DCMP March Newsletter    View Online
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In this issue:

Listening is Learning - Using Described Video in the Classroom

Read Captions Across America
March is International Listening Month, and it's time for DCMP's annual Listening is Learning event, designed to increase awareness about the need for quality description of educational videos.

Description is additional narration that translates images and other visual information into spoken words so that people who are blind or visually impaired can access, enjoy, and learn from video. It is typically inserted into pauses between dialogue, narration, music, and ambient sounds in the original soundtrack.

Parents and educators can order free LIL posters, brochures, and participation certificates by visiting the Listening is Learning website. Plus, our educational experts have put together a lesson guide with tips on how to use described media in the classroom to teach listening skills for improving comprehension and writing skills.

Congratulations to BADIE Contest Winners!

The Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) contest asked young people who are blind or have low vision to submit short reviews of any described video, and the winners have been announced! DCMP sends a special Thank You to the students who chose to review DCMP videos!
Grand Prize Winner

John Xander Holstein, West Virginia School for the Blind, Romney, WV – Review of Snowflake Bentley and Interactions: Voyage to Mars

Senior Category (ages 16 to 21)
First Place:  Michael Gast, South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Aberdeen, SD – Review of Sister Act 2 
Second Place:  Kimberly Drudge, Goochland High School, Goochland, VA – Review of America’s Symbols 
Third PlaceAlyssa Spillum, North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, Grand Forks, ND – Review of Work Ethic: A Commitment to Work
Junior Category (ages 11 to 15)
First Place:  John Xander Holstein, West Virginia School for the Blind, Romney, WV – Review of Snowflake Bentley and Interactions: Voyage to Mars
Second Place:  Edward Freer, North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind, Grand Forks, ND – Review of My Brand New Life: Ballet Dancer/Hockey Player
Sophomore Category (ages 7 to 10)
First Place:  Hunter Knotts, West Virginia School for the Blind, Romney, WV – Review of The Magic School Bus in a Pickle 
Second Place:  Wyatt Kuncl, West Virginia School for the Blind, Romney, WV – Review of The Magic School Bus Cold Feet 
Third Place:  Noel Marinaccio, WV School for the Blind, Romney, WV – Review of The Magic School Bus Works Out
Alternate Assessment Category*
First Place:  Hayden Miller, West Virginia School for the Blind, Romney, WV – Review of The Night Before Christmas

The BADIE Contest is a Listening is Learning initiative of the American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project and the Described and Captioned Media Program.

* The Alternate Assessment category refers to students whose participation in their general statewide assessment program (testing in Math, Science, and Language Arts) is not appropriate, even with accommodations. Academic expectations are written specifically for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

What's Happening at DCMP

How the Earth Was Made

How the Earth Was Made
DCMP has successfully renewed rights to continue offering the classroom favorite, How the Earth Was Made, to our members. This 12-part series tells the dynamic geological story of our planet.

Roku – What's New?

The DCMP Roku channel has been completely redesigned from the ground up! It features a beautiful new interface that is both familiar to existing DCMP website users and simple for those who might be new to DCMP.

Roku development has changed quite a bit since we launched our channel in 2013. Architectural changes in Roku’s SDK (software development kit) meant that our channel would need to be completely rewritten. Conveniently, we needed to refresh the channel design anyway and saw this as an opportunity.

The new DCMP Roku channel is much faster in both navigation and video start-up. Roku devices have a native “Audio Guide,” which is a screen reader for menu and channel navigation. Learn more about Roku accessibility here:

Roku’s Audio Guide, combined with DCMP accessible media, makes for a completely accessible television experience. Stay tuned; we’re developing new Roku features that will be released in the coming weeks.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Board Visits DCMP

NAD board and DCMP director standing in parking lot by wooden DCMP sign.
In February, DCMP staff were happy to receive a visit from the NAD Board. The NAD is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the U.S., and administers DCMP's grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It was a great visit and we appreciate the board's support of DCMP's mission to provide access to educational media for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.

Pictured, left to right:  NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum, Kevin Ryan, Jenny Buechner, Liz Hill, Steve Lovi, Michelle Cline, Alicia Lane-Outlaw, Holly Ketchum, Melissa Draganac-Hawk, Richard McCowin, Steve Hamerdinger, Amy Gomme, Benro Ogunyipe, and DCMP Director Jason Stark.

Women's History Month

A woman is playing a very large drum.
Although women have been shaping human history since the dawn of civilization, the concept of Women's History Month has its roots firmly implanted in the date March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories protested untenable working conditions. In 1987, Congress officially declared March as Women's History Month.

