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Audio Description

Audio Description for Education-Based Media

Photo of a boy and man looking at a computer screen.

Educational multimedia is a valuable tool for students of all ages. One of the most beneficial uses of audio description is that it allows ALL students to take advantage of educational video programs. The U.S. Department of Education supports this by providing federal funding to organizations that promote and produce audio description. These organizations have included:

  • Bridge Multimedia
    Bridge Multimedia is a media production company that develops accessible technology and produces accessible content in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Bridge is producing audio description for children’s educational programming that will be broadcast on ABC, Disney Jr., Nick Jr., PBS, and other networks, under a five year grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education.
  • CaptionMax
    CaptionMax is an accessible media provider, working under a U.S. Dept. of Education grant to increase the accessibility of educational media used in K-12 classrooms. CaptionMax has described over 100 videos from Discovery Education.
  • The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)
    The DCMP's mission is "to promote and provide equal access to communication and learning through described and captioned educational media."
    The DCMP library contains over 4000 educational titles with audio description. They are made available, for free, to classrooms with students who have disabilities.
  • Dicapta
    Founded in 2001, Dicapta is a Florida-based company that produces accessible audiovisual media, much of it in Spanish. Their services include caption insertion, audio description, subtitling, dubbing, and live dubbing.
  • Narrative Television Network
    Since 1988 NTN has made movies, television shows and educational programming accessible to millions of people who are blind or visually impaired. NTN currently reaches over 1200 broadcast and cable affiliates across the United States and is shown in eleven foreign countries.
  • The National Captioning Institute (NCI)
    NCI is a major provider of closed captioning and other media access services, including audio description. Established in 1973, NCI is a nonprofit corporation with its headquarters in Virginia, near Washington D.C. and offices in California and Texas.
  • The National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
    Founded in 1993, NCAM is a research and development facility that has been instrumental in moving description forward in numerous areas including film, television, and even for mobile devices. NCAM's mission is to make certain that the 40 million Americans with little or no access to visual or audio elements of media will not be excluded from the Information Age.
  • The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center
    VDRDC researches new methods and technologies for advancing accessible online videos. The organization's goals include developing video annotation to be used in educational settings. VDRDC also strives to help educators and other description providers make better use of available multimedia tools.

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