Veronica With Four Eyes

Creating Audio Narrated Images For Low Vision

When I was in high school, I started using the Clarisketch app for creating audio narrated images, which combine voice recordings with images from my device gallery as well as annotations. From what I can tell, Clarisketch is no longer in development, so I’ve updated this post to include even more options for creating audio narrated images for low vision audiences, and how I use these images in a variety of educational contexts.

Combining audio and images for low vision audiences

I like to use audio narrated images for low vision audiences for a few different types of lessons, including:

  • Annotating maps or giving directions, which is super helpful for orientation and mobility lessons/O&M instruction
  • Recording alt text or image descriptions for an image- I did this for a project that involved describing different outfits from the Met Gala
  • Creating tutorials for how to solve math problems or balance a chemistry equation
  • Describing artwork or different visual details
  • Sharing a device overview or sharing different buttons on an assistive technology device

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Web application for animation and audio: Canva

Canva is my graphic design application of choice for all of my blog graphics, with the exception of my logo, as I can easily search for high resolution media and use keyboard shortcuts to quickly create graphics. Users have the option of adding audio to their Canva graphics and recording their own audio, as well as adding animations such as arrows, dots, and text effects to make graphics/videos pop even more.

To add an animation, insert a design element such as a line, shape, or image onto the canvas and select the Animate option to choose how it moves.

To add audio, either select an audio option from the Elements section or upload a custom audio track in the Uploads section. Audio tracks can be trimmed, and to my knowledge there is no limit to how long an audio track can be.

Canva is free to use with an account, though users interested in premium graphics or audio libraries can upgrade to Canva Pro.

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Recording with Microsoft: PowerPoint

Users can record a single slide or full PowerPoint presentation and include audio/voice, ink gestures, animations, and even video presence from the presenter. I prefer to record one slide at a time, and set the background of the slide as an image or screenshot. This can be saved as part of the PowerPoint presentation or exported as its own video.

To record a PowerPoint presentation, users can either select the Record option in the Slide Show section of the ribbon, or the dedicated Record button at the top right section of their screen.

Another option for recording audio with images is to use the free Microsoft Office Sway app, which is a popular PowerPoint alternative that I have linked below.

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Using a stylus: recording Whiteboard applications

When I want to walk through a math problem or outline of something, I like to use screen recording tools with digital whiteboard applications, such as Freeform for iOS, Microsoft Whiteboard, or the Witeboard web application. While none of these tools have dedicated recording features, users can use built-in screen recording tools from their devices to record audio or add audio through another video editing program- the iOS screen recording tool allows users to record audio with their microphone.

To learn more about how I use digital whiteboards with low vision, I have an in-depth post about using Microsoft Whiteboard linked below.

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Video and audio options: Clips and iMovie

Clips and iMovie are two video editing programs for iOS devices. Clips has a simpler layout and fewer options compared to iMovie, but both programs provide users with the option to add images and audio narration from their own device, as well as other animations such as emoji. Screen recordings can also be edited within these applications.

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Options for sharing audio narrated images

Once a user creates their own audio narrated image, they can save their file as an MP4 video or other video format and share it with others, regardless of if they have another application downloaded or not. Some of my favorite options for sharing audio narrated images include:

  • Sharing a link to the video that anyone can access, or setting privacy settings so only a few people can view it
  • AirDrop the finished video to another iOS device, or share with Bluetooth
  • Adding the video to a QR code that can be scanned with a mobile device- this is easier than typing out a link and can be printed on a page or attached to a bulletin board
  • Posting the content on social media websites or on a class website- I recommend including a transcript of the audio in the post text/caption
  • Cast videos to a Chromecast or smart TV for a larger display

Related links

Other applications for creating audio narrated images for low vision

I've used the Clarisketch app for creating audio narrated images and annotating images for years- Here are more apps for adding audio to images for low vision users