using YouDescribe!  YouDescribe is a free audio description tool for making YouTube videos accessible to viewers who are blind or visually impaired.  Anyone can access this free, web-based platform for adding audio description to YouTube content.


YouDescribe’s History:

First launched in 2013, YouDescribe was developed as a project of The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center by scientist Joshua Miele, through a grant from the Department of Education OSEP. YouDescribe’s incredible utility makes it an asset to a number of different projects, and over the past few years it has built a base of hundreds of volunteer describers, and thousands of blind viewers.

YouDescribe users currently include:

  • Universities making educational materials accessible to blind students
  • Family members describing content for other family members
  • Fans describing favorite videos for the world
  • Professional describers providing quick and easy services to clients
In 2017, YouDescribe has been completely rewritten to improve compatibility and functionality.


With YouDescribe, video description is no longer a luxury; anyone can add audio description to videos uploaded on YouTube. Choose a video, pause it to insert brief descriptions, and tell us what you see! When viewed with YouDescribe, your voice is inserted into those spots in the video. Viewers can choose to listen to the descriptions inline (while the video continues to play) or in extended mode (the video stops while the action is described).

In the new YouDescribe:

  • Users will be able to add video titles to a wish list and vote up titles that are already on the wish list.
  • YouDescribe allows viewers to rate a description’s quality with up to five stars, and also have the option of selecting from a list of suggested improvements.
  • A number of new features have been added to the authoring interface, including a place to draft a script, a visual timeline showing where description clips have been added, and visual indicators for both inline and extended description clips.
  • YouDescribe continues to allow describers to add description clips as either inline (dubbed over the video soundtrack), or extended (a special option that pauses the video for the duration of the description clip).
  • Significant improvements have been made to the user login, and registration system by allowing describers and viewers to login with Google ID.
  • YouDescribe will work with all modern browsers. Native iOS and Android apps are on the way.


Inventor Joshua Miele and TVI Ting Siu discuss YouDescribe in the video below.


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