Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Putting the "sense" into cinema: DVS Theatrical® in-cinema narration service

A descriptive narration service is receiving thumbs-up from blind, visually impaired and sighted movie fans alike. The service, called DVS Theatrical, lets blind and visually impaired moviegoers hear key descriptive narration--such as actions, settings, and scene changes--over headsets, thus eliminating the need to ask for narrative assistance and risk disturbing other audience members.

DVS is the narration service pioneered by the Access Division of WGBH public television. For years, WGBH has offered the service to make its shows and other public television programming accessible to blind and visually-impaired viewers. Now, the Media Access Division of WGBH--comprised of The Caption Center, Descriptive Video Service Theatrical and the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), is spearheading an effort to introduce DVS Theatrical into movie houses across the United States.

DVS Theatrical and The Rear Window Captioning System (a sister-technology for deaf and hard of hearing moviegoers) made their debut at the General Cinema Theatre in Sherman Oaks, California during the 1997 presentation of the The Jackal, a thriller starring Richard Gere, Bruce Willis and Sidney Poitier. Since its introduction, DVS Theatrical has been permanently installed at General Cinema Theatres in a dozen cities, including: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Motion Picture Access Project
125 Western Avenue
Boston, MA 02134
Phone: 617-300-3400
Fax: 617-300-1035

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