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    Course Summary

    Dr Mariana Lopez and Dr Susan Blakeney (16:13)

    To access films and other visual media, visually impaired people currently rely on audio description, a separate soundtrack describing what’s seen on screen. Dr Mariana Lopez is a post-doctoral researcher at the Culture of the Digital Economy Research Institute in Anglia Ruskin University. She’s researching the potential of a new medium to portray story, action and interaction solely through sound, sound processing and spatialisation. The new technique uses surround-sound and other audio technologies to place the listener in the centre of the action, with specific audio cues employed to establish a sense of place, character and mood. Here, Mariana discusses her research with Dr Susan Blakeney, Clinical Advisor to the College of Optometrists.

    First published in DOCET OQ93 (2015).

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      Learning objectives

      Understand the latest developments and how the use of sound technology can aid the visually impaired when watching visual media.

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        Audio track (~16 mins)

        Developments in cinema technology for visually impaired audiences

        Dr Mariana Lopez and Dr Susan Blakeney

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        More information and references


        • López M, Pauletto S. 2009. The design of an audio film: portraying story, action and interaction through sound'. JMM: The Journal of Music and Meaning. 8.
        • Schmeidler E, Kirchner C. 2001. Adding audio description: does it make a difference? J Vis Impair Blind. 95 (4), 197 – 212.  
        • Snyder J. 2005. Audio Description: the visual made verbal. Vision 2005 Proceedings of the international Congress held between 4 and 7 April 2005 in London UK, International Congress Series. 1282, 935 – 939.
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