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Since 1988, NTN has been a leader in making television, movies, and educational programming accessible to our nation's 13 million people who are blind and visually impaired and their families.



Description Chairman Named
to Lead Industry Network


October 3, 2011 – For Immediate Release – It was announced today that Jim Stovall, Founder and President of the Narrative Television Network, was named Chairman of the Description Leadership Network (DLN). The Description Leadership Network is a coalition of world-class organizations involved with the practicality, policy, and technology of blindness and video accessibility. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the DLN will serve in a two-year project.

Stovall said, “As a blind person myself, and as someone who has dedicated my professional life to video description, being named chairman of the DLN ranks with receiving the Emmy Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Council of the Blind as a high point.”

The Description Leadership Network will advise and oversee the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). VDRDC will investigate innovative technologies and techniques for making online video more accessible to blind and visually-impaired students and consumers.

Video description is the process of adding narration to the existing sound tracks of movies, television, educational programming, or any audio/video material. The descriptive narration generally fits between the dialogue of the existing programming, helping blind and low-vision people hear what they can’t see.

“Description is both an art and a science. You have to deliver the essence of the programming that was intended by the writer or producer while overcoming any technical barriers that may exist in the rapidly-changing landscape of video delivery systems,” Stovall stated.

The VDRDC’s two-year project will focus on two specific areas. First, the development of new technologies and techniques for the annotation of online video content. Secondly, conducting a vigorous program of outreach and information dissemination regarding technologies that can improve access to educational video for students and consumers with visual disabilities.

For more information, contact Jim Stovall, 918-627-1000.


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