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ProQuest adds audio descriptions to its most popular streaming video titles, accommodating visually impaired users with new on-demand service

ANN ARBOR, MI, July 23, 2020 – ProQuest has announced the addition of audio descriptions to its most-watched video titles in the Academic Video Online and ProQuest One Academic platforms, making educational streaming video more accessible to visually impaired users.

Audio description adds narration to a video, describing its on-screen images for the benefit of those with visual impairments. ProQuest has already added audio descriptions to its most popular titles, and will continue to add more upon request by a library at no charge.

"I really appreciate this service – it demonstrates a strong commitment to equity and accessibility,” said Charlotte Innerd, Head of Collection Development and Acquisitions at Wilfrid Laurier University Library. “This is going to be a great resource for students who normally run into impediments to their learning by not having access to videos, or not having access in a timely manner. This will address their individual needs and help us build a library of accessible videos."

Audio-described video is the latest feature to improve accessibility of content within Academic Video Online. Searchable, scrolling transcripts are also available for most of the database’s nearly 70,000 titles, assisting those with hearing impairments and language obstacles.

“Having videos for certain courses captioned, transcribed and audio-described gives all students the ability to learn from and more fully experience these videos,” said Melanie Eley, Accessibility Coordinator at UNC Greensboro. “Those of us in the accessibility field dream of this. It’s a perfect model for how universities and multimedia providers can work together to produce quality products that are essential for users with different abilities, but useful to all.”

“ProQuest built this feature – a first for the academic streaming video market – after collaboration with and feedback from many of our trusted library partners. They believe, and we agree, that educational products need to be accessible to all students and faculty, regardless of ability,” said Sarah Brennan, Video Product Manager at ProQuest. “Accessibility is a key piece of our product development strategy, and this new feature is one example of how we’re working with libraries to accommodate more users.”

See a sample of audio-described video.

Learn more about audio-described video on our blog – or see how to request it (some limits may apply).

The Academic Video Online platform is the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries. It includes nearly 70,000 titles spanning a wide range of subject areas, and supports remote learning with unlimited access, free media hosting and easy integration with learning management systems. All Academic Video Online titles are also available through the ProQuest One Academic platform.

About UNC Greensboro

UNC Greensboro, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is one of only 40 doctoral institutions recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for both high research activity and community engagement. Founded in 1891 and one of the original three UNC System institutions, UNC Greensboro is one of the most diverse universities in the state with 20,000+ students and 3,000+ faculty and staff members representing 90+ nationalities. With 17 Division I athletic teams, 85 undergraduate degrees in over 125 areas of study, as well as 74 master’s and 32 doctoral programs, UNC Greensboro is consistently recognized nationally among the top universities for academic excellence and value, with noted strengths in health and wellnessvisual and performing artsnursingeducation and more. For additional information, please visit uncg.edu and follow UNCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About ProQuest (https://www.proquest.com)

ProQuest supports the important work in the world’s research and learning communities. The company curates six centuries of content – the world’s largest collection of journals, ebooks, primary sources, dissertations, news, and video – and builds powerful workflow solutions to help libraries acquire and grow collections that inspire extraordinary outcomes. ProQuest products and services are used in academic, K-12, public, corporate and government libraries in 150 countries.

Along with its companies and affiliates Ex Libris, Alexander Street, and Bowker, ProQuest helps its customers achieve better research, better learning and better insights. For more information, visit our ProQuest and Extraordinary Stories blogs, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

23 July 2020


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