In continuing efforts to “audio describe the world,” researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa took part in a project that brought 26 blind and visually impaired people to Yosemite National Park for user testing of the UniD mobile app.
The group tested the new audio description of Yosemite’s brochure featured in the app. The research-instrument app is designed to make brochures at national parks accessible to those who have trouble seeing them.
More about the UniDescription Project
The UniD app (available for both iOs and Android) contains audio description of more than 50 National Park Service brochures so far, including those for Everglades National Park, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Yellowstone National Park and the Washington Monument.
The research team, led by Oppegaard and Megan Conway and Thomas Conway from UH Mānoa’s Center on Disability Studies, started the UniDescription project in the fall of 2014 as a way to improve and encourage better audio description. Audio description is the translation of visual media, such as photographs and maps, into acoustic media in an effort to allow the ear to hear what the eye might not be able to see.
- Related UH News stories:
Making national parks more accessible for visually impaired, December 4, 2014
Helping California national parks become more accessible for visually impaired, August 10, 2017
A long-range goal of this project is to audio-describe all of the more than 400 park sites throughout the United States.
This field research was sponsored by Google and the American Council of the Blind as part of a larger grant project focused upon audio describing National Park Service sites throughout California.