Italian side AS Roma recently launched an audio descriptive commentary service at their Olimpico Stadium.

Audio descriptive commentary differs from a more traditional commentary as it is much more focused on the events inside the stadium and on the pitch as opposed to a statistical analysis. The specially trained commentator provides additional narration that describes all significant visual information such as body language, facial expression, scenery, action, clothing, colours and anything else that is important to conveying the image, venue, match, event or surrounding ambience. During the match, the commentator should describe the on-pitch action rather than talking about statistics or tactics or providing lengthy summaries of previous action.

The service was first used at the stadium in a match against Sampdoria. Blind and partially sighted supporters at the match were invited to listen to the specialised service. Andrea Papini, a blind AS Roma supporter, shared his thoughts on the event with the MyROMA supporters group.

Andrea commented that the audio descriptive commentary that he received meant that he could ‘see’ the game and he knew what was happening on the pitch. Andrea says that he could describe what was written on the banners and the scoreboard in the stadium, and he knows exactly what had happened as if he had seen it. “I saw – those goals from Francesco Totti. That spoon, the one with the ball to chip the shot”.

A version of this article is also available in Italian.

Published 18/04/2013