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posted Sep 15, 2011, 12:32 PM by Joshua A. Miele, Ph.D
The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) and its website are up and running!

We are delighted to announce that our Center was funded in July for a two-year project to investigate innovative technologies and techniques for improving video accessibility for blind and visually-impaired students. After a brief period of heavy construction, our web site http://www.vdrdc.org has now gone live. It includes all kinds of information about our projects and partners, as well as our schedule of events and latest news. We are extremely excited to be here, and to begin developing the tools and relationships that will bring video description into the twenty-first century.

The VDRDC’s mission includes two major components:
1.  The development of new technologies and techniques for the annotation of online video content
2.  Conducting a vigorous program of outreach and information dissemination regarding technologies that can improve access to educational video for students with visual disabilities.

A number of our proposed projects are described on the VDRDC web site at http://www.vdrdc.org/technology/, and other projects may be added over the next couple of years. Please look through our project descriptions and check back often to learn about our latest efforts.

Our outreach and communication strategy relies heavily on an exciting new coalition of organizations called the Description Leadership Network (DLN) – a community of world-class organizations with deep experience in blindness, description, education, and the technologies, policies, and practices surrounding them. DLN members include national advocacy organizations for the blind, professional description producers, educators, and more. The DLN lends its expert advice and assistance to the VDRDC in reaching out to students, teachers, parents, and other consumers throughout the country who will benefit from our research and development efforts. DLN member organizations are also involved in various aspects of the VDRDC’s research and development projects. More information about the DLN and its member organizations can be found on the VDRDC web site at http://www.vdrdc.org/dln/.

We have a great deal more to tell you, so please stay tuned. We will continue to post information about our activities at http://www.vdrdc.org/blog. You can also subscribe via RSS to receive new updates automatically.