In April of 2014, CaptionMax held its first annual video description contest, Just Add Words. Just Add Words was designed as a fun and engaging way to educate people about video description and what a valuable service it is to blind and low-vision audiences. Video description bring to life the key visual images, body language, and visual expressions necessary to understand a program’s content using language that is age-appropriate and objective.
Signed into law in 2010, the 21st Century Communications & Video Act outlines a bright future for video description. Currently the top 4 broadcast channels and the top 5 cable channels in the top 25 most populated markets in the country must provide 4 hours per week of video description. Beginning July 1, 2015, the FCC must ensure that the video description service is expanded to reach the top 60 markets of the country. After 2020, the law gives the FCC the right to further expand the service to 10 new markets yearly until 100% nationwide coverage is achieved.
Just Add Words is returning in a little over two weeks and will run through the month of May. CaptionMax decided to move the contest a little later this year so that it could overlap with Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 21, 2015. You’ll have to stay tuned to learn more details about this year’s contest, but in the meantime, check out last year’s winners and get inspired to describe!