In the European Union, providers of media are subject to statutory accessibility standards. TV broadcasters are required by law to provide subtitles, sign language interpretations and/or audio descriptions for all, or part, of the shows they broadcast. The IT Pros team is very sensitive to special needs. We’re essentially cinema enthusiasts who believe each and every individual has a right to enjoy audiovisual content and that’s why we’ve been offering SDH and Audio Description services. Learn more below.
SDH means originating subtitles specifically intended for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, in order for them to be able to follow the dialog and action of a film or a show simultaneously. Unlike standard subtitles, which assume the viewer hears the audio, but doesn’t speak the original language of the content, SDH subtitles are written in a way that assumes the viewer may not be able to hear the audio, so it adds information about background sounds and noises related to action that’s not visible on screen, as well as speaker identification and other useful cues. Apart from the sound cues, the guidelines that are applicable in this scenario are comparable to those applicable to standard subtitling.
Audio Description is a technique that makes audiovisual content accessible to viewers who are blind or visually impaired just like SDH subtitles make it accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. It consists of creating an extra audio track containing the verbal depiction of key visual elements in the audiovisual content without overlapping with the existing dialog and sound effects. Such visual elements include descriptions of the setting, of characters, the actors’ body language and facial expressions, as well as other elements that will help your blind or visually impared audience enjoy the content without missing a thing.
The process involves a first stage where a specifically trained author writes an original AD text, which is then read and recorded by a professional speaker, or a synthetic voice, thereby producing an additional audio track. Some examples of audio-described films are freely accessible on the RAI website.
The processing chain for our Accessibility services takes place within the SSL-secure NEXT-TT platform, which is hosted on our internal server and keeps your audiovisual material in-house, while allowing the entire team to operate remotely across the entire chain and use our advanced tools to guarantee for a quality service within reasonable turnarounds.