Imagine if you will, what it must be like for the millions of Americans who listen to television, listen because they are blind or visually impaired.
These folks are able to enjoy parts of programs, but miss out on a lot.
One Tulsa company is helping to change that. For the 13 million Americans who are blind and visually impaired, watching a TV program or a movie leaves them in the dark. But not if Jim Stovall can help it.
Jim lost his vision in 1988, which prompted him to start a new business, the Narrative Television Network. " More people spend their spare hours watching TV than anything else and for the 13 million people in our population who are unable to do that it really separates you from the mainstream of society. So now to at least partially bring these people into the mainstream of society is extremely rewarding for us."
Susan Crane is a scriptwriter and narrator, her job is to view the show and create copy that fills in the visual blanks. "And you try to make sure that it fits in the time allotted and make sure you're not stepping on anybody or covering over any sound effects and that's a lot trickier than it sounds."
Kevin Meyer does most of the voice work for NTN, working at the mic and the computer getting the copy to work just right. One project is for Fox; Kevin adds narration for the thriller movie, 'Blade.' They also do other programs such as Law and Order.
The folks at NTN are busy and about to get busier. "We have 1280 broadcast and cable affiliates. We go into 35 million homes and then with the advent of the FCC ruling which will take affect April 1st, all of the major networks will be carrying four hours a week of narrative programming in prime time." From the scary movie to kids programming, NTN covers is all, and for Susan Crane, she says what she does is more than just a job. â€œThis is a great opportunity just to help people, use my voice to give an advantage to people who maybe can't enjoy TV, or movies or programming that they wouldn't normally get to do. And they can sit with a loved one who is sighted and enjoy the same thing that the rest of us so there's a lot of satisfaction that comes with that."
Stovall says the loss of his sight gave him vision for this successful service that's helping millions of people across the country. If you'd like more information about NTN, you can contact them at 627-1000 or check out their website at Narrative TV.