VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - Diane Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of Descriptive Video Works, one of the leading providers for video description services in North America, is proclaiming July 1, 2012 as Independence Day for the nearly 30 million blind and visually impaired Americans. July 1, 2012, is the deadline set by the FCC for the top broadcast and cable networks to begin providing a minimum of four hours per week of video described programming - a secondary audio track narration describing the visual elements in each scene that add to a program's plot or storyline and is inserted between natural pauses in dialogue - creating a more robust television experience for the blind and visually impaired audience. Video description could also increase ratings for those networks offering the service. Watch Descriptive Video demo: http://youtu.be/hg6IsuXelDw.
"Thanks to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), blind and visually impaired citizens of the U.S. are finally gaining the access they deserve to the information, communication and entertainment that most of us take for granted," said Johnson in issuing the proclamation. "All of us that serve and advocate for the blind and visually impaired are thankful for the access provided by this initiative, and are encouraged by the number of networks and content producers who are stepping up to provide video description beyond the mandated hours. Video description offers the blind and visually impaired an opportunity to learn more about the visual world and provides them with a better understanding and more dynamic television experience, helps them to enjoy a greater social connection through shared entertainment and fosters a stronger sense of independence."
Shirley Manning, director of Junior Blind of America's adult program, the Davidson Program for Independence, added, "As an organization that strives to help those who are blind or visually impaired achieve independence, everyone at Junior Blind of America could not be more pleased that our students will have greater access to televised content through video described programming. We hope this will inspire other platforms, like museums, theaters and other cultural venues to provide similar video description services."
When President Obama signed the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) into law in October 2010, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyborn said, "In providing video description, America's blind community will not only be able to enjoy the entertainment that video content providers offer, but they will also be part of the conversation around it. I want to stress this, as I can imagine how left out a visually-impaired child feels when his or her classmates are discussing what happened on a popular show the night before, and to not be a part of that conversation or be able to follow along. The same is true for blind adults, for whom the proverbial water cooler chats about TV shows hold little meaning or enjoyment. This item will assist those individuals in getting even closer to the mainstream when it comes to popular culture, and we are a better and more complete nation for it."