Audio Description

An Arts & Access Always Initiative

  • As part of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s Arts & Access Always Program, we strive to strengthen the capacity of cultural nonprofits to serve this community by providing resources and training that actively engage persons with disabilities in the arts. Audio description can be a valuable addition to any organization’s resources to provide access to individuals with disabilities.
  • Audio Description is a service that narrates visual content for blind and visually impaired patrons. In a theater or performance setting, a patron would listen to audio description done in real-time narrated through a headset. For visual art, audio descriptions can be pre-recorded and played for the listening individual.


AD Workshop, 2019


Since 2015,

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council has provided annual Audio Description Trainings attended by multiple community members and organizations from the Lehigh Valley Area including Act 1 DeSales, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Lehigh University Galleries, Banana Factory, Allentown Art Museum, Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Muhlenberg College of Theater and Dance.




Audio Description Training with the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

April 22 | AD Training for the Visual Arts [ POSTPONED ]
Please note, this event has been postponed. Please check back for updates and rescheduled trainings.


Zoellner Art Gallery, 9:30am to 3:30pm                                                                     

Professional Development Workshop with trained audio describer, Mimi Kenney-Smith. Workshop attendees are given the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned by guiding guest patrons from the Center for Vision Loss through the gallery space. RSVP Deadline: April 15, 2020


9:30am – 12:30pm | Training

12:30 – 1:15pm | Lunch break

1:15 – 2:30pm | Training

2:30 – 3:30pm | Visit with guests from Center for Vision Loss





May 2 & 3 | AD Training for the performing arts [ POSTPONED ] 
Please note, this event has been postponed. Check back for updates and rescheduled trainings.


Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Two-day Training                                

Professional development workshop with trained audio describers, Mimi Kenney-Smith and Steve Smith. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description. Trainees will experience an audio-described performance of “The Sound of Music” at Act 1 DeSales. RSVP Deadline: April 25, 2020

Schedule, Day 1:

9:30am – 12:30pm | Training

12:30pm – 1:15pm | Lunch break

1:15pm – 4:30pm | DeSales University- The Sound of Music |  Pre-show Sensory Tour, AD Performance of The Sound of Music, and Post-performance Talk-back.

Schedule, Day 2:

9:30am – 12:30pm | Training

12:30pm – 1:15pm | Lunch break

1:15pm – 3:30pm | Training


About the presenters:

AD Trainers, Mimi Kenney-Smith & Steve Smith each have more than 30 years of experience working in the arts as teachers, producers, theatre artists, and administrators. In 1999, Mimi & Steve founded the Amaryllis Theatre, a professional Philadelphia theatre that regularly included artists with and without disabilities. Mimi served as the Director of VSA PA, where she trained and coordinated audio describers and partnered with the PA Council on the Arts in leading the State on its work with arts and disabilities.