Audio-descriptive Commentary (ADC) training has been taking place during the CAFE Week of Action in Qatar, with the service set to be made available in Arabic and English at this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Working in partnership with with Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Translation and Interpreting Institute and Alan March Sport, CAFE is coordinating the training of local budding commentators to provide the service at a high standard for partially sighted and blind listeners.

ADC is a dedicated commentary service describing the match and surrounding environment in a much greater level of detail than alternative commentaries. Focusing on positioning, colours and sounds rather than statistics and general discussion, ADC fills in all of the information that many sighted listeners may take for granted.

Training is well underway in Doha, with separate groups learning how to deliver the service in Arabic and English. Sessions are delivered over five evenings and lead onto three further assessment tasks.

Those that demonstrate the skills required to provide a high-quality ADC and a strong understanding of football will earn the opportunity to deliver ADC at the FIFA World Cup.

Trainer Alan March, an expert member of CAFE’s ADC Training Network, is leading the sessions and said, “It has been so challenging and rewarding at the same time. I get the greatest joy from the moments I see a student's face, who has just realised how much we all take our eyesight for granted”.

“Here in Qatar, we are also faced with a challenge never seen before in training - the Arabic language. It is so diverse; the students themselves are helping to almost create a new language, fit for purpose for those blind and partially sighted spectators who attend the games”, added Alan.

Rama Basam Al-Zobey, Project Coordinator at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Translation and Interpreting Institute, said, “The progress and dedication shown by our trainees has been a pleasure to witness. I have no doubt that this is just the start for accessible services such as ADC in Qatari stadiums, and many disabled fans will experience an incredible FIFA World Cup later this year”.

ADC is such a crucial service for so many listeners, and can have an enormous impact on those able to attend live matches because of its availability. We are delighted to be able to celebrate such a landmark training during the 10th annual CAFE Week of Action, really demonstrating what #TotalAccess is all about.

Find out more about CAFE’s works around ADC and the CAFE Week of Action.

We leave the last word to Alan, who is witnessing first-hand how ADC training can benefit the prospective commentators even as much as the listeners. He said, “I love the daily sessions – it is amazing to listen and see how much effort local people are putting in to try and make this service a success. I can’t wait to see them thrive as the training continues in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup”.

Published 24/3/2022