05.05.2014

Helping Katie Hear What She Can’t See

Descriptive Video Service (DVS) is a powerful answer for the blind and visually impaired community.
John Columbus
Written by 

Katie Crocker knows better than most the power of words. She is the production assistant at the Talking Information Center in Wareham, Massachusetts.  It’s an award-winning radio reading service that broadcasts timely printed word news and audience-specific information to the blind and visually impaired community in Massachusetts.

Katie is legally blind, loves working on the radio, and has a passion for movies. 

Living with congenital achromatopsia means that she literally sees the world in black and white.  Her vision fluctuates depending upon the amount of light around her.  When there’s a lot of light, everything looks washed-out, like an overexposed photograph.  So when she watches movies, visual details that are critical to following a movie’s story and characters can be missed.

Her solution is Descriptive Video Service (DVS) which Verizon introduced to FiOS TV in 2013.  With DVS, the viewer hears a narrator describing key visual elements in a program – actions, costumes, gestures, and scene changes – verbally adding color, nuance and detail that a blind or visually impaired viewer would ordinarily miss.