Deaf - Hard of Hearing

Accessible Television

by Jane Freeman

The U.S. Education Department announced the availability of free, video-on-demand children’s television programming for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. Dozens of children’s and family TV episodes may now be viewed online featuring closed captioning and descriptions through the Accessible Television Portal project. Included among the shows available are Ocean Mysteries, Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Expedition Wild, and Peg + Cat. Initially, the site will include 73 episodes of 19 different children’s programs. Additional content from other producers will be added over the next two years.

The portal is part of the ED-funded Described and Captioned Media Program. It includes video-on-demand content provided at no cost by the major television networks, as well as producers and distributors such as PBS Kids, Sesame Workshop, Cartoon Network, Sprout (NBC), the Fred Rogers Company, and Scholastic Media.

To view the content, teachers, school personnel, parents and other professionals working with qualified students can visit www.dcmp.org and apply for access to the portal. Once approved, accessible content can be used with and by students in the classroom and at home via the Web, mobile phones, tablets, mobile apps, and set-top boxes. The portal itself is fully accessible to individuals with sensory impairments.

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