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For immediate release
October 22, 2001

New Video Releases With Description For Blind Audiences Available From DVS® Home Video®

Media Access Group at WGBH Issues 2001 DVS Home Video® Catalog
BOSTON, MA - DVS Home Video®, an initiative of The Media Access Group at WGBH, announces the availability of six new film titles on home video -- fully described for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. The newly released films include Erin Brockovich, Gladiator,Meet the Parents, The Matrix, Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmasand Toy Story II.
  • Erin Brockovich:Julia Roberts gives an Oscar-winning performance as the real-life grassroots legal crusader in this criticlly acclaimed box office hit from Universal Pictures
  • Gladiator:Set in ancient Rome, DreamWorks' dramatic action film won multiple Academy Awards in 2000, including nods for "Best Picture" and "Best Actor" for lead actor Russell Crowe
  • Meet the Parents:Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro star as a father and son-in-law-to-be in this comedy blockbuster from Universal Pictures
  • The Matrix: Keanu Reeves stars as computer hacker Neo, who leads rebels in a struggle to reclaim the Earth in this popular sci-fi thriller from Warner Brothers
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas:Comedian Jim Carrey becomes the Grinch in this big screen remake from Universal Pictures -- released as a Collector's Edition DVD
  • Toy Story II:Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys return for exciting new adventures in this animated family comedy from Disney

These and other described films can now be purchased through the 2001 DVS Home Video® holiday catalogue. To request a catalog in the mail, call 1-888-818-1181 (large print version) or 1-888-818-1999 (braille version).

The DVS Home Video® project was founded in 1991 with funding from the US Department of Education -- a response to requests from the blind community for access to major home video releases. Unlike closed captioning, description tracks can not be hidden in the video, requiring separate distribution mechanism to provide accessible videos for people who are blind or have low vision. The Media Access Group at WGBH developed and continues to maintain a description production and distribution system for open described videos. The Group is currently working with home video distributors, urging them to offer films that were described for theatrical release in future DVS Home Video® catalogs.

As Digital Versatile Disks -- or DVDs -- become an increasingly popular consumer product, demand also is growing to make fully accessible DVDs available. The enhanced technological capacity of DVDs enables studios to provide captioning for viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, description for viewers who are blind or visually impaired and audio navigation, which enables those viewers to access DVD features without the assistance of a sighted person. The American Experience documentary Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided is currently available from PBS Home Video. The Collector's Edition DVD of Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas from Universal Home Entertainment will be available on November 20 at DVD retailers nationwide. The Media Access Group at WGBH provided description services for both DVDs.

The Media Access Group at WGBH, with offices in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, is a non-profit service of Boston public broadcaster WGBH. The service group includes Descriptive Video Service®, which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to viewers who are blind or visually impaired since 1990, as well as The Caption Center -- the world's first captioning agency -- founded in 1972. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), 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, visit

Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY

Caption Services Description Services NCAM