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Fwd: NPR, WGBH Collaborate on Accessible Radio Technology

From: Harvey Bingham <hbingham@acm.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 13:34:50 -0400
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To: "wai-eo" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

>Date: 11 Oct 2006 10:43:32 -0400
>From: Mary Watkins <mary_watkins@wgbh.org>
>Subject: NPR, WGBH Collaborate on Accessible Radio Technology
>To: "dvsconsumers" <dvsconsumers@mail4.wgbh.org>
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>NPR Receives Department of Education Grant to Develop Accessible 
>Radio Technology
>for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind and Visually Impaired Communities
>NPR and WGBH's National Center for Accessible Media Partner to 
>Research and Create Services
>Washington, D.C., October 11, 2006  The Department of Education's 
>National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation and Research has 
>awarded a grant to NPR and WGBH's National Center for Accessible 
>Media (NCAM) to develop accessible radio technology for people who 
>are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.  The 
>Accessible Digital Radio Broadcast Services grant  in the amount of 
>$150,000 for the first year  will help fund an anticipated 
>three-year research and development project to prototype, field test 
>and assess the cutting-edge radio technologies to serve the needs of 
>people with sensory disabilities.  NPR and NCAM are internationally 
>recognized experts in digital radio technologies and accessible 
>media service models.
>"As radio moves into the digital transmission arena, public radio is 
>committed to providing people with sensory disabilities equal access 
>to news, entertainment and emergency services," said Mike Starling, 
>CTO and Executive Director of NPR Labs. "Thanks to the Department of 
>Education's support through this grant, NPR and our WGBH partner 
>will leverage our shared abilities to deliver on this promise."
>"The time to address the needs of people with sensory disabilities 
>is now," said Larry Goldberg, WGBH's Director of Media 
>Access.  "Considering those who are deaf or blind at birth, through 
>trauma or illness, or baby boomers reaching retirement age over the 
>next few years, the numbers of Americans with hearing or visual loss 
>are expected to climb.  It is crucial for us to address the unique 
>needs of this growing population as we further develop HD radio services."
>In creating radio technologies specifically geared to people with 
>sensory disabilities, NPR and NCAM will bring together experts from 
>broadcasting, academia and non-profit service organizations to best 
>serve the needs of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and 
>visually impaired.  The overall goal is to guide the design of 
>prototype digital radios for evaluation by consumers with special 
>needs.  At the conclusion of the study period, the design criteria  
>to be developed with collective input from a representative cross 
>section of disabled consumers  will be turned over to receiver 
>manufacturers as best operating practice.  NPR has teamed with Dr. 
>Ellyn Sheffield of Salisbury University, a widely recognized 
>researcher of consumer adaptation to digital radio services, to help 
>design and test the technology in development.
>The project's total budget for the first year is $227,810.  The 
>Department of Education grant will cover 65 percent of the project 
>costs for the first year, while NPR will fund the remaining 35 
>percent. Additional federal funding after the first year is 
>dependent on congressional appropriations.
>NPR and the NPR Member stations have a long history of pioneering 
>inclusive access for people with sensory disabilities.  More than 
>100 radio reading services for the blind operating in the United 
>States are offered by NPR stations, providing the reading of text 
>from daily news, books and magazines.
>In another effort to make radio programming accessible to the deaf 
>and hearing-impaired community, NPR has in recent years tested 
>Web-based real-time captioning of radio programs through 
>www.NPR.org.  For a two-hour special on deaf culture and education 
>airing this Thursday October 12, NPR's Talk of the Nation has 
>collaborated with WGBH's Media Access Group, the pioneer of 
>captioning for television, to provide live captioning of the 
>program.  The October 12 broadcast will feature an interview with 
>Dr. I. King Jordan, retiring president of Gallaudet University, the 
>world's only university dedicated to deaf and hard of hearing 
>students and a look at the shifting debate over the cochlear 
>implant. Details can be found at www.npr.org/deafculture.
>  -NPR-
>NPR Media Relations:
>Emily Lenzner, 202.513.2754, elenzner@npr.org
>Media Access Group at WGBH:
>Mary Watkins, 617.300.3700 voice, 617.300.2489 TTY, mary_watkins@wgbh.org
Received on Wednesday, 11 October 2006 17:35:30 UTC

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