Joel Snyder

(bio follows this abbreviated credits list:)
“Empire Strikes Back”
“Return of the Jedi”
“That 70’s Show”

DreamWorks/Paramount (movie theaters/cinema) :
“Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”
“World Trade Center”
“Flags Of Our Fathers”
“The Bee Movie”
“Over the Hedge”
“Charlotte’s Web”
“Flushed Away”
“Shrek the Third”

“Saving Private Ryan”
“Cast Away”
“Forrest Gump”
“The Shawshank Redemption”
“The Green Mile”
“The Miracle Worker”
“Air Force One”
“Mrs. Doubtfire”
“The Shining”
“Jerry Maguire”

“Dead Time Stories”
“Ned’s Declassified Survival Guide”

Live Description for the ABC Television / ACB Radio coverage of Barack Obama’s inaugurals, January 20, 2009 and January 21, 2013, and Donald Trump’s inaugural, January 20, 2017

Amazon Prime:
“Generation Wealth”
“Elf On The Shelf”
“Little Big Awesome”
“All or Nothing”
“One Mississippi”
“Weiner Dog”

“Duck Butter”
“Outside In”

History Channel:
“The Frankenstein Chronicles”
“Swamp People”
“Swamp Mysteries”
Sundance TV:
“Push Girls”

Zeitgeist Films:
“Love, Cecil”
“The Miracle Worker” with Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert
“Barack Obama” (A&E/Biography Channel documentary)
“Monica and David” (feature-length documentary – HBO)
“9/12: From Chaos To Community” (feature-length documentary)
“Right To Risk” (feature-length documentary)
“Native Son” (PBS/WGBH American Playhouse)
“Rocket To The Moon” (PBS/WGBH American Playhouse)
“Diaries of Adam & Eve” (PBS/WGBH American Playhouse)

“Elmo’s World: Reach for the Sky!” (Sesame Street)
“Elmo Visits the Doctor” (Sesame Street)
“Beginning Together” (Sesame Street)
“All-Star Alphabet” (Sesame Street)
“Make Music Together” (Sesame Street)
“Elmo’s World: Reach for the Sky!” (Sesame Street)
“Elmo Visits the Doctor” (Sesame Street)
“Beginning Together” (Sesame Street)
“All-Star Alphabet” (Sesame Street)
“Make Music Together” (Sesame Street)
“Sesame Street”
“Plaza Sesamo” (Spanish)
“Clifford’s Puppy Days”
“Maya and Miguel”
“Globe Trekker” series “Secrets of the Dead”
“Fascinating Rhythm: The Story of Tap” “In Search of Myths and Heroes”
“Tales from the Tomb” “Japan’s War in Color”
“Private Life of a Masterpiece: The Kiss, David, The Scream” (and others)
“WWII–The Complete History” “World Class Trains” “Colonial House”
Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food”

JOEL SNYDER, Ph.D., President, Audio Description Associates, LLC
Director, Audio Description Project, American Council of the Blind
A member of Actors’ Equity Association, the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists, and the Screen Actors Guild, and a 20-year veteran of work as an arts specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Joel Snyder is best known internationally as one of the first “audio describers” (c. 1981) working with theater events and media at the world’s first ongoing audio description service. Beginning in the early 1970s, he recorded “talking books” for the Library of Congress and read privately for individuals who are blind – but his abilities as a describer have made hundreds of live theater productions accessible to audience members who are blind; in media, Dr. Snyder has used the same technique to enhance PBS’ American Playhouse productions, Sesame Street, a wide range of network broadcasts, feature films, educational videos, the IMAX film Blue Planet and the Planetarium show And A Star To Steer Her By at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Under contract to the American Council of the Blind (ACB), Dr. Snyder is the founder and director of ACB’s Audio Description Project (ADP) designed to boost awareness of description in all formats throughout the United States. The ADP produced description for ABC-TV’s nationwide coverage of both of President Obama’s inaugurations as well as the description for the Arts & Entertainment Network’s biography, Barack Obama. The Project also produced description for the 30th anniversary DVD release of The Miracle Worker featuring Patty Duke as “Annie Sullivan” and the first-ever audio described tour of The White House. The ADP sponsors the annual Audio Description Awards, coordinates international conferences on audio description, conducts the annual Audio Description Institute, offers the “BADIE” (Benefits of Audio Description In Education—formerly the Young Described Film Critic) contest for students who are blind (the “Listening Is Learning” initiative, sponsored in conjunction with the Described and Captioned Media Program), produced the August 2017 international broadcast of live audio description of the total solar eclipse, and maintains the ADP website, the leading resource for information on audio description in all genres:

As Director of Described Media for the National Captioning Institute, a program founded by Dr. Snyder, he led a staff that produced description for nationally broadcast films and network series including Sesame Street broadcasts and DVDs. He was a member of the American Foundation of the Blind’s “expert panel” charged with reviewing guidelines for educational multi-media description and has been a member of several media access panels at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as the Disability Access Committee of the International Telecommunications Union and the Description Leadership Network of the Video Description Research and Development Center.

In addition to work principally in media and audio description training, Dr. Snyder’s Audio Description Associates, LLC develops audio described tours for major museums and visitor centers throughout the United States including the writing/voicing of an audio described tour of the Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Albright/Knox Gallery in Buffalo, the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL, several Smithsonian Institution exhibits including the National Museum of American History’s “The Flag That Inspired the National Anthem”, and myriad National Park Service and US Forest Service facilities including Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. Dr. Snyder trained museum docents in audio description techniques at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Sackler/Freer Galleries, and the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, the Seattle Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design and the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. He also coached Secret Service agents/White House tour guides in AD methods and, as noted above, he is the producer and author of the first-ever audio described tour of The White House. Dr. Snyder worked closely with the Disability Rights Committee of the Obama for America campaign in 2008, serving as a surrogate speaker on disability issues for the Obama campaign, and coordinated live audio description for the Presidential Inauguration Parades in 2009 and 2013.

Internationally, Dr. Snyder has trained describers or introduced description techniques 44 states and in 62 nations, most recently in Cuba, Taiwan, Korea, India, Nepal, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel; he conducted audio description “master classes” in London, Prague, and St. Petersburg, Russia; and developed a team of describers for the Second Annual Moscow International Disability Film Festival as the result of intensive seminars conducted in Russia. He led described tours of Geneva and provided description for the World Blind Union General Assembly in Switzerland following the presentation of a paper on description at the International Federation of Translation conference in Shanghai, China.

Dr. Snyder is the recipient of the American Council of the Blind/Audio Description Project’s highest award, the Barry Levine Memorial Career Achievement in Audio Description; he also was named the 2014 recipient of the ACB Vernon Henley Media Award “for promoting and furthering the availability of audio description;” and in April 2015 was awarded the American Foundation for the Blind’s prestigious Access Award.

Dr. Snyder received his Ph.D in accessibility and audio description from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. His book, The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description, is published by the American Council of the Blind and is now available as an audio book from the Library of Congress Division of the Blind and Physically Handicapped and in a separate version voiced by Dr. Snyder, in screen reader accessible formats, and in English, Polish, Russian and Portuguese.