Developing Skills of Describing Visual Images and Objects Using
What is Verbal Description?
Verbal description uses non-visual language to convey the visual world. It can navigate a visitor through a museum, orient a listener to a work of art, or provide access to the visual aspects of a performance.
We recommend that verbal description trainings include an interactive element when patrons who are blind and visually impaired could provide immediate feedback. Although glasses simulating different visual impairments are used by some educators, they are not a substitute for a firsthand experience. The PPT is developed for staff/educator/docent training and self-study.
Listening and Writing Exercises:
You might consider listening to a variety of recorded verbal descriptions prior to or after the training. There are a couple of ways of doing this:
- Use our online database of verbal descriptions of paintings, sculpture, interiors, historical objects and small decorative items.
- Download podcasts from our Art Beyond Sight iTunes U and listen to the verbal descriptions on your iPod or phone. Our podcasts are free and include verbal description of art from baroque to contemporary, descriptions of American Art from colonial to contemporary, as well as sound interpretations of artistic styles such as surrealism, cubism, abstraction, etc.
- Some museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City make their verbal descriptions available online and through iTunes.
- For verbal descriptions of architecture and public art in New York go to New York Beyond Sight website or download from Art Beyond Sight on iTunes.
Please complete the survey after you have tested these materials.
Your feedback is much appreciated.