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Montgomery College to Offer Audio Description Course Noncredit Course Teaches Skills to Make the Arts Accessible to Visually Impaired

Montgomery College is offering a new, noncredit course, Audio Description: The Visual Made Verbal, at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus beginning September 20. Through highly descriptive narration, audio description provides a verbal version of the visual elements found in the performing arts, film, television, and visual arts, making cultural activities accessible and enjoyable for people who are blind or have low vision.

During pauses in dialogue or critical sound elements, audio describers use succinct, vivid and imaginative words to convey the visual elements—action, costumes, settings, gestures, colors, expressions—of theater, television, film, museum and visual arts exhibitions, and other events. Audio description is a fast-growing field with arts and cultural organizations hiring audio describers. Pending legislation could mandate audio description on television broadcasts, therefore expanding the need for trained describers.

The 45-hour Montgomery College course will teach participants about visual literacy and the art of “editing” what you see. Additionally, participants will develop skills in concentration and observation and learn how to use language to conjure images. Upon completion of the course, certified describers will know how to build an audio description program with the potential for bringing professional arts presentations, visual art exhibitions, film and television to a wider audience.

Tuition for Maryland residents is $516 with a $133 course fee. Out-of-state residents add $300. To register, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce.

For more information about the audio description course, contact Martha Price at 240-567-5515 or e-mail Martha.price@montgomerycollege.edu.

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