Diane Johnson
President & CEO

Diane Johnson
President & CEO

Revolutionary road

Diane Johnson exposed a growing need to provide blind and visually-impaired viewers access to broadcast media. In 2003 Descriptive Video Works was launched specializing in descriptive video for broadcast programming and feature films in Canada, allowing more than half a million Canadians with vision loss to access television shows. The company continued to grow and expanded into the United States providing audio description to US networks and film studios giving an additional 22 million American viewers access to a wide variety of broadcast programming.

Today, Descriptive Video Works continues to innovate and deliver its high-quality services to clients and consumers worldwide.

A trailblazer in live description

Leading the way in 2010, Descriptive Video Works completed the first live description reality television show in North America. Never having been done before, it was a huge success. This led to live description of world-class sporting events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as live special event television programming such as the Royal Wedding. NBC and Comcast, endorsing this achievement, partnered with Descriptive Video Works to air The Wiz Live! and Hairspray Live! on their networks.

Descriptive Video Works continues to stretch the boundaries in live description and partnering with major broadcasters, directors and producers. 

Ending the isolation

Descriptive Video Works continues to bridge the gap in all access through corporate and multimedia audio description. In our technology-driven world, screen time without the screen is no way to learn a new skill or understand an instructional video. Audio description and freeze frame description (pausing the video when necessary to provide an extended description of the visual elements) allows for easy access to visual presentations of business webinars, instructional aids and educational seminars. By removing the barriers and ending the isolation experienced by those who experience vision loss, Descriptive Video Works offers the opportunity for all to participate in the world of visual media consumption.

Descriptive Video Works proudly leads the way as the demand for excellence in audio description increases.

Fresh thinking

Committed to our action of inclusion, Descriptive Video Works tirelessly looks for new avenues where audio description will empower people who are blind and visually-impaired, allowing the community to partake in, and consume, all forms of visual media be it broadcast, streaming or corporate and multimedia.

Informational sessions, instructional seminars and focus groups are regularly conducted with Descriptive Video Works’ advisory council. This valuable content and feedback ensures the company continues to understand and meet the needs of its growing target audience.

CEO Diane Johnson recently spoke at an international aerospace conference in support of access to in-flight entertainment for airline passengers.

Acting on access

As a passionate advocate for the blind community, Diane Johnson is dedicated to establishing high standards of quality in audio description for the industry as a whole. She is the founding member of the Canadian Described Video Broadcast Committee and was instrumental in creating the Guidelines for National Best Practices. These guidelines were adopted by the CRTC, Canada’s broadcast regulatory body.

Currently, Diane serves as a member of the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union Focus Group on Audio Visual Media Accessibility. She is directly involved in the development of international standard guidelines and best practices for audio description.

THINK ABOUT IT

 Please imagine not being able to see. We don’t know what our peers are wearing or doing, leaving us at a disadvantage socially. It is difficult to make friends when we can’t talk about sports, TV programs, fashion, or when you miss the action or joke because it was something visual. DV fills in these gaps. … Being able to talk knowledgeably with sighted people about these things demonstrates that I am not that different from them, I just can’t see.

Shawn Marsolais, MEd
Executive Director, Blind Beginnings

 

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