Audio Description is a method of converting visual information into speech. During a performance, a live describer inserts what a visually impaired person in the audience needs to know to understand the action and get a sense of how the stage and the actors look. The listeners use a portable listening device to hear the describer's words. Audio descriptions often include a pre-show recording that describes the set and principle characters. Theaters with audio described performances include the 5th Avenue, ACT Theatre, Intiman, the Seattle Children's Theatre, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival.
Audio Description in 2003 is supported by participating theaters, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Development Authority of King County, the Washington State Arts Commission, and Jack Straw Productions.