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Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
For immediate release
June 11,2003

Nickelodeon Series Dora the Explorer Now Available with Description

Boston, MA — Young viewers who are blind or visually impaired now can enjoy Dora the Explorer along with their sighted siblings and friends. The popular Nick Jr. series about the adventures of a young girl and her animal friends now is described. The Media Access Group at WGBH provides description services for the animated series, with funding from the US Department of Education.

Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®) supplies descriptive narration of key visual elements -- making television programs, feature films, home videos and other visual media accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. Key visual elements are those that viewers who are visually impaired would ordinarily miss, such as actions, gestures, facial expressions and scene changes. Inserted within the natural pauses in dialogue, audio descriptions of important visual details help to engage these viewers with the story.

The preschool viewers of Dora the Explorer are asked to be active participants by getting off the couch and playing along with Dora and her friends Boots the monkey, Señor Tucán and Tico the squirrel. Dora is an adventurer whose curiosity leads her to explore the world. A problem-solver who doesn't give up when faced with obstacles, she's also a caring friend ready to stop and help someone in need. As Dora is Latina, the program uses Spanish throughout each episode, introducing some children to the language for the first time and instilling pride in others who may be bilingual.

Viewers can access the description of Dora the Explorer through the Second Audio Program or SAP channel. Stand-alone SAP receivers also are available (these can be used with or without a television; a list of vendors can be found at Most TVs and VCRs purchased since 1992 are equipped with the SAP feature. To hear the narrated visual descriptions through a stereo TV or VCR, simply activate its SAP feature.

The Media Access Group at WGBH is a nonprofit service with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. The Group includes DVS, which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to audiences who are blind or visually impaired since 1990, and The Caption Center -- the world's first captioning agency -- which has made audiovisual media accessible to audiences who are deaf or hard-of-hearing since 1972. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, is a research, development and advocacy entity that works to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading resources and experts in their fields. For more information about access services, visit the Media Access Group Web site ( or call 617-300-3600 (voice and TTY).

Caption Services Description Services NCAM