Universal Studios Home Entertainment Ray DVD with DVS®

Situational Analysis

Universal Studios acquired video descriptions from WGBH Center for Accessible Media Descriptive Video Services (DVS®) for theatrical release of the fil Ray. However, the studio had not thought about providing descriptions on the Home Entertainment DVD, even though Ray Charles was blind and an avid user of video descriptions. This created a problem of denied access to entertainment for blind and low vision audiences.  The American Council of the Blind (ACB) approached EIN SOF to contact Universal and present the business case for creating an audio described version of the Ray DVD.

Another challenge was the compressed “window” between theatrical and home entertainment release — not allowing enough time to create a talking menu so blind customers could choose the DVS® track on the DVD independently.  Thus, a specialized DVD with DVS® was created.  EIN SOF, ACB and WGBH recommended, and Universal agreed to the same “street date” release as the standard DVD.

DVD of DVS Enhanced ACB Media Access Award-winning film Ray, pictures Ray Charles at piano, with large keyboard superimposed above his head.

DVD of the DVS Enhanced ACB Media