Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bridge Multimedia, National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments to study video description

From Bridge Multimedia:

Bridge Multimedia in NY city and The National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) have announced that they are collaborating on a five-year comprehensive study of video description. The project, known as INPUT Description (INquiry to Provide Understanding of Television Description), is an independent research study to further improve the art and science of video description.

The study will collect the comments, ideas and suggestions of students who use video description, as well as those of their parents, siblings and teachers. The information gathered from this study will inform the development of subsequent video description.

Bridge Multimedia, a New York City-based media and technology development facility for the production of accessible media, was recently awarded a five-year Department of Education grant to provide video description for children’s educational television programming. The independently funded INPUT Description study will augment that work by providing important information about the needs of the user communities—both English- and Spanish-speaking. According to Dr. Wendy Sapp, Director of Research for the INPUT Description study, the information provided by these focus groups will help improve the quality of the description available to those with visual impairments.

NAPVI’s intimate familiarity with the community of parents who have children with visual impairments puts the organization in the perfect position to promote the INPUT Description research project and contribute to its success. Susan LaVenture, Executive Director of NAPVI, said, “This collaboration is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable input from the families most familiar with video description. This feedback will come from different regions around the country, since NAPVI has chapters throughout the United States. Another great benefit of this project is that it will also give us the opportunity to raise awareness of video description for people who are not so familiar with it.”

Jaclyn Packer, Ph.D., Senior Video Description Advisor for the INPUT Description project, wrote the seminal study Who’s Watching: A Profile of the Blind and Visually Impaired Audience for Television and Video and is considered one of the leading experts on the subject of video description. According to Dr. Packer, “Consumer feedback is extremely important. The practical information that we receive from both parents and students will go a long way towards furthering our efforts to refine best practice standards for video description.”

As media evolves throughout this decade, the Bridge/NAPVI INPUT Description study will continue to examine ways that video description can bring benefits to all specialized learners.

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About Bridge Multimedia
Bridge Multimedia is a New York City-based media services company that develops universally accessible media designed to make the 21st century classroom equally accessible to all learners. Bridge was recently awarded a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to produce video description for educational television programming for children. For more information about Bridge Multimedia, please visit

NAPVI is a national organization that enables parents to find information and resources for their children who are blind or visually impaired. NAPVI is dedicated to giving emotional support, initiating outreach programs, networking and advocating for the educational needs and welfare of children who are blind or visually impaired. For more information about NAPVI, please visit