Inclusive football: ADC training commences ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

FIFA has announced that the forthcoming FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ will be the most inclusive tournament in its history. To achieve this goal, a significant step has been taken this week in Australia and New Zealand.

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World Cup 2023 Qualifiers

For the first time ever, blind and partially-sighted football fans will have the opportunity to receive a detailed account of the on-field action while also enjoying the stadium atmosphere alongside other fans during Australia & New Zealand 2023. This dedicated accessible service is called Audio Descriptive Commentary (ADC) and has been provided in previous FIFA World Cups™ in the respective local languages, including the recently held Qatar 2022.

This week and next week, two-day training programmes for Audio Descriptive Commentary (ADC) are taking place in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau. Aspiring ADC commentators are undergoing special training that focuses on providing additional narration which describes all significant visual information during the match. This includes body language, facial expressions, scenery, actions, clothing, colours, and anything else that might be important to convey context.

According to specialised ADC Instructor, Alan March, the method follows a traditional radio style: “When you watch football on TV, the images do the talking, so the commentator can rely on the images to convey the action. However, in audio description, this is not possible. We have to follow the ball, track the movement and describe the on-field action in as much detail as possible.”

To ensure that all football fans attending the tournament feel included, FIFA has made it easy for blind and partially-sighted supporters to access the Audio Descriptive Commentary (ADC) service. All they need to do is download the FIFA Interpreting app, with further information about the app to be made available closer to the tournament.

The implementation of the ADC service represents a milestone moment for blind and partially-sighted supporters who may have previously felt excluded from the matchday experience. This initiative highlights FIFA’s dedication to promoting inclusivity and ensuring that all fans can enjoy the tournament to the fullest.

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