As we celebrate all the women in American and world history whose influence has shaped our lives, we should not forget the women who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or low vision, and deaf-blind. There are too many such inspiring women throughout history to name them all. Our Learning Center educator resource Footsteps to Inspire Us notes several women, and also provides additional websites and resources to be explored with your class or on your own.


Deaf History Month: March 13 - April 15

In 2006, the American Library Association (ALA) and the NAD announced that March 13 to April 15 is National Deaf History Month. Join us in celebrating the amazing achievements of the men and women who advanced civil rights throughout our country’s history.

Learn about the man who became the first instructor of the deaf in America. Take a glimpse into Helen Keller's life. Discover Robert Panara, the legendary professor of English, literature, and theater. DCMP offers several text and video resources to help your students learn about deaf history.

New Videos for March: Cyberchase and More!

Cyberchase Series

60 second presidents
The Emmy Award-winning series Cyberchase is now available at DCMP! The dastardly villain Hacker is on a mad mission to overthrow Motherboard and take over Cyberspace with the help of his blundering henchbots, Buzz and Delete. But Motherboard enlists the help of three curious kids, Inez, Jackie, and Matt, and their cyberpal, Digit, to stop him. Their weapon: brain power!
Grades 4-8

New Cyberchase Accessible Game

Bridge Multimedia and WNET have announced the release of “Railway Hero,” an accessible and universally designed digital game for Cyberchase. The game incorporates accessibility features for children with physical and cognitive impairments. “Railway Hero” is now available for free on the Cyberchase website and on the PBS KIDS Games app.

In this math-based HTML5 game, players join the CyberSquad in the Solar CyberTrain on a mission to repair cyberspace’s Information SuperRailway, after pieces of its track were stolen by the villain Hacker. Using math problem-solving strategies including counting, addition and spatial reasoning, players fill in the empty tracks in the railway on an epic journey across cybersites.

To make “Railway Hero” accessible to as many children as possible, WNET and Bridge Multimedia performed extensive user testing and incorporated a number of features to support learners with a variety of physical and cognitive needs. They include:
  • Customizable screen display options, including text size, color, and contrast options
  • Audio control options, including adjustable music, sound effects, and voiceover levels
  • Support for blind or visually impaired users, including audio description and keyboard-only controls
  • Support for deaf or hard of hearing users, including captioning
  • A variety of cognitive supports, including in-game learning supports, the ability to change text sizes and colors, caption controls, and audio descriptions
The U.S. Department of Education provided support for the development of "Railway Hero."

Teens 101 Series

Teens 101
Teens face may issues that can affect their mental health and well-being. This series provides tips and advice for inspiring and empowering youth and addresses such topics as depression, anxiety, addiction, self-harm, mental illness, bullying, body image, and sexuality.
Grades 7-12

The Bully Report

The Bully Report
Quinn is relentlessly teased at school. One day his teacher gives the class an assignment to write a paper on kindness, communication, and courage. Quinn decides to write a speech called "The Bully Report." His assignment inspires his classmates to stand up and speak out about the bullying problem at his school.
Grades 5-8

Everyday Conflicts: Conflict Resolution Series

Everyday Conflicts Conflict Resolution
Conflicts between students can arise for many reasons and can escalate into a physical altercation without warning. Students need to learn simple strategies and techniques for resolving conflicts. This program presents a variety of typical, age-appropriate scenarios for resolving conflicts with peers. Some topics covered include effective communication, cooperation, compromise, and the affirmation of each individual. Students also learn when to ask for adult intervention when needed.
Grades 4-8

About DCMP

DCMP membership provides unlimited access to thousands of accessible educational videos. We're fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education, so there are no costs associated with any of our services. Family members, school personnel, and other professionals who work with early learners through Grade 12 students with a hearing or vision loss do qualify for membership. DCMP members can:
  • Access thousands of educational videos that are described and captioned in our Media Library, including training for parents, teachers, and interpreters.
  • Check out videos on DVD (with free return postage), or watch instantly on PC, Roku, tablets, and smartphones. iOS users can use the DCMP iOS app.
  • Create and share Student Accounts to assign videos and promote independent learning.
  • Access resources on education, accessibility, and advocacy in our Learning Center.
  • Stay up-to-date on news and recently added videos by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.
  • Watch accessible television series such as Bare Feet With Mickela Mallozzi, Bubble Guppies, Rock the Park, Lucky Dog, and The Inspectors.
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