About audio description

How it works

Never been to a audio description before? So, here it is!
The visual interpreter usually meets the group before that the event begins and distributes earphones, which are available in two models.
One looks like a hoop, with a little box hanging under the chin. The other one, is a stand-alone box, connected to the ”ordinary headsets,” used for mobile phones. You are welcome to bring your own earphones if you want, most of the models fits!
This equipment is a receiver that wirelessly transmits what the visual interpreter says in his/her microphone. The volume is adjusted via a large button on the box.
The system used by Syntolkning Nu’s business is digital and of the highest quality. The equipment, developed by Sennheiser, is approved to be used among other SVT and in rooms with other technical equipment. It does not interfere with other technologies.


All takes place in the auditorium. Usually, the members of the group sit together in the seats at the front (but it’s fine to sit elsewhere too). Obviously friends and acquaintances are welcome to sit with them. The seats at the front are mainly recommended to make it easier for those with some vision left.
The visual description interpreter sometimes sits in the middle of the group: in this case a sound barricade is formed to not disturb the other audience. Sometimes, instead, the visual description interpreter sits far from the group (in a technology base for example). The location is always chosen in order to not disturb other audience or ensemble.


After making sure that the technology works properly, The visual interpreter begins his/her introduction.
He / she tells the group about the actors – their appearance, dress and so on – and how the scene looks like. During a audio described movie, the visual interpreter can describe the different environments the movie is set in.
The information is repeated during the course of the event. It must be added that all the visual interpreters write their own scripts, thereby putting their own spin on the audio description, but everyone works under the motto to achieve ”the greatest benefit at the least amount of harm.”

“Bonus Material”

Actors and artists, sometimes, meet the group before that the show begins to talk briefly about themselves. In this way, for visual impaired it is easier to recognize the different voices during the show.
Quite frequently, the visual interpreter explains some extra-details that can be called ”bonus material” about what will happen, and maybe something extra about the actors. The visual interpreters, indeed, are well prepared and have seen the movie / play several times before.
During the big events, such as the Eurovision Song Contest and Idol, the visual interpreters from Syntolkning Nu often interview, performers and presenters before the audio description. Frequently, the artists personally greet the visual description group.


Besides telling the group what is happening on stage / screen the visual interpreter tells about anything else that occurs around. Why are all laughing? It may be that someone in the audience stumbled in searching his seat. Why is everyone so upset? Maybe it’s because someone in the audience feels ill and has to go out.
This is one of the main differences between sitting at home and going out: things happen unexpectedly, positive and negative. Through the visual interpreter anyone who has vision impairment is in the same situation, context and terms as everyone else. Amid the din, the applause and the smell of popcorn … Participation is the key difference between recorded and live visual description.

Conveying the unspoken

During the movie / show time the visual interpreter tells briefly about what is happening. He/ she provides key words to tell what happens: about peoples’ gestures and facial expressions and movements between different environments. He/ she simply fills in the unspoken: for example, if a man is crying quietly, sneaking, or have a particular facial expression.
The visual interpreter uses the time that the artists need to go from the greenroom to the stage to repeat clothing and props, in order to avoid talking during the music and dialogues. But sometimes it must be done: if two actors, for instances, are standing and talking on the stage and a third one is approaching slowly (he / she might have a knife in his hand?) the visual interpreter must choose to disrupt the dialogue a few seconds and tell his/her audience about the third element.
After the show, the visual interpreter collects the equipment and check what the group thinks.


Audio descriptions means to increase accessibility to live events, such as plays, films and other art forms, by visualizing the images for people who have low vision
Syntolkning Nu’s purpose is to disseminate information about visual description in order to make it become a national concept.
The Association shall cooperate with other organizations that are willing to promote positive developments for the blind and severely visual impaired children, adolescents and adults.
The association shall work to create more jobs for educated visual description interpreters, enhance their status and promote a better, fair and equitable compensation in relation to the work performed.
The association shall give the visual impaired, on the basis of the idea of equality, the right of social interaction and the opportunity to visit theatres, cinemas and stadiums to see audio descripted events.
Syntolkning Nu mainly offers the following services:
• Awareness of how to make events available for visually impaired;
• Movies, theatre and other events’ Live visual description;
• Visual description tracks to movies, TV shows and DVDs;
• Everyday visual descriptions and extra for guided tours;
• All administration related to the events;
• Education of new visual description interpreters (by request);
• Further training of active visual description interpreters;
• Seminars on/and presentation of visual descriptions.


Allt om Syntolkning is owned by the association Syntolkning Nu, founded in May 2010,
All the activities primarily carried out by Allt om Syntolkning, are developed within Syntolking Nu’s framework. Syntolking Nu, through its network of experienced visual description interpreters, is capable to cover all the main areas of entertainment: from movies to theatre, from exhibitions to live events ( as concerts and sport events).
Allt om syntolkning, pursued by Syntolking Nu, is active in some initiatives in order to create a society more accessible for visual impaired.
Allt om syntolking is aimed towards anyone who is interested in visual descriptions and accessibility issues.

How you can contact us:
Syntolkning Nu
Dr Heymansgata 3
413 22 Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Office: +46 (0)31-3608445
Mail: info@syntolkning.nu

Office in Göteborg or travelling around:
• Peter Lilliecrona, operations manager
Cellphone: +46 (0)730-345112

Booking and booking questions:
• boka@syntolkning.nu
Office: +46 (0)31-3608445

Organization number: 769621-8747
Bankgironummer: 657-1327

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