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Robert Kingett will be on Accesschat

Fedora Outlier, LLC

AccessChat – A Twitter Chat Committed To Access

Announcement

Please join Brie Rumery, Junior Partner of Fedora Outlier, LLC, on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM eastern with her guest Robert Kingett. Robert will be participating in Fedora’s #AccessChat – A Twitter Chat Committed to Access. This unique interview via Twitter allows the blindness community the opportunity to interact each week with a particular person, organization or business that is making or continues to make an impact or change the lives of the blind, low vision and deaf-blind communities.

Robert Kingett is a journalist who writes about many topics for many publications. Just a few of his beats are human interest stories, disability awareness, business, crime, politics, video games, Celebrity interviews, and reviews. He has been published in several anthologies and has been asked to guest blog for many websites. He has been interviewed about his journalism work on several radio stations in the USA and abroad. He has been featured on sites such as IGN, Polygon, and others.

He’s a columnist, reviewer for all forms of media from books to TV shows, even creating his own review series called Kingett Reads and he is also the creator of the Accessible Netflix Project.

Make sure to mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 29, 2014 @ 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central or 5:00 PM Pacific for #AccessChat – A Twitter Chat Committed to Access!

Find out more about #AccessChat – A Twitter Chat Committed to Access by visiting Fedora Outlier, LLC and make sure to mark your calendar for Tuesday’s at 8:00 PM EST for an hour of enlightening and interesting conversation.

Team Member Spotlight, Rocco Fiorentino

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Hello everyone, my name is Rocco Fiorentino. I was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and became totally blind due to ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). I only have light perception now.

 

I’ve been playing piano and singing since I was 2 years old, and my love and passion for music has allowed me to play with and meet some incredible people throughout my life. I am 17 now, and attending Berklee College of Music in Boston MA in the fall of 2014. If you’re interested in checking out my music or learning more about me, please visit

http://www.musicbyrocco.com

 

I’ve also been a strong advocate for the blind and visually impaired community, which is why I joined the accessible Netflix Project. At the age of 5, I testified to the New Jersey State legislators to obtain more Braille services for blind and visually impaired children. I decided to do this because I realized that I couldn’t keep up with my sighted classmates because I was only receiving 1 hour of Braille per week, while my classmates were reading print every single day. As a result of my speech, the legislatures awarded $1.2 million to Braille education and services. I’m hoping to get the same positive advocacy results with this project. :)

 

My parents and I started a foundation when I was born, called the Little Rock Foundation, to provide services, programs, and resources to visually impaired or blind children and their families. We started a summer camp for these children, because most typical summer camps will not take a child who has a sight impairment because they are too high of a liability risk for the camp. We also have resource centers in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to provide information and assistance to parents and their children. For more about the foundation, feel free to visit

http://www.tlrf.org

 

I am extremely excited to take on the task of getting Netflix programming to be audio-described. This is something which should have been available to the blind and visually impaired community a long time ago, and I’m ready to help the team in making it a reality.

 

Team member spotlight: Tanja Milojevic

My name is Tanja Milojevic and I was born in Serbia as a premature baby. I had retinal detachment as a result of the incubators and was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity. I then had several surgeries on both eyes to restore some vision which were partially successful. These surgeries took place in the United States.

I permanently came to live in the US at the age of five when I was diagnosed with open and close angled Glaucoma in both eyes. My medical visa helped me make a permanent home with my family near Boston where I began my main stream public education.

I went through some struggle with the school system through the years but I was mostly a dual learner, both visual and tactual which meant that I relied on both braille and extremely large print on a closed circuit television.

As the years went on, I brought more and more of my close family to the US where we continued to live. I learned English and Braille to a better degree and picked up technology like the PC and braille light. Math and the visual sciences game me trouble but my braille teachers assisted me enough so that I could get by with A’s and B’s My family was pushy for me to get good grades. I’m still like that today. I like to be almost perfect if not perfect.

High school rolled around and I continued to push through school and I continued to push through school. I met other peers who were blind and had some friends in the blind world and not so much in the sited world. I had trouble fitting in. I enjoyed my O&M instructors and learned more and more about traveling independently. I found colleges that interested me and did better in subjects like English and Psychology than Math and Physics. That lead me into getting a few scholarships from my school and brought me to the end of that four years. I took part in my choir from fourth grade and to the end of high school. I’d continue it for another two years in undergrad as well.

I then moved on to Simmons College where I enjoyed the disabilities’ department and was able to be a strong advocate for myself and other students who needed someone to talk to. I had begun to listen to described movies and radio dramas back in high school and only found new ways to do so in college. I began to successfully make my own radio dramas and post them to a website. Www.lightningbolt.podbean.com I called my show “Lightningbolt Theater of the Mind.” It was a good social networking place. I joined the school radio station and chorus, and moved from my dorm, to an apartment, and to home. I got my guide dog Wendell just before entering College. He is from the Seeing Eye and is a golden lab who is now eight. He has brown ears and yellow fur. He sheds a lot but is friendly and loves to lick and get belly rubs. I graduated with a BA in English and I minored in Radio communications and special education moderate disabilities.

I then moved on to UMass Boston where I am a graduate student currently working to get my license to be a teacher of the visually impaired. I have completed my course work and am now working on my state testing and then practicum before getting my MA. I am describing content that wasn’t available on descriptive such as the old doctor who episodes from the sixties. Those are not available to the public and I feel like they should be. I am using the series transcripts from on line to be able to know what’s going on and to then have the ability to put the descriptive track in the right place.

For technology, I use jaws, the IPhone, a braille note empower which I got after height school, and I am considering getting an iPad or a mac. I use a blue bird microphone and gold wave as my audio editing software. I’m also learning reaper.

I am an advocate, that is why I’m here. I enjoy seeing the law followed. Everyone else can access Netflix. The deaf and hard of hearing have the ability to watch closed captioning. Why can we not access the description that is mandated by the FCC each year? We are paying for a net flicks membership each month. It would only make sense for this to be the case. Network television is too confusion to try to figure out. I want to help change happen.

Advocating for audio description on Netflix’s Daredevil series

Hi guys and ladies and everyone else, young and old, this is Katie, temporarily taking over Robert’s WordPress account to blog about what we all have been doing while he prepares for the 2014 ACB conference next week, which, he will participate via Skype.

There have been a lot of developments with Netflix over the past month. A lot of it deals with content. Shows have come and go. They are still not addressing accessibility for the blind and the visually impaired. The biggest news, however, is that Netflix will be producing a Daredevil TV series

UPDATE: This publication says it will be a Netflix movie.

The Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada is really excited about the project. We all are. All of us are huge comic book lovers!

Robert contacted him via twitter about adding audio description to this series so that blind and visually impaired Netflix users can fully enjoy the show. We hope he replies!

UPDATE: The webmaster of  manwithoutfear.com has replied to our tweet!

We have been sending emails and tweets directly to Netflix, as well, to try to plant a seed in their minds. Unfortunately, we have not received a reply yet.

Hannah wrote the below Email and sent it. We deliberated over the wording and then some, worried it sounded too pushy but in the end we sent it feeling really good about what we wrote!

We have called Netflix corporate and have left several messages at different answering machines, as well. no response yet

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Adding audio description to Daredevil
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:53:17 -0500
From: Accessible Netflix Project team
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Hi there. This is one of the Accessible Netflix Project team members writing to you to say congratulations on producing another show in the making, as outlined in the article here. We are sure that this will be an excellent show for everyone and we want to thank you for producing this series.

Daredevil is a hero loved by all, including blind comic book fans. Since we could not find any definitive answer online could you elaborate on plans, if any, about adding audio description to the show so that blind and sighted can enjoy the heroics together?

Adding audio description would certainly help to create an accessible series for everyone who wishes to watch it. Everyone could have fun and discuss the series. Families with blind spouses can all use the benefits of adding audio description to this series.

Adding audio description could also be a wonderful way of spreading accessibility awareness and showing other companies that adding audio description does more than just allow the blind to see. This could provide awareness to budding producers who may want to follow in your footsteps. Adding audio description would certainly be a win for everybody and we want to help make it happen.

We would be more than happy to provide resources and give input on dialogue regarding audio description. We would love to provide links to describers and production resources and much more. There are not many options on the web for accessible media. Doing this would definitely show other companies how and why accessibility matters. You’d be setting a phenomenal example for many companies.

We, as stated above, would love to help you with resources and information regarding audio description and audio description matters. If you’re already pursuing audio description, could you let us know that as well? Thank you for your time!

A few days later an Email flew into our inbox with gusto but it was not a reply from Netflix. A man tipped us off about the FCC here in the USA. It turns out that the FCC have a audio description committee. The link is below.

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/video-programming-accessibility-advisory-committee-vpaac

And here are the committee members.

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/vpaac-members

We haven’t been able to find contact methods for the committee yet but we will look when all of us have some down time after all the conventions are over with. This way we can focus on what needs to be focused on and we can be a stronger voice where we need to be.

The only thing that we can do now is wait, and wait, and hope. You can help. Tweet your support to @netflix or @JoeQuesada and let them know how adding audio description to this epic show would benefit so many! Thank you all! We will be back after the conventions!

FCC Submits Report to Congress on Video Description

On June 30, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Report to Congress (Report) on video description, as required by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  Video description makes video programming accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired through the insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program’s key visual elements into natural pauses between a program’s dialogue.  This Report addresses the status, benefits, and costs of video description in video programming distributed on television and video programming delivered using Internet protocol. 

Links to the Report to Congress are: 

Word:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-945A1.doc

PDF:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-945A1.pdf

Text:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-945A1.txt

 

Social media awareness and a Facebook group

We’ve been working on a number of things to continue the dialogue regarding accessible video on demand services. We have been adding new team members, still trying to contact other video on demand services, participating in interviews and web talks and more.

The first thing that we’d like to share is a WebCast on social media accessibility. Jennifer Smith, Senior Web and Accessibility Strategist with Danya International, leads a conversation with expert panelists from around the globe to discuss how to make social media communications more accessible.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube. The video has closed captions, as well.

We’ve also been working hard to expand our reach and outreach. The first place that we would start expanding to is social media. We started creating an open Facebook group a while ago and we r working on adding administrators to the group. What’s the group for?

The group is to share comments, news, and ideas regarding video on demand services, particularly Netflix but we want to hear your thoughts about Hulu, Amazon Instant, Sky in the UK and other sites and services. The Facebook group serves as an informative voice for accessible video on demand services. Anyone who has Facebook can join and post. Below will be the link to the Facebook group on m.facebook.com for accessibility purposes.

For our readers who get these posts via email the links in this blog post are below.

Facebook group:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/324568721023571?refid=46&sld=eyJzZWFyY2hfc2lkIjoiNGJiYzQxY2E4YjJlMjdiYTFkNzMwOTFiYWM2YjA4MzIifQ%3D%3D

video link

Moving in the Right Direction: Disabilities in Media and the Need for Audio Description

Robert W Kingett:

This post also highlights the need for audio description on Netflix, as well, even if it is indirectly

Originally posted on Blinkie Chicks:

We recently read a blog post, entitled Sex, Blinks and Video Tape, about the way people with disabilities are portrayed in media. The person who wrote the blog post surveyed some people and did some research to see how many disabled characters they could find in films and television shows. Although the number of disabled roles is very limited, it continues to grow in recent years. With that said, the roles of these characters often reinforce negative stereotypes about people with disabilities. Disabled characters are viewed as either perfect angels are as a threat to society. Not only are these roles played by able-bodied actors, but the roles themselves are often inaccurate representations of the lives of disabled people. Additionally, the fictional characters in movies and television shows who have disabilities are usually disabled at a later age, due to some sort of injury. While this is the case…

View original 1,026 more words

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