Creative description: The impact of audio description style on presence in visually impaired audiences
British Journal of Visual Impairment
Year of publication
This article presents a study that tested the impact of audio description (AD) style on dimensions of presence (spatial presence, ecological validity, engagement, and negative effects) in blind and visually impaired audiences. The participants were shown two fragments of a naturalistic drama with two styles of description: ‘standard’ and ‘creative’. While the former followed the principle of objectivity, the latter was an innovative type of AD that included elements of camera work and subjective descriptions of the characters, their actions, and scenes crucial to the plot. The findings show that the emotive AD prompted higher levels of presence for all participants. Overall, the new AD style seemed more natural, especially to participants with recent sight loss. The results suggest that creative scripts may stimulate presence and thus increase the chances of AD users having a more immersive viewing experience.