The UniDescription Project really began in the fall of 2014, when a suitcase-sized box full of U.S. National Park Service brochures arrived at my office at the University of Hawaii.
For each of the roughly 400 NPS sites around the country, there is a paper brochure about the site and its national importance, filled with visual imagery, including texts, photographs, illustrations, collages, and maps. That brochure is the primary way people orient themselves to the place, and it is completely inaccessible to anyone who is blind or visually impaired.
As of 2021, we have worked with more than 100 NPS sites around the country, to bring more accessible media to patrons through Audio Description. But we – and the rest of the world’s public media creators – still have a lot of work to do to provide better and more-equivalent access to all.
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