Saturday, June 17

A&E Networks Presents ... Superblind!

Greetings. Here's an announcement about a broadcast of the movie on Erik Weihenmayer, the blind mountain climber who summetted Mt. Everest in May of 2001. Among other things, there's information below on how you can download a described version of the movie from the A&E website. Enjoy.

A&E Network's Touch the Top of the World to be Accessible to Viewers who are
Blind or Visually Impaired

Film Based on Erik Weihenmayer, First Blind Climber to Summit Mt. Everest

Boston, MA A&E Network and the Media Access Group at WGBH announce
availability of a descriptive narration track on the A&E Web site for TOUCH
THE TOP OF THE WORLD, which premiers on A&E Network on SUNDAY, JUNE
18, 2006 at 8-10PM ET and PT / 9-11PM CT.

Audio description of the visual elements of TOUCH THE TOP OF THE WORLD will
be available via A&E Network's Web site,

At the site, visitors can access an audio stream that includes
moment-by-moment descriptions of the action in the movie, including
gestures, costumes, settings, who is speaking and text that appears on
screen. The described track will be available for three months from the date
of the film's debut on A&E, June 18, 2006.

A behind the scenes look at how description was created for this film will
be posted and available next week at
(sign in necessary)

Touch the Top of the World - The Film Peter Facinelli (Six Feet Under,
Fastlane, The Scorpion King) portrays Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man
ever to climb Mount Everest in the suspenseful, action-packed adventure
film. Bruce Campbell (The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Homicide,
X-Files) co-stars as Erik's father.

In 2001, Erik Weihenmayer began his ascent up the tallest mountain in the
world, Mt. Everest. This was a journey that began very early in life when
he was diagnosed with a genetic disorder that ultimately led to total
blindness by the time Erik was 13. With the support of an amazing family,
Erik never allowed his handicap to hold him back. In the wake of the sudden
death of his mother, Erik and his family began taking treks into remote
mountain areas to keep their lives intact. Soon Erik was taking on greater
challenges, including rock climbing, while finishing college and starting
his teaching career. While teaching, Erik met and fell in love with a
colleague, Ellie. They married and moved to Denver. After conquering
numerous major peaks, Erik decided to confront his biggest challenge yet --
Mount Everest, the world's highest peak. Along the journey, Erik and his
team faced unbearably treacherous conditions and witnessed the frozen
remains of those who had failed in similar attempts years earlier. Finally,
Erik and his colleagues made it to the top of Mount Everest, quite literally
the top of the world.

Video Description Video descriptions make television programs, feature
films, home videos, and other visual media accessible to people who are
blind or visually impaired by providing descriptive narration of key visual
elements in programs that a viewer might otherwise miss. When described,
these elements- including actions, costumes, gestures and scene changes -can
fully engage a blind or visually impaired viewer with the story. A carefully
written script is prepared by a trained describer, read by a professional
narrator, and mixed in a professional audio production suite for
broadcast-quality results. A full Descriptive Video Service/DVS® mix
consists of the main program audio combined with these narrated

WGBH, Boston's public broadcaster and a pioneer in the field of assistive
and accessible technology developed description for television, home videos
and feature films. A&E and The Media Access Group have worked together for
years to make a variety of A&E programs accessible via closed captioning to
viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Touch the Top of the World
presented the first opportunity to work together to make an A&E film
accessible via video descriptions to blind and visually impaired A&E

Film Credits TOUCH THE TOP OF THE WORLD is based on Erik Weihenmayer's
memoir of the same name. The screenplay is by Peter Silverman, multiple
Emmy-nominee who credits include Something The Lord Made, We Were The
Mulvaneys, and Hill Street Blues. The executive producers are Howard
Braunstein, Michael Jaffe and Mark Sennet. The director is Peter Winther,
who directed The Librarian, the top-rated cable movie of 2004 and worked on
a number of major Hollywood blockbusters, from Independence Day to Godzilla
to The Patriot. The film will be distributed by Sony Pictures Television.

About A&E Network Now reaching more than 90 million homes, A&E Network
brings viewers a diverse mix of high quality entertainment; ranging from
critically acclaimed original movies to the very best dramatic series, the
most successful justice shows on cable to the Emmy Award-winning BIOGRAPHY®
series. Not to mention, the A&E Network's powerhouse Real-Life Series
franchise. In 2005, A&E Network holds the distinct record for the most
Primetime Emmy nominations (10) for a basic cable network. The A&E Network
web site is located at
and the Biography® website is located at
The A&E Club is located at
For more information and photography please visit us on the web at

About the Media Access Group at WGBH: The Media Access Group is a nonprofit
service of Boston public broadcaster WGBH, with offices in Boston and Los
Angeles. The Group includes DVS, which has made television, film and video
more enjoyable to audiences who are blind or visually impaired since 1990,
and The Caption Center--the world's first captioning agency--which has made
audiovisual media accessible to audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing
since 1972. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the WGBH National
Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), is a research, development and advocacy
entity that work to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to
all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading
resources and experts in their fields. For more information, visit

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