Guidelines for the Description of Educational Media
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) was part of a U.S. Department of Education grant awarded to the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to define guidelines for media description of educational materials.
The Description Key: Guidelines for the Description of Educational Media was developed through a partnership between the DCMP and AFB in 2008. The Description Key began as recommendations, suggestions, and best practices culled from an extensive literature search and meta-analysis [PDF] in 2006.
AFB assembled an expert panel in media description and education for children with visual impairments to help evaluate media description strategies for educational material. The list of recommended practices was then subjected to a consensus review process by these leading experts, resulting in a reduction from 204 to 63 critical indicators. This work was opened to an extensive public review in the spring of 2008 that invited comments and rankings of each indicator's importance. The expert panel met a final time in July 2008 to review these public comments, the rankings, and to discuss each indicator before adopting the final document presented here.
(For a more detailed look at how (and why) the Key was developed, please read "Background of the Description Key").
AFB and DCMP are pleased to have collaborated on this project and feel these guidelines will increase the availability of predominantly visual curriculum to children and youths who are blind, deaf-blind, or who have low vision and will continue "expanding possibilities for people with vision loss."
AFB's efforts were led by Dr. Kay Ferrell, executive director, National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, and Mary Ann Siller, project manager, AFB Professional Development.
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