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CaptionMax Awarded Department of Education Grant to Improve Media Accessibility for Blind and Low-Vision Students

Minneapolis, MN, September 10, 2015 --( CaptionMax has been awarded a five-year, 800-hour television access grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. This funding will be used to add video description to 800 hours of educational broadcasts used in the classroom. Video description allows blind and low-vision students to access a program’s content through a voiceover that describes the key visual elements using objective, age-appropriate language.

“As K-12 education becomes more and more dependent on software and video presentations, it is becoming more challenging to ensure that blind children get the same access to information that is provided to sighted students,” says Jennifer Dunnam, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. “It is no longer sufficient to simply supply Braille or recorded copies of hardcopy textbooks. The video descriptions provided by this grant play a significant role in leveling the playing field for blind children,” Dunnam stated. “We were happy to support the application submitted by CaptionMax to receive this funding; from our experience, CaptionMax provides a high-quality product,” Dunnam concluded.

This five-year grant focuses on making classroom-appropriate media accessible to preschool and early elementary school children who have sensory disabilities, as well as to children who are aural learners. “Accessible materials in schools are a critical component of a quality education. Many students with visual impairments miss out on needed information from televised educational resources heavily relied upon in classrooms. When there is no description, students with visual impairments will have gaps in learning,” says Cyral Miller of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

“The inclusion of description in broadly available media is still very much in its infancy,” says Truck Morrison, CEO of CaptionMax. “However, this is a truly exciting time for blind and low-vision consumers who are witnessing a greater adoption of this service across educational programming, premium broadcast channels, on-demand streaming services, and corporate content, both internal and external. The Department of Education’s continued commitment to funding described educational content will dramatically enhance the learning experience and outcome for this underserved audience.”

About CaptionMax: CaptionMax is the industry leader in media accessibility. For over 22 years, CaptionMax’s mission has been to make all media accessible to all people by providing a complete offering of accessibility services, including captioning, subtitling, translation, and video description to over 1,000 broadcast, streaming, educational, and corporate clients, such as CBS, NBC, FOX, Disney/ABC, ESPN, and Nickelodeon. To learn more about how CaptionMax can help ensure your media is accessible to all people, visit:
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