45 mins
    2 or more
    Safe and empathetic work environments

Many people who are blind, have low vision or learning difficulties use assistive technology in their daily lives.

With visual information, this means an audio description is read out to describe what they can’t see.

In this activity, you’ll work with your team to understand:

  • how audio descriptions work
  • the importance of descriptions for people who are blind, have low vision or learning difficulties

A good audio description will explain and narrate what’s happening visually for things like:

  • actions
  • body language
  • descriptors of people
  • facial expressions
  • locations
  • transitions from scene to scene

What you’ll need


If you’re together physically, you’ll need:

  • access to a video
  • pen or markers
  • paper
  • a device each person can use to watch 1-minute of video on


If your team is working remotely, your participants will need a way to watch an online video and a place to write.

When you choose a tool, think if anyone in your team has access requirements and if they’ll be able to easily use it.

Scheduling the session

Set your meeting at a time where you’ll get the best results.

This means to think about the diverse needs of each of your team members.

Think of things like this:

  • Do some people work better when it’s not 9am?
  • Does anyone have kids or caring responsibilities that mean they need to start late or leave early?
  • Is there a time that a regular meeting always happens to avoid?

How to run the activity

Before you begin

  • find a video online that’s okay for you to use in a work environment
  • split participants into teams of 2
  • ask each person in the pair to select a different 1 minute of the footage from the video

Acknowledge country (20 seconds)

Always acknowledge the traditional owners before you start.

It shows your respect for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Confirm pronouns (20 seconds)

Go around the room and have everyone confirm their pronouns or, ask everyone to display them either in their screen name or written down on a piece of paper.

This helps support transgender and gender diverse people and instil empathy for diverse people in your teams’ minds.

Confirm access requirements (20 seconds)

Ask everyone to let you know if they have any access requirements to take part in this activity.

Remember, it’s up to them to share information about themselves to you or the group.

Set the scene (2 minutes)

Show this video to your team so they know what audio description is:

Write the audio description (10 minutes)

Confirm the paired teams, make sure each team has access to the video and that they have different 1-minute clips to use.

Ask each person to watch their 1-minute clip and write their own audio description for it. Their partner isn’t allowed to see or hear the clip they’re writing about.

When writing, they need to describe everything in the scene including:

  • the background setting
  • movements and gestures
  • props
  • scene transitions
  • how many people
  • costumes

Their writing needs to be:

  • short
  • accurate
  • neutral

Their aim is to have a description that someone who can’t see the visual would understand what’s happening on screen.

Present the work (10 to 15 minutes)

Ask everyone to read their description out loud to their partner while the clip plays. The person listening isn’t allowed to see the screen.

Once the reading is done, have the listener watch the clip and report if it matched up with the audio description they heard.

If the clip plays quicker than people can read, pause the video.

As a group, discuss which audio descriptions stood out in the team and why.

Who we consulted with to write this

We consulted with staff networks to check the language in this tool is appropriate and respectful.

For this tool, we consulted with: