The team who makes it all happen

Diane Johnson

Diane Johnson, President & CEO

Diane Johnson
President & CEO

Diane Johnson

Diane Johnson, a success story. Putting her years of broadcast experience, and her passion, to work on leading the charge in making visual media inclusive to all.

In 2003, she founded Descriptive Video Works. Her objective, to break new ground and remove old barriers by using audio description (also known as descriptive video) to make television, film and other visual media accessible to blind and visually-impaired viewers. Today, her company is recognized as the gold standard of quality in audio description and is known internationally.

Diane Johnson

Diane Johnson, a success story. Putting her years of broadcast experience, and her passion, to work on leading the charge in making visual media inclusive to all.

In 2003, she founded Descriptive Video Works. Her objective, to break new ground and remove old barriers by using audio description (also known as descriptive video) to make television, film and other visual media accessible to blind and visually-impaired viewers. Today, her company is recognized as the gold standard of quality in audio description and is known internationally.

‘Innovative’ is a word often used to describe Diane’s pursuit of her goals. Descriptive Video Works was first to produce live description in real time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. These worldwide events continue to be described in real time. In 2015,  another milestone was achieved when Diane partnered with NBC and Comcast for the broadcast of the musical The Wiz Live! – the first described live entertainment show for any US network. The network partnered again with Hairspray Live! in 2016.

In setting up an advisory council in conjunction with Descriptive Video Works, Diane is committed to raising the bar even further. This research and development think tank, led by two leaders in the community who are blind themselves, collaborate regularly with Diane. Together they conduct focus groups and other informational sessions ensuring the needs of the target audience are being met.

As a vocal and tireless advocate for people who are blind and visually-impaired, Diane also devotes her time and expertise to maintaining standards of quality in audio description for the industry as a whole. She was 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 Canada’s broadcast regulatory body (CRTC).

In 2015, Diane was invited by the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) and Video Programming Subcommittee in the US, to speak on the exponential growth of audio description.

Currently, Diane serves as a member of the United Nations International Telecommunications Union Focus Group on Audio Visual Media Accessibility. Their mandate, to direct the development of international standard guidelines and best practices for audio description.

Continuing to push the boundaries and advocate for increased accessibility, Diane was invited to speak at an aerospace conference in Dubai and Los Angeles on the need for in-flight entertainment access.

Diane’s extraordinary energy for change has not gone unnoticed. She has received recognition for her outstanding contributions:

  • American Council of the Blind Audio Description Achievement Award – Media (2014)
  • Silver Stevie®Award – Entrepreneur of the Year, Canada (2014)
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2011)
  • Profit Magazine’s W100 – Canada’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs (2011)
  • Finalist, RBC Trailblazer Award for Women Entrepreneur of the Year (2011)

Always humble about her exceptional accomplishments, Diane considers her advocacy for accessibility as her greatest achievement.

Hard at work

Across North America, our team is filled with talented, skilled and delightfully fun people who genuinely believe in creating accessible visual media for all to enjoy. Their energy is evident in their daily work ethic and dedication to our clients.

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Descriptive Video Works
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