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Audio Description

Audio Description News

Recent News


Canadian Public Service Announcement

The Canadian Broadcasting Association has developed a public service announcement to make people more aware of described programming. The PSA is viewable on YouTube.

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American Foundation for the Blind Offers Described TV Listings on its Web Site

AFB now offers local television listings for shows with video description on its web site Described TV Listings. The service allows you to enter your own zipcode and select your service provider; it then lists all of the described shows that are available in your area by date and time.

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Public Service Announcement Developed by AFB, Litton Entertainment, Bridge Multimedia

View the American Foundation for the Blind PSA

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Turner Classic Movies Offers Audio Description

This October Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will feature audio description for a month-long program entitled The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film. During October, every Tuesday evening, TCM will air a series of films that will explore particular aspects, themes, or types of disability, such as blindness, deafness and psychiatric or intellectual disabilities. Included are Oscar-winning and nominated films such as The Miracle Worker, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Charly. For more information and a program schedule, visit TMC to Examine Hollywood’s Depiction of People with Disabilities.

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VDRDC Hosts Video Description Webinar

The Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC), in collaboration with The Described and Captioned Media Program (DLN), held the first of four planned Webinars entitled "Bringing Video Description into the 21st Century." Among the presenters were Jim Stovall, President of Narrative TV Network, Jason Stark, Director of the Described and Captioned Media Program and Joel Snyder, Director of the Audio Description Project at the American Council of the Blind. Topics included a teacher's guide to using video description, a comprehensive overview of resources for acquiring described materials, and a look at the new description technologies being developed at the VDRDC.

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Audio Description added to ABC Saturday Morning Children’s TV programming

Dave Morgan, President of Litton Entertainment, announced a partnership with Bridge Multimedia to provide the incorporation of audio description in the first 26 episodes of "Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin," one of the six educational programs currently featured on "Litton's Weekend Adventure" airing nationally on ABC television stations. Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin is produced in partnership with Georgia Aquarium, the world's largest aquarium and a leading educational facility dedicated to conserving the vast resources of the world's oceans. According to Matt Kaplowitz, President of Bridge, "This new partnership will allow viewers with special needs to enjoy the same high quality, educational television programming that most people take for granted. The "Weekend Adventure" shows, with their scope and sense of wonder, are a perfect fit for audio description."

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Disneyland to Expand Description for Guests with Visual Impairments

Disneyland currently offers a device that provides description for inside park attractions and theaters. This feature is now being expanded to give detailed description of outdoor areas and landmarks, such as Sleeping Beauty Castle. The seven ounce handheld device provides an interactive menu that lets guests decide what information they would like to receive about outdoor areas including description of surroundings and information about nearby restaurants, attractions, and entertainment. Disney has patented and licensed its assistive technology, which is already being used at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, The Hall at Patriot Place in Boston and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Greg Hale, Vice President of Worldwide Standards and Auditing for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts said, "We are particularly excited to make this technology available beyond Disney Parks and extend accessibility where it was previously impractical."

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Fox News Argues for Exemption from Video Description

The Fox News Channel and The National Association of Broadcasters have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that news organizations be given exemption from video description requirements mandated in the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, which became law last October. According to the National Association of Broadcasters, "Unlike closed captioning, which is intended to repeat words spoken as precisely as possible, video description inherently carries a subjective element, and accordingly should not be required to add a non-journalist describer's words into the editorial product."

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Regal Cinemas Expand Audio Description for Movies

Regal Entertainment Group, the leading movie exhibitor in the United States, announced plans to provide all their digital cinema locations with audio description and personal captioning technologies. Regal anticipates having almost all of their theaters converted to digital cinema by the end of 2012 - and to incorporate these accessible technologies for general customer use over the next year and a half. Randy Smith, Chief Administrative Officer of Regal Entertainment Group said, "Our intentions are to offer captioning and descriptive video for every film that comes with such content, at all show times, at every theater equipped and to be equipped with digital cinema systems over the next 12 to 18 months.” Regal has partnered with Captionfish, a search engine that locates captioned and video described movies showing at theaters throughout the United States.

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VDRDC Funded to Research and Develop Video Description

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the funding of a new Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) to advance the research and development of video description. San Francisco’s Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, a nonprofit independent research institute, was awarded the two-year grant to conduct the VDRDC initiative. The Described and Captioned Media Program will be involved with this program, conducting webinars that will chart the progress of the VDRDC and invite feedback. In addition to studying video description, the VDRDC will research alternative approaches to description and ways to improve the digital delivery of accessible media.

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Video Description Bill Becomes Law

On October 8, The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was signed into law by President Obama. This law, which takes effect next year, grants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the authority to mandate the use of video description for the top four broadcast networks and top five cable networks in the most populated markets in the United States. These numbers will increase throughout the next decade until the FCC is able to expand video description to 10 new markets annually in order to achieve 100% coverage throughout the country.

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