23 July 2020
ProQuest has announced the addition of audio descriptions to its most-watched video titles in the Academic Video Online and ProQuest One™ Academic platforms, making educational streaming video more accessible to visually impaired users.
Audio description adds narration to a video, describing its on-screen images for the benefit of those with visual impairments. ProQuest has already added audio descriptions to its most popular titles, and will continue to add more upon request by a library at no charge.
"I really appreciate this service – it demonstrates a strong commitment to equity and accessibility,” said Charlotte Innerd, Head of Collection Development and Acquisitions at Wilfrid Laurier University Library. “This is going to be a great resource for students who normally run into impediments to their learning by not having access to videos, or not having access in a timely manner. This will address their individual needs and help us build a library of accessible videos."
Audio-described video is the latest feature to improve accessibility of content within Academic Video Online. Searchable, scrolling transcripts are also available for most of the database’s nearly 70,000 titles, assisting those with hearing impairments and language obstacles.
“Having videos for certain courses captioned, transcribed and audio-described gives all students the ability to learn from and more fully experience these videos,” said Melanie Eley, Accessibility Coordinator at UNC Greensboro. “Those of us in the accessibility field dream of this. It’s a perfect model for how universities and multimedia providers can work together to produce quality products that are essential for users with different abilities, but useful to all.”
“ProQuest built this feature – a first for the academic streaming video market – after collaboration with and feedback from many of our trusted library partners. They believe, and we agree, that educational products need to be accessible to all students and faculty, regardless of ability,” said Sarah Brennan, Video Product Manager at ProQuest. “Accessibility is a key piece of our product development strategy, and this new feature is one example of how we’re working with libraries to accommodate more users.”
See a sample of audio-described video.
Learn more about audio-described video on the Proquest blog