As always I hope you had a nice week. For those of you here in the US, I hope that you enjoyed the last days of the July 4th celebration.
I just have a couple quick announcements for this week. First of all, I’d like to recognize our own Alena Roberts, as her article this week marks her 100th contribution to the magazine. She has been a wonderful asset to my staff and has offered up some great information on numerous topics that affect the blind and visually impaired community. Please join me in thanking Alena for her wonderful work.
On another note, there has been some debate regarding whether or not the popular Tell Me service is still in operation after last week’s special notice. As of this writing, the Tell Me service (phone number 1-800-555-8355) is still working. The comparable service, BING 411, is, at the time of this writing, no longer in service. If anything changes, I will let you all know as soon as possible.
In other news, starting back on July 1st, the big four TV networks–ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX–as well as the top five cable networks–Disney, Nickelodeon, TBS, TNT, and USA–will all begin offering audio description of their popular TV shows. According to information released in June, they will begin by offering 4 hours per week of shows available with audio description for those who wish to listen to it. However, some networks have offered this feature on their popular shows for quite some time–like CBS and NBC.
This is still a new attempt at creating an industry standard, so it will take some time for all of the terms to be set regarding notifications of programs that include audio description, as well as other features. But this is definitely an exciting time and reveals an active attempt to further entertainment equality. As more information becomes available, I will update you on any progress.
That should cover everything for now. I hope you all have a great week.
Take care, and as always, thanks for reading.
Ross Hammond, Editor