"We’ll have the same opportunity to be scared out of our skin while viewing the described version of 'Night of the Living Dead' as our sighted peers.” - Eric Bridges, American Council of the Blind's Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
Arlington, VA (PRWEB) October 26, 2010
On October 8, 2010, President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. VITAC and the American Council of the Blind were there for the signing of this historic legislation, which expands captioning to the Internet and reinstates video description requirements for broadcast television.
For Halloween 2010, VITAC, in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project, presents the classic horror film "Night of the Living Dead," captioned, described, and presented on VITAC’s website, YouTube, and ACBRadio.
“VITAC’s captioning and describing of the classic 'Night of the Living Dead' demonstrates the significant opportunity that the new legislation presents to a large percentage of our population,” said Pat Prozzi, President of VITAC.
VITAC employees created the captions for the video, and partner Audio Description Associates created the description, narrating the video so that the visual images are accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. Both the caption file (.srt format) and the newly recorded and mixed audio were uploaded to YouTube and embedded on VITAC’s website. ACBRadio, a streaming radio service of the American Council of the Blind, will be streaming "Night of the Living Dead" at 8:00 pm EDT on Halloween at http://www.acbradio.org/world.
“Providing the description for Romero’s work was a joy,” says Joel Snyder, President of Audio Description Associates, who described the video and directs ACB's Audio Description Project. “With 'Night,' Romero employed an exquisite balance of sound and silence with light and dark (and exquisitely staged) visuals. It allowed me to weave words within the soundtrack to convey the ‘shocking’ images and enhance the original for an audience that lacks access to the visual image, whether blind or simply in the next room.”
Audio description is normally presented on a secondary audio stream during television broadcasts. This “description track” is currently provided by only a few program producers, leaving blind audiences without access to much of the popular programming on television today. The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act will, over a period of time, mandate the addition of description to four to nine hours of primetime programming per week on at least nine popular networks.
"We’ll have the same opportunity to be scared out of our skin while viewing the described version of 'Night of the Living Dead' as our sighted peers,” said Eric Bridges, American Council of the Blind's Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs. “With this legislation, people who are blind will be able to watch a broader array of programming and will have the ability to know 'who done it' without having to ask sighted friends or family or even wondering about the outcome until the next episode." Mr. Bridges is part of the steering committee of COAT, the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology. COAT and its affiliates worked over two years for the passage of the new legislation.