The Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network makes movies and television accessible to millions of blind and visually impaired people by unobtrusively adding the voice of a narrator to the existing soundtrack.
The Network will feature all of our programs as we tape them.
They will also feature The Roots of War… the Road to Peace, which after many challenges due to the protest by The Freedom and Justice Foundation and my having to go back to the drawing board, finally aired June 17, 2009.
To give you some history on what narrative television is:
Described programming or movies include all the elements of the original program plus additional information that describes the pictures on the screen so that those who are blind or have visual impairments are able to follow the storyline. The descriptive track runs without interrupting the original dialogue or sound effects by inserting the description only where there is a pause in the dialogue or sound effects. Great care is taken to add just enough description to be helpful without distracting the audience from the flow of the program.
Who benefits from described programming?
Those who are blind or visually impaired find that description is extremely valuable and greatly increases their understanding and enjoyment of programs, but other populations also benefit from described programming. Studies have shown that description benefits children with learning disabilities and sighted individuals who are developmentally disabled.
In all of these populations, description has been shown to increase the educational, socialization, and entertainment benefits of television and movies. Description is also used by sighted individuals enabling them to turn away from the television and perform other tasks while still following their favorite programs.
NTN looks to the future in evaluating the possible uses of description. For example, a described track available on all DVDs would make the technology more accessible to a greater population. Satellite radio offers an opportunity for anyone to “watch” their favorite programs in the car or at other times when a television is not available.
As always: thanks for joining us as we talk about things that matter with people who care:
Niki Nicastro McCuistion