Have you ever tried to find information about video description on
Twitter? It isn't easy because people don't all use the same terminology.
Folks who use Twitter already know about hash tags. They are like
keywords embedded in tweets that let other people quickly search for
information of interest to them.
The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center
(@VDRDC) has been using the hash tag #ViDesc to denote information about
Video Description, and description in general. The letters VI can mean
either video, or Vision, or Visual Impairment -- whatever the case may
be, and Desc is short for Description.
The important thing is that the #ViDesc hash tag is brief, unique, and
can be used to mark tweets about any kind of description. #ViDesc can be
used to tag information about descriptions of videos, presentations,
plays, games, movies, events, etc.
If we all use the #ViDesc hash tag to indicate information about
description, Twitter users can search for #ViDesc and quickly see what
the Twitter world is saying about this topic that is so important to so
many of us.
The VDRDC encourages Twitter users in the description community --
whether producers or consumers -- to use the #ViDesc hash tag when
tweeting about description-related stuff. This will help everyone
benefit from your post even if they are not following you yet. Using
#ViDesc will ultimately lead to a more unified conversation about
description on Twitter, where much sharing of information and ideas
takes place. It may even lead to more followers for you as folks find
your feed by searching for #ViDesc.
If you are not already following the Smith-Kettlewell Video Description
Research and Development Center, you can do so at
This summer the VDRDC will be conducting a second round of consumer focus groups featuring YouDescribe- Smith- Kettlewell's new web- based video description tool
for use with YouTube. The VDRDC will hold focus groups at the conventions of theNational Federation of the Blind
in Orlando, FL, Monday July 1st, and the American Council of the Blind
in Columbus, OH, Tuesday July 9th.
Each day's schedule will be divided into two sessions. Session One will provide the opportunity for sighted amateur describers to evaluate the new YouDescribe
web- based tools. Participants will test the system by recording their own descriptions for selected videos and report on their experience. During Session Two blind video description consumers will have the opportunity to take YouDescribe for a test- run, navigating the web site to listen to selected described YouTube videos. Session Two participants will then report on their experience using the YouDescribe system.
Refreshments will be provided, and all contributors will get a step- by- step overview of the new, exciting YouDescribe web- based technology.
May 30, 2013 at 02:00 PM EDT / 01:00 PM CDT / 12:00 PM MDT / 11:00 AM PDT.Grab a Mic, YouDescribe - How You Can Add Audio Description to Any YouTube Video
to take part in the latest in a series of four webinars demonstrating the latest digital instructional tools used to produce video description for blind and visually impaired students. This
innovative webinar is hosted by the Described and
Captioned Media Program
collaboration with the Video
Description Research and Development Center
and the Description
Learn about YouDescribe, the exiting new tool developed by the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC). YouDescribe is a FREE tool that anyone can use to add description to YouTube videos. YouDescribe includes everything needed to create description; all you need to provide is a microphone. In addition, YouDescribe has a FREE embeddable player which can be used to include described videos on your own site. The webinar will include a review of the basic rules for creating description, as well as demonstrations on: registering as a YouDescribe user; recording descriptions with YouDescribe; playing described videos via YouDescribe; and embedding YouDescribe videos on web pages. Presented will be information for teachers on how YouDescribe can be used to improve accessibility of video for students who are blind/visually impaired, and an overview of educational resources provided by the DCMP.
The Video Description Research and Development Center
(VDRDC), administered by The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
, is a two-year project with the mission to develop new technologies and techniques for the annotation of online video content and improving video accessibility for students who are blind or visually impaired. The VDRDC is funded by the Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), grant number H327110005.
Webinar participants will have valuable opportunity to learn from and interact with VDRDC scientists and members of the Description Leadership Network
– a coalition of world-class organizations involved with the practicality, policy, and technology of blindness and video accessibility. DLN members include: The American Council of the Blind
(ACB), The American Foundation for the Blind
(AFB), CaptionMax The Described and Captioned Media Program
, IDEAL Group
, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(MMA), The National Federation of the Blind
(NFB), and Narrative Television Network
CEU credit, through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), will be available to participants.
Funding for this webinar series is provided by the U.S. Department of Education under grant H327J110005. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Are you heading to Google I/O 2013
this week? The VDRDC
is thrilled to be demonstrating our YouDescribe video description production platform THIS THURSDAY, May 16, 2-5pm and again FRIDAY the 17th, 9-11am at the Accessibility Sandbox
on Floor 2 of Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. VDRDC's Research Engineering Lead Owen Edwards will demonstrate YouDescribe in conjunction with the IDEAL Group as part of this three- day schedule of cutting- edge tech demos, information sessions, keynote speeches, and Code Labs. Many event sessions will be streamed from the Moscone Center via Google Developers live @ I/O.
on Twitter for more details! And if you haven't done so already, please follow VDRDC
and like our brand new DVX
is proud to announce that we will be unveiling our YouDescribe prototype at the very prestigious Google I/O 2013 Conference
at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, May 15-17. We are
thrilled to be participating in this world- class meeting of tech
minds! The VDRDC's Research Engineering Lead Owen Edwards will demonstrate YouDescribe in conjunction with the IDEAL Group
as part of the three- day schedule of technology demonstrations, sessions,
keynote speeches, and Code Labs. Many event sessions will be
streamed from the Moscone Center via Google Developers live @ I/O
. Follow @googleIO
on Twitter for more details!
It's been a few weeks and here at the VDRDC lab
we are still buzzing about the amazing work of our DLN13 Conference
participants. We were proud to host this two day program of fascinating
presentations on emerging video description technologies, crowd-
sourcing strategies, and consumer outreach. Our DLN13 guests heard from
both veteran and new video description professionals in the field,
researchers, engineers, and educators. Thanks to everyone who
contributed fresh ideas to this vivid on- going dialogue and especially
to our DLN partners!
Did you miss this year's conference? Please peruse the agenda
and connect with us on the VDRDC blog, Twitter, and Facebook!
Be sure to check out the Twitter hashtag #DLN13
to access an archive of real- time coverage of conference activities.
2013 Description Leadership Network Second Annual Conference is almost
upon us! This week, March 21 and 22 in lovely San Francisco, the Smith-
Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center will host a
gathering of outstanding innovators, researchers, industry
professionals and educators in the video description field! This year’s
agenda is brimming with forward- thinking approaches to crowd- sourced
video description platforms, emerging technologies, and consumer
solutions. Dr. Joshua Miele and the VDRDC team have truly outdone
themselves in putting together this year’s event.
We look forward to seeing all of our DLN partners and learning from our newest members and special guests very soon!
Conference registration is now closed. Check back in with us for
information about next year's conference and more updates on the VDRDC
at the blog, Twitter, and Facebook!
The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and
Development Center is proud to announce our newest additions to the
Description Leadership Network. Please welcome our new partners: The Accessible Planet, Bridge Multimedia, and the Participatory Culture Foundation.
In addition, we will also be
collaborating with the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
(NCAM) in order to develop the Visual-Impairment Research Agenda for Description (VIRAD), a systematic road map charting gaps in the
quantitative evidence about how description can and should be used to
improve video accessibility for the blind.
The Accessible Planet (TAP) is
dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with
disabilities by discovering, promoting, creating, and delivering
accessibility solutions for products and services related to
education, employment, entertainment, family, health, and independent
living. TAP is a global leader in the full inclusion of people with
disabilities in the use, enjoyment, and production of modern media.
TAP is collaborating with the VDRDC and other DLN partners on
approaches to making the tools and techniques of professional video
description accessible to blind and visually-impaired professionals.
Bridge Multimedia is a New York
City-based content services company dedicated to supporting all
facets of universally accessible media for entertainment, educational, commercial, and government
applications. Bridge is at the forefront of producing today's
universally accessible media, and is setting the pace for the
development of tomorrow's innovations. Bridge will identify the
concrete research questions necessary to quantitatively assess the
value of description for students with non-visual disabilities such as ADHD
The Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) is dedicated to supporting democratic media by creating open
and decentralized video tools and services. This progressive
organization works to eliminate gatekeepers and empower diverse
communities by developing and supporting open-source video tools for
a better world. The Participatory Culture Foundation is collaborating
with the VDRDC and DLN partners to evaluate a variety of possible
options for managing the quality of crowd-sourced descriptive
Thanks to our newest partners and
collaborators, The VDRDC has added two new projects:
The Visual-Impairment Research Agenda for Description (VIRAD)
NCAM is collaborating with the VDRDC
and the DLN to develop VIRAD – a research road map charting the
gaps in the scientific research about how description can and should
be used to improve video accessibility for blind and
visually-impaired students and other consumers. VIRAD will identify a
set of pressing, quantitative questions to be addressed by the
description research community.
The Expanded Populations Research Agenda for Description (EPRAD)
Bridge Multimedia is collaborating with
the VDRDC and the DLN to develop EPRAD – a research road map to
identify the critical questions that will improve our understanding
of how description may apply to the education of students with
non-visual disabilities such as ADHD and autism.
To learn more about our new Description Leadership Network and our growing family of partners, please visit
Friday - Sunday, October 26-28, 2012
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center will be hosting two roundtable panel discussions at the Multimodal Approaches to Learning Conference. The conference is co-organized by Art Beyond Sight and
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Video Description Research and Development Center, as well as a group of description experts with a unique blend of skills and backgrounds, will be participating in the panel. Friday's panel is titled, "The Evolving Technology of Description" - how mobile technologies are changing exhibit descriptions. This panel will include experts from the VDRDC, the National Center for Accessible Media, Touch Graphics, and more. Saturday's panel is on the "Voice of Description" - how the delivery of description impacts the museum experience. This panel will include experts from the VDRDC, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bridge Multimedia, the Smithsonian Institution, and more.
The Art of Description, Part I: The Evolving Technology of Description
Friday, October 26th from
3:30-4:30 p.m. (North Classroom)
How mobile technologies and modern sensing techniques are changing exhibit description.
Chair: Josh Miele, The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center
Participants: Halsey Burgund, sound artist, musician; Larry Goldberg, Director, National Center for Accessible Media; Steven Landau, Creative Director, Touch Graphics, Inc.
The Art of Description, Part II: The Voice of Description
Saturday, October 27th from 2:50-3:50 p.m. (the Studio)
How the narrator, the language, and the delivery impact the non-visual museum experience.
Chair: Josh Miele, The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center
Participants: Amanda Cachia, curator; Lou Giansante, producer and writer; Carolyn Halpin-Healy, contractual educator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, executive director, Arts & Minds; Matthew Kaplowitz, Executive Director, Bridge Multimedia; Nancy Proctor, Head of Mobile Strategy and Initiatives, Smithsonian Institution
This conference has been a forum for cross-disciplinary
creative thinking and the exchange of ideas. It continues to foster
dialogue between diverse disciplines, such as neuroscience, cognitive
psychology, education, museum studies, disability
and cultural studies, technology, architecture, product design, and
media art. The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center is delighted to be contributing its expertise to this world-class interdisciplinary meeting of artistic and scientific minds.
For more information, visit the Multimodal Approaches to Learning Conference website
Contact information: Marie Clapot, 212 334 8723; firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for a free, forward-looking webinar on the changing world of educational video description on October 24, 2012. The webinar will focus on training educators on how to create their own video description using free, readily available software. This Webinar is a presented by: The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), Video Description Research and Development Center
and other partners in the Description Leadership Network (DLN). Register for free online at webinars.dcmp.org.
Topics covered in this Webinar:
- An update of the activities of the VDRDC
- The “Dos and Don’ts” of description
- Step-by-step tutorials of two FREE software programs which can be used to add description to media
- An overview of resources for obtaining described materials for use in the classroom.
CEU credit, through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), will be available to participants. For more information about the CEU's, contact email@example.com.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012, 2pm EST.
This exciting and interactive presentation is perfect for teachers, administrators, and parents who want to learn about the latest developments in video description technology and how it can help students who are blind and visually-impaired in educational settings.
Future Webinars will cover such topics as
using smartphones for unobtrusive real-time description, creating
wiki-style description for educational video, and more.
**If you missed the first Webinar held in January 2012, it is now archived and available online.**