FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Emily Bell, CaptionMax
CAPTIONMAX WINS $2.5 MILLION AWARD TO IMPROVE MEDIA ACCESSIBILITY FOR BLIND AND LOW VISION STUDENTS
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – October 25, 2010 – CaptionMax announced winning a 5-year, $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. This funding will be used to add video description to over 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.
“Students with disabilities deserve the same access to the same quality material that all other students have,” says U.S. Representative Keith Ellison. “Investing in the tools and technologies that will ensure the success of these children is vitally important to the contributions they will make in the future,” Ellison stated. “I am so pleased that Minnesota companies, like CaptionMax, are at the forefront of providing technologies that brighten the future for our nation’s youth,” Ellison concluded.
This five-year grant focuses on making classroom-appropriate media accessible to preschool and early elementary children who have sensory disabilities, as well as to children who are aural learners. “Media presentations, both educational and recreational, have become much more visually oriented. For students who are blind to fully understand the world we live in, they must have full access to all educational materials. This access impacts not only educational achievement, but preparation for a productive career and life after school is completed.” says B.J. LeJeune of Mississippi State University.
“Unlike captioning, which has broad mandates, very little to zero television programming is currently described,” says CaptionMax President Max Duckler. “This puts kids with vision loss at a disadvantage with their sighted peers when using media in the curriculum. This grant will help level the playing field.”
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CaptionMax is dedicated to making all media accessible to all people. Specializing in captioning, subtitling, audio description, and multimedia services, CaptionMax is the leading expert in providing access solutions for the largest broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, Disney, Nickelodeon – and producers of educational content including HIT Entertainment, McGraw Hill, Films Media Group, and PBS. The company’s services support educational programs, live news broadcasts, sports, and popular home entertainment, such as “Barney and Friends,” “American Idol,” “The Office,” “Nightline,” “ESPN News,” and “Dr. Phil.” For more information, visit www.captionmax.com.