[Missouri-l] Fwd: [acb-l] Time Warner Cable Untangled- Getting More From Television for Customers Who Are Blind or Have Vision Loss
from my iphone
terrieiphone at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 12:29:01 CDT 2012
hope that this helps some of you if you are users of TW.
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Joel Snyder" <jsnyder at acb.org>
Date: July 3, 2012 11:02:49 AM CDT
To: <acb-l at acb.org>
Subject: [acb-l] Time Warner Cable Untangled- Getting More From Television for Customers Who Are Blind or Have Vision Loss
This is a quite positive blog post from Time-Warner, brought your way by
avid description consumer Shirley Roberts (it's posted below and available
with the sample clips at the following URL:
Getting More From Television for Customers Who Are Blind or Have Vision Loss
Beginning next month, Time Warner Cable will be part of a national effort to
make it easier for our customers who are among the 22 million Americans who
are blind or have vision loss to enjoy television better. And you can help.
Starting July 1, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
requires cable operators, satellite companies and the like to provide at
least 200 hours per year of programming with video descriptions of programs
originated by the four major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox) and
the top five Nielsen-rated cable networks (e.g., USA, Disney Channel, TNT,
Nickelodeon and TBS). This works out to roughly 4 hours each week of
prime-time and/or children’s programming (shows for kids 16 or younger).
The descriptions will let television viewers who are blind or have vision
loss know what is happening on screen when characters are not speaking. They
will be audible only to viewers who request them and they’ll be wedged in
between moments when there is no dialogue on screen.
This link will show you an example of a video description, but be
forewarned: the video autoplays and there are no volume controls: Sesame
Street: Journey to Ernie excerpt
You can also see another example embedded below:
Highly rated cable networks that carry live or near-live programming in
prime time, such as ESPN and Fox News, are exempted from this requirement.
Original cable series as well as movies and off-network shows will have
video descriptions. For example, USA has said series like Law & Order: SVU
and Royal Pains will be described; Turner Broadcasting plans to describe The
Closer on TNT and Tyler Perry comedies on TBS, among other shows. Disney
Channel will describe the cartoon, Phineas & Ferb, and other shows, while
Nickelodeon will describe Dora the Explorer as well as other series.
That same day, affiliates of the top four broadcast networks—ABC, NBC, CBS
and Fox—located in the top 25 TV markets also will begin offering about four
hour per week of video descriptions. By July 2015, the effort will be
expanded to include the top 60 TV markets.
While some TV programs have aired with description, many more programs will
now be available with description to help viewers with vision loss.
Every three years, the FCC, based on new ratings data, will update the list
of cable networks required to provide descriptions. The first 3-year update
will be July 1, 2015.
As you can imagine, letting people know about the availability of video
description provided by the major programmers will be a significant
There is currently no cohesive plan in place that tells the public what
programs are available with video description by TV provider. We’d love to
offer one up, but it’s up to programmers, not us.
If you know someone who could benefit from this information, please let them
and their families know what will be available come July 1.
In addition, some of the larger programming networks are creating logos and
audio tones to let people know that a particular show will be enhanced with
video descriptions. The programming guide channel on your television may
eventually provide that information next to the name of a show. The web
sites of the various cable networks and the site of the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) will have links leading to information about
At TWC, we are all about making television better. So we will work with
program providers as they make information available and pass it on as
quickly as we can to provide our customers with more details about the
availability of video description. In addition, should you have questions,
our Customer Service Representatives are always happy to help.
Director, Audio Description Project
American Council of the Blind
jsnyder at acb.org -- 202 467-5083
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