Award Honors Work in Audio Description with National Park Service

WASHINGTON, DC, July 29, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — The American Council of the Blind (ACB) proudly announces the 2019 Dr. Margaret R. Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award in Audio Description, an initiative of the Council’s Audio Description Project (ADP).

In conjunction with ACB’s 58th annual conference and convention in Rochester, N.Y., the award was presented at a plenary session of the conference before over 1,000 people who are blind.

The Dr. Margaret R. Pfanstiehl Memorial Achievement Award in Audio Description – Research and Development was awarded to Dr. Brett Oppegaard. When Dr. Oppegaard received a box containing 400 U.S. National Park Service brochures in 2014, it came with a challenge from the U.S. government: make these visually oriented pieces of paper – brochures handed out at every NPS visitor center in the country – accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

“Reading a park brochure is the most common activity at NPS sites, for good reason,” said Eric Bridges, ACB’s executive director. “In response to the challenge, Dr. Oppegaard and his research team launched The UniDescription Project, Over the past five years, they have built the critical information infrastructure, media production, and dissemination tools necessary to develop audio description for national park brochures. Since 2014, the UniD team, under Dr. Oppegaard’s direction, has supported the creation of new audio description for over 60 National Park Service sites via the free UniD mobile app, or on NPS websites.”

The Achievement Awards are made to individuals and/or organizations for outstanding contributions to the establishment and/or continued development of significant audio description programs.

Additional information about ACB’s Audio Description Project is available at

About the American Council of the Blind
The American Council of the Blind is a national grassroots consumer organization representing Americans who are blind and visually impaired. With 70 affiliates, ACB strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and to improve quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people. Learn more by visiting

Contact: Joel Snyder, PhD, Director, Audio Description Project, ACB
(202) 467-5083

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