Relaunch of YouDescribe

The letter Y in lavender and D in purple, with a lavender rectangle around the two letters

On May 18, 2017, in honor of the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), Smith-Kettlewell relaunched the award- winning YouDescribe with new features, expanded capabilities, and exciting possibilities for the future of audio description. YouDescribe is a free web-based platform for adding audio description to YouTube videos to improve accessibility for the blind. Conceived in 2011 by Smith-Kettlewell scientist Dr. Joshua Miele in 2011, YouDescribe is a unique platform that allows sighted describers to add audio description to any YouTube video and share those descriptions with blind viewers.

YouDescribe offers schools, families, fan communities, and professional describers a free, fast, and easy tool to add audio descriptions to existing web-based video content. First launched in 2013, YouDescribe’s utility has made itself indispensable to users around the world. Since its first release, the YouDescribe community has grown to include hundreds of volunteer describers and thousands of blind viewers.

Since its release in 2013, web-based video technology has evolved significantly, making the original YouDescribe less compatible with modern web browsers and mobile platforms. In early 2017 a generous team of young engineers joined together to rewrite the YouDescribe platform from the ground up, using modern technologies and techniques to revitalize this unique accessibility resource. The new YouDescribe will include a description Wish List, a description rating and feedback system to help describers improve, a brand new authoring interfacewith many new features to help describers do their best work. YouDescribe will continue to give describers the ability to use both traditional inline description which dubs the describer's voice over the video sound track, and extended description – a special option that pauses the video for the duration of the description. Significant improvements have also been made to the user login and registration system by allowing describers and viewers to login with Google ID Perhaps best of all, the new YouDescribe has improved compatibility with all modern web browsers with native iOS and Android apps on the way.

YouDescribe links:

The goal of GAAD ( is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.  The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. 

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