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November 11, 2001

Press Release

CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media Launches New Web Site

NEC Foundation of America Funds Redesign Effort

Boston, MA — The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) today launched a redesigned Web site, which offers visitors easy access to the information, access tools, and other resources resulting from NCAM's public and privately-funded media access projects. The NEC Foundation of America provided generous support of the redesign efforts.

The new site expands NCAM's capacity to provide comprehensive, accessible, and user-driven information and resources suited to individual needs and interests. Among the communities NCAM serves are consumers with hearing or vision loss, parents, teachers, administrators, educational researchers, state and federal agencies, Web masters, technology developers, entertainment companies, standards organizations, regulators and advocacy organizations based in the U.S. and around the world.

Among the resources located on the NCAM site:

  • Learn about NCAM's current projects and project archives involving access to feature films, distance learning, digital and analog television, web-, CD- and DVD ROM-based multimedia and classroom materials;
  • Find tools and resources, including the latest version of NCAM's free, do-it-yourself captioning and description software for digitized media, Media Access Generator (MAGpie), and published guildelines for developers for making multimedia accessible.
  • Get involved, become a Business Partner, a beta tester, or provide feedback on cutting-edge access tools and innovations brewing at NCAM and with it's public and private-sector collaborators;
  • Link to additional sites on the Web which are associated with disabilities, technology, media and education.
  • Sign up to get periodic updates from NCAM, The Caption Center and Descriptive Video Service -- chose between Movie Theater Access, Web Access, DTV Access, Education Access or all of the above (General Announcements).
The launch coincides with the debut of NCAM's Cornerstones site, a collaboration with PBS's award-winning Between the Lions series and WGBH Interactive. Cornerstones is a technology-infused approach to literacy development designed for early elementary children who are deaf and hard of hearing (and that can be used with other students who learn well visually and struggle with literacy). Cornerstones materials are predominately Web-based.

About NCAM's Access Features

NCAM is committed to ensuring that its site is accessible to all users. This Web site conforms to existing recommendations and standards and has been tested with various assistive technologies. During the development process, our authors followed the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and it also meets the standards set in the Web-based applications section of the Section 508 standards.

About NCAM

The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), is a division of The Media Access Group at Boston's public broadcaster WGBH. NCAM's fellow access departments at WGBH include The Caption Center , the world's first captioning agency, founded in 1972, and the Descriptive Video Service which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to viewers who are blind or visually impaired since 1990. The Media Access Group's initiatives expand the reach and refine such technologies as captioning and description, while breaking new ground in the fields of technology, media, disability, and education. NCAM in particular works with standards bodies and industry to develop and implement open technical standards for multimedia, advanced television, distance learning and convergent media that ease implementation, foster growth and lay common groundwork for equal access to new technologies. For more information, visit

About NEC Foundation of America

NEC Foundation of America was established in 1991 and endowed at $10 million by NEC Corporation and its U.S. subsidiaries. It supports programs with national reach and impact in science and technology education, principally at the secondary level, and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Since its inception, NEC Foundation of America has awarded grants totaling $5.7 million. For more information, please visit the Foundation's home page at:

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