Joe Clark: Media access

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Symbolizing accessibility → Universal audio-description symbol

Updated 2004.12.05

Universal audio-description symbol

‘DVS’ alternativeIn April 2002, Melanie Goux of fame designed a generic symbol to refer to audio description. The history of the project can be read at “Symbolizing accessibility: DVS & A.D.”

You can download the symbols right here.

Usage restrictions

  1. You may use the symbol to indicate the presence or provision of audio description of any kind. You may not use the symbol as part of a protected trademark or servicemark, and you can’t use it in any kind of business logo.
  2. You can’t sell the symbol. You can’t make money off it in any way. It has to remain free forever.
  3. You can E-mail it, include it on free CDs of graphics files, and print it in high resolution for scanning or clip art.
  4. You cannot alter the symbol. It’s all or nothing. (You have no reason to alter it.) The symbol must be the same colour throughout – don’t try making the D red, the first soundwave blue, and the second soundwave green.
  5. You don’t need advance permission to use the symbol for its intended purpose (to indicate the presence or provision of audio description). Just download and use it.

Text-only version

Do you need to indicate a described program or service in plain text? Just use (D) (a dee in parentheses). It’s analogous to using (CC) to indicate captioning.

If you need to show that a program or video is captioned and described, consider combining the two: (CC, D). It looks better than (CC) (D).


You don’t have to run any kind of credits to use the symbol. However, if you wish to do so anyway, the designer should be credited to Melanie Goux. (I didn’t design it.)

Need the generic captioning symbol?

Download it from WGBH.

Change history

Improved HTML.
Added link to CC-symbol download.