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For immediate release
July 21, 2003

New Video Releases with Descriptive Narration from DVS® Home Video®

BOSTON, MA - DVS Home Video, an initiative of the Media Access Group at WGBH, announces the availability of seven new film titles on home video—fully described for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. The newly released films available now are Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Color Purple, Gangs of New York, Two Weeks Notice and Minority Report. Two more will be released with descriptions soon: Daredevil (available to order July 28) and Chicago (available to order August 18).

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Harry begins his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, despite being warned by a mysterious creature that danger awaits him there.
  • The Color Purple: Based on the book by Alice Walker, the story follows the life of Celie, a young African American girl growing up in the early 1900s.
  • Gangs of New York: Martin Scorsese's film, set in the mid-1800s, revolves around the conflicts between the Anglo-Saxon “natives” and the Irish immigrants in New York's Five Points.
  • Two Weeks Notice: This romantic comedy stars Sandra Bullock, who plays a brilliant but neurotic attorney, and Hugh Grant, her charming, irresponsible and fabulously wealthy client.
  • Minority Report: Directed by Steven Spielberg, this action-based thriller stars Tom Cruise as detective John Anderton, who is preordained to murder someone in less than two days.
  • Daredevil: Ben Affleck stars as young orphan Matt Murdock, who is the victim of a hazardous-waste accident that leaves him blind but also gives him a heightened "radar sense" that allows him to "see" far better than any man.
  • Chicago: Winner of the 2002 Academy Award for Best Picture, Chicago tells the story of a fame-hungry group of characters who live in the windy city during the roaring twenties.

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 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 cannot be hidden in the video, requiring a 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 described videos.

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 DVS Home Video and access services, visit the Media Access Group Web site ( or call 617-300-3600 (voice and TTY).

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

Caption Services Description Services NCAM