red, white, and blue star with initials B V A

The Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) in Sands Point, New York, is seeking blind, low-vision, and DeafBlind participants for group and individual online interviews on how to describe portraits and people.

According to Megan A. Conway, PhD, HKNC Research and Accessibility Specialist, the interviews will take approximately 90 minutes and will be conducted online for blinded veterans via the convenience and comfort of their own homes.

“The interviews will focus specifically on the preferences of the interviewees on how best to describe characteristics such as race/ethnicity, gender, age, and disability with the results being used to improve descriptions of portraits and people for National Park Service brochures and displays,” said Dr. Conway. “In the process, the subjects of the research will provide information and perspectives to the field of Audio Description in general.”

HKNC, which recently received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to research best practices in describing portraits and people, is collaborating with the University of Hawaii, the National Park Service, and the American Council of the Blind in research projects involving audio description. Several BVA members participated in an audio description project for a National Park Service brochure earlier this year. A mobile app has recently been developed for accessing the brochures electronically.

Audio description refers to the description of the visual via voice, sign language, or text for the purposes of providing equal access to visual information that is critical for participation in cultural, social, education, and recreational activities.

If you are interested in participating or would like additional information, contact Dr. Megan Conway at