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Voilà pioneers DVDs accessible to visually-impaired

Spanish authoring and video production house Voilà DVD Art Studio has pioneered the first DVD title with audio navigation and audio description. Woody Allen’s Match Point, already seen by 1.5 million cinema goers, will now become accessible to Spain’s blind and visually-impaired persons.

The film’s distributor On Pictures took up Voilà’s proposal to incorporate into the DVD version the audio navigation system its dubbing studio division had developed in house.

Audio navigation is an audio comment (not written on screen) that helps blind and visually-impaired persons to navigate through the DVD menu in an autonomous fashion via the remote control. Only six buttons of the remote control are used (up, down, left, right, enter and menu), but are attributed different functions. The one-minute introduction first identify verbally the disc inserted into the DVD player then explains how the system works.

Audio description is an additional narration, located between dialogues, which describes the scenes, the actions, and the facial and body expressions of actors, to enable blind or visually impaired persons to enjoy fully a movie.

The DVD treatment received the endorsement of ONCE (the Spanish association for the blinds) who hopes to see further titles adopting the concept. The title will be initially available for rental starting 26 April.

Recently established in Barcelona, Voilà DVD Art Studio is an independent authoring house with a team that has already six years of combined experience in DVD. It has already produced 2,500 titles. The company is organised around three divisions, Video, Authoring and Design. Unique amongst Spain production facilities, Voilà boasts a Research and Development department.

Story filed 19.03.06

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