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For immediate release
October 22, 2001

Nickelodeon Series Rugrats Premieres with Description for Young Viewers Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Media Access Group at WGBH Provides Description Services
BOSTON, MA - The animated children's series Rugrats, which appears on the Nickelodeon cable network, will premiere on November 1, 2001 with audio description for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. The Media Access Group at WGBH provides description services for the series. Funding for the description is provided by the US Department of Education.

Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®)is a service that provides 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 visually impaired viewers would ordinarily miss, such as actions, costumes, gestures, facial expressions and scene changes. Inserted within the natural pauses in dialogue, audio descriptions of important visual details help to engage blind viewers with the story.

Dionne Quan, an actress who is blind, plays series regular Kimi on the Rugrats series, comments, "I'm really inspired by a development in technology that enables people to get the full experience of Rugrats. Not only is the show very close to my heart, but as a nonsighted person, I share in the joy that this technology will bring to Rugrats fans around the world." Rugrats, the first ongoing cable series to be broadcast with description, airs twice each weekday. In 2002, Nickelodeon will begin to air the children's series Blue's Clues with description. For more information about Rugrats or Nickelodeon, visit www.nick.com.

Rugratsand Blue's Clues are also closed captioned for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing by the Media Access Group at WGBH.

The Media Access Group at WGBH, with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Boston, is a nonprofit service of the WGBH Educational Foundation. The Media Access Group includes Descriptive Video Service, which has made television, film and video more accessible to blind and visually impaired audiences since 1990, The Caption Center, the world's first captioning agency, which has made audiovisual media accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences since 1972, and the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), a research, education and public policy center. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading resources and experts in their fields. For more information about DVS or captioning, visit access.wgbh.org.

Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
mary_watkins@wgbh.org


















Caption Services Description Services NCAM