[tabi] Re: Subject: [Njtechdiv] Audio Description

  • From: Lynn Evans <austin.evans60@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2012 11:52:08 -0400

now if only I could find the SAP setting on my big screen TB.

Sent from my iPad

On Jun 16, 2012, at 10:09 AM, "Sila Miller" <silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> This is what all our hard work has resulted in. For those like me, who 
> sometimes just get TIRED, this is proof that we need to keep on keeping on...
> Thanks Niecy, for sharing! Sila
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Denyece Roberts MSW
> To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 4:39 PM
> Subject: [tabi] Subject: [Njtechdiv] Audio Description
> Subject: [Njtechdiv] Audio Description
> Beginning July 1, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, plus the 
> top five cable networks will begin providing 
> audio descriptions of some of their programming 
> for blind or sight-impaired viewers. The shows to 
> be described range from ABC's Modern Family to 
> CBS's NCIS to Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer to USA's Royal Pains.
> For now, stations in the top 25 markets and cable 
> systems with 50,000 or more subs will be required 
> to offer about four hours a week of the new 
> service. The number of stations and hours will gradually increase.
> Starting July 1, the country's 21.5 million 
> visually impaired people will be able to enjoy TV more than ever before.
> On that day, the Big Four broadcast networks and 
> the top five-rated cable networks will begin 
> offering four hours a week of so-called video 
> descriptions that clue in blind and partially 
> sighted viewers on what's going on when the 
> characters aren't talking. The descriptions, 
> audible only to viewers who want them to be 
> audible, are squeezed in between the dialog.
> Video descriptions have been part of 
> broadcasting, cable, home video, but never to the 
> extent on TV as they will be beginning next month.
> It's not altruism driving the surge in 
> descriptions. They were mandated by Congress in 
> the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
> According to the FCC's implementing rules, the 
> Big Four O&Os and affiliates in the top 25 
> markets will have to air 50 hours each quarter ­ 
> or roughly four hours a week ­ of described programming.
> Cable and satellite systems with at least 50,000 
> subscribers have to offer the same amount of 
> described programming for the top five-rated 
> cable networks ­ currently Disney, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT and USA.
> And with just weeks to go before the deadline, 
> the described programming plans of nine affected networks are shaping up.
> ABC's plan is to provide descriptions on some of 
> its Tuesday and Wednesday shows. This summer, 
> those shows include sitcoms Last Man Standing, 
> The Middle, Suburgatory, Modern Family, Happy 
> Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.
> In the fall, ABC will likely include most of 
> those shows and new sitcom The Neighbors and new drama Nashville.
> CBS has been providing audio descriptions for 
> several programs since 2002. The lineup is CSI, 
> Criminal Minds, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, plus movies and miniseries.
> NBC has broadcast a slew of shows with 
> descriptions, including the Betty White reality 
> show Off Their Rockers, drama Grimm and the 
> summer series Saving Hope. Described sitcoms 
> include The Office, Up All Night and Parks and Recreation.
> At Fox, The Simpsons has been audio described for 
> several years. Beyond the animated sitcom, Fox 
> isn't prepared to say what it would be offering.
> Disney Channel's described shows will include hit 
> sitcoms Jessie, A.N.T. Farm and the animated Phineas and Ferb.
> Nickelodeon will offer descriptions for some of 
> its biggest hits, like the long-running animated 
> Dora the Explorer and preschool educational show Team Umizoomi.
> Turner Broadcasting will have described movies as 
> well as TV series. Among the series: TNT's The 
> Closer and TBS's Tyler Perry comedies House of Payne and For Better or Worse.
> USA's described programs will include off-network 
> shows NCIS and Law & Order: SVU, plus originals like Royal Pains and Suits.
> "My hope is that more and more networks will 
> embrace these accessibility initiatives," says 
> Joel Snyder, president of Audio Description 
> Associates. He serves as director of the American 
> Council of the Blind's audio description project and is an adviser to the FCC.
> "If they do it right, they'll find ways to make 
> money from it. If they make their shows 
> accessible to these folks, there is a bigger 
> market for advertisers to sell their products."
> For the most part, video-described programs won't 
> include live shows or news. The networks, which 
> are providing most of this content to their 
> affiliates, need time to write description scripts for voice artists to 
> record.
> "It takes longer to get that done than closed 
> captioning," says one network executive. "It also 
> requires us to look at how our post-production 
> schedules are set up. We have to work very 
> closely with the folks at the post-production 
> houses to make sure we get the programming to our 
> vendors with sufficient time to get the video description correct."
> Producing the descriptions costs between $2,000 to $4,000 per hour.
> The networks and some associations for the blind 
> are helping to ensure that people with vision 
> problems know that descriptions are coming.
> "It's great for the networks to comply, but 
> what's more important is getting the information 
> out to folks," says Helena Berger, EVP-COO of the 
> American Association of People with Disabilities. 
> She is also a member of Comcast-NBCUniversal's joint diversity council.
> "What we can do on our end at AAPD is to use our 
> communication channels, like our newsletter, our 
> website and social media to get the word out to the community."
> Some of the networks are creating logos and audio 
> tones so that people with vision problems know 
> when a program has audio descriptions. So far, 
> there isn't an industry standard.
> And TV listing providers like Tribune Media 
> Services will provide data to programming 
> services to let them know if a program is 
> audio-described. Then, it's up to individual 
> cable systems to add symbols or sounds to their on-screen listings.
> These described programs are the culmination of a 
> 12-year battle by the FCC and groups such as the 
> Audio Description Institute. They thought they 
> had won the battle in 2000 when the FCC adopted 
> rules similar to the 2010 act, but a court agreed 
> with broadcasters that the agency had overstepped its authority.
> Now backed by law, the new FCC rules gradually 
> expand the description obligations to other TV 
> stations. By July 1, 2015, major network 
> affiliates in the top 60 markets will have to 
> broadcast the descriptions. The FCC may require 
> additional stations to air descriptions at a rate 
> of 10 markets a year if it deems the cost is reasonable.
> According to broadcasters, it costs stations 
> anywhere from $10,000 and $25,000 to install the 
> gear necessary to handle the extra audio channel.
> Just because someone has a disability doesn't 
> mean they don't want to be included in life," 
> says Debra Ruh, chief marketing officer at SSB 
> Bart Group, a firm that helps companies make 
> their computer services and websites fully 
> compliant and accessible to people with 
> disabilities. "Part of participating in life is 
> being able to experience television. TV is a very 
> important part of our culture."

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