Congratulations to Blind Citizens NZ for winning The American Council of the Blind’s 2021 Audio Description Project International Achievement Award!

The award is made to “…individuals and/or organisations for outstanding contributions to the establishment and/or continued development of significant audio description programs in each of three areas: media, performing arts, and museums.”

The Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand is the leading blindness consumer organization, and one of the oldest advocacy organizations in the disability sector in New Zealand. Blind Citizens New Zealand worked and campaigned for many years with the community, government, and broadcasters for the introduction of Audio Description. Finally, in 2011, after years of advocacy, audio description became a reality in New Zealand.

Since 2011, audio description has grown at a steady rate. From an initial pilot of Coronation Street, New Zealand now has around 80 hours per week of audio described content on free-to-air TV. So often the people who have to advocate for necessary change are those who are affected, and so often they do not receive the recognition they deserve. A huge congratulations to Blind Citizens NZ, and to the members and supporters who reinforce their collective efforts to “make a blind bit of difference.” Ka rawe!

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