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Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
http://access.wgbh.org
mary_watkins@wgbh.org
For immediate release
June 4,2003

PBS's Dragon Tales and Angelina Ballerina Now Airing with Description Services

Boston, MA — Two popular PBS children's programs, Dragon Tales and Angelina Ballerina, now are described, enabling young viewers who are blind or visually impaired to enjoy these shows along with their sighted siblings and friends. The Media Access Group at WGBH provides description services for both series, with funding from the US Department of Education.

Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®) provides 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.

Produced by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, and Sony Pictures Television, Dragon Tales creates an enchanting, magical world complete with fun, lovable dragons. Viewers are invited to play and learn along with six-year-old Emmy, her four-year-old brother Max and all their dragon friends. As the characters approach various challenges, children are encouraged to recognize that there is more than one way to approach things, and that trying and not always succeeding is an important part of learning.

Employing a unique family of mice, Angelina Ballerina explores childhood themes such as friendship, jealousy, loyalty and dedication. Based on the books by Katharine Holabird with illustrations by Helen Craig, the series stars Angelina, a young mouse with lots of determination, tremendous natural ability and enormous passion. Academy Award winner Judi Dench is the voice of Miss Lilly, Angelina's ballet teacher, heroine and mentor.

Viewers can access the descriptions of Dragon Tales and Angelina Ballerina 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 dvs.wgbh.org). 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 (access.wgbh.org) or call 617-300-3600 (voice and TTY).


















Caption Services Description Services NCAM