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
- Building Identification: College O&M
- How To Create Image Descriptions For Red Carpet Looks
- My Favorite Free Math Websites For Low Vision
- Tips For Creating Art For Visually Impaired Friends
- Choosing A Tutor For Low Vision Students
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.
- Home – Canva
- Choosing Device Wallpapers and Backgrounds With Low Vision
- My Favorite Free Fonts For Print Disabilities
- How To Create High Resolution Images For Low Vision
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.
- How To Create Accessible PowerPoints
- Tips For Screensharing With Low Vision
- How To Create An Accessible Formula Sheet
- How To Create Accessible Assignments With Microsoft Office Sway
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.
- How I Use Microsoft Whiteboard With Low Vision
- Witeboard website (opens new board)
- Ten iOS Shortcuts For Visual Impairment
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.
- Clips on the App Store (apple.com)
- iMovie on the App Store (apple.com)
- Ways To Use Teleprompter Apps As Assistive Technology
- How To Make Virtual Museums Accessible For Visual Impairments
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
- Creating Accessible Bulletin Boards For College Dorms
- How To Write Video Descriptions For TikTok/Short Videos
- Options For Writing Extended Image Descriptions On Social Media
- How To Make Classroom Videos Easier To See
- Ways I Use My Google Chromecast For Virtual Learning
- How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Listen To History
Other applications for creating audio narrated images for low vision
- Explain Everything is a digital whiteboarding app designed for teachers to create their own digital lessons that integrates with several online learning platforms. Explain Everything is available as a web application and iOS/Android application- Explain Everything | Interactive Whiteboard for Teaching and Learning
- I have an entire post dedicated to Shadow Puppet, another audio narrated image and video application designed for learners of all ages- Creating Video Tutorials With The Free Shadow Puppet App
- From what I can tell, Clarisketch is no longer in development, but more information on it can be found on the Clarisketch website- clarisketch.com
- Want to learn more about mainstream technology certifications for teachers? Check out Mainstream Educational Technology Certifications For Teachers of the Visually Impaired
- All applications listed in the main section of this post have been tested with assistive technology settings such as large print, screen readers/text-to-speech, and keyboard access successfully, meaning that they can be used by teachers and learners alike