The Wiz Live! Will Include Video Description Service for Viewers with Visual Disabilities

News   The Wiz Live! Will Include Video Description Service for Viewers with Visual Disabilities
Deadline reports that Comcast will offer a national video description pilot program with NBC’s broadcast of The Wiz Live! This broadcast will make the live television event the first to be accessible to people with visual impairments.

In a statement, Carl Augusto, CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind said, "Earlier this year, I attended a theatre production of The Wiz and, without description, found it very difficult to follow the characters and action of the play. This nationally described television broadcast will not only be a godsend to people with vision loss, but also to those who describe action to people with vision loss, and the general public, who will learn about the importance of audio description."

According to the Federal Communications Commission, video description is described as "audio-narrated descriptions of a television program's key visual elements. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the program's dialogue. Video description makes television programming more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired."

Comcast and NBC have partnered with Descriptive Video Works to present the video-described broadcast across the country wherever SAP (Secondary Audio Program) audio feeds are available.

The Wiz Live! stars Shanice Williams, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, David Alan Grier, Mary J. Blige, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah, Amber Riley, Stephanie Mills and Common.

Kenny Leon is directing The Wiz, with Harvey Fierstein adapting the book for TV. 

The Wiz Live! will be broadcast Dec. 3 at 8 PM on NBC. For more information, click here.

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