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May 24, 2002

Press Release

Media Access Group at WGBH Publishes Informational Brochure on Video Description

"ABC's of DVS" Written for Families and Educators of Children with Visual Impairments

Boston, MA — To promote awareness among families, caregivers and teachers of children who are blind or visually impaired, the Media Access Group at WGBH has developed a comprehensive informational brochure about video description — an access service developed and provided by the Group's Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®) for viewers with visual impairments. Funding for the publication was provided by the United States Department of Education.

Entitled ABC's of DVS, the resource booklet includes explanations of video description and how to access it on television; a list of children's television programs broadcast with description; lists of family films and home videos available with description; and information about the children's series Arthur, a fully accessible, animated PBS series. Available in both a child-friendly, four-color print format and a fully accessible braille version, the brochure will be distributed by mail to schools, libraries and organizations for the blind as part of the Media Access Group's ongoing outreach effort to blind and visually impaired communities.

Video description provides descriptive narration of key visual elements — making television programs, feature films, home videos and other visual media accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. Key visual elements are those which viewers with visual impairments would ordinarily miss, such as actions, costumes, gestures, facial expressions, scene changes and on-screen text. Inserted within the natural pauses in dialogue, audio descriptions of important visual details help to engage viewers who are visually impaired with the story.

The Media Access Group at WGBH is a non-profit organization with offices in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. The service group includes DVS, which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to viewers who are blind or visually impaired since 1990, and The Caption Center — the world's first captioning agency — founded in 1972. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, is a research, development and advocacy entity that works to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading resources and experts in their fields. For more information about access services, visit the Media Access Group's Web site or call 617-300-3600.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer. More than one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup and companion Web content as well as many public radio favorites are produced by WGBH. Its best-known productions include NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre, This Old House, Arthur, and Zoom on PBS and The World and Sound & Spirit on public radio. WGBH also is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to people with disabilities. Since its establishment in 1951, WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors, including Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards-- even two Oscars. For more information visit


Mary Watkins, Media Access Group at WGBH
617.300.3700 voice/fax
617.300.2489 TTY