Royal National Institute of the Blind

Sonali Rai

Sonali Rai is the Audio Description Executive at RNIB. She manages critical projects on access to films and television content delivered across mainstream platforms such as linear television, cinemas and on-demand services, and is responsible for exploring technical solutions for improving the delivery of audio description and audio subtitles. She monitors the quality of access features broadcast in the UK and liaises with key content providers to flag any issues. Specific duties: leading audio description development work; making a case for the development projects on audio description internally, ensuring it meets all the strategic requirements and securing approvals from relevant authorities; maintaining relationships with key stakeholder groups such as broadcasters, film distributors, audio description producers and others that are relevant for the smooth progress of all projects; responsible for ensuring best value is obtained for the project and therefore, for the end user group. Recent projects: user trial to test a new delivery method for audio description/ subtitles using apps; establish user preferences for audio description/ audio subtitles produced in synthetic speech; establish key barriers to describing live events on UK television and work with key stakeholders to overcome the barriers; explore the potential for description of foreign language films in the UK – test concept with content producers and end users.

Ksenia Blake

Ksenia has substantial experience in Assistive technology training and consultancy and, she has been involved in accessibility testing for Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in the past few years. She has also volunteered for different organisations including Ability Net, Milton Keynes Moles and the Reader Service.  During this time she has acquired skills such as effective transport management, supporting people with sight loss with multiple conditions and mental models of universal design. Ksenia Blake has Masters Degrees in Linguistics, Translation in Global Environment and Digital Media.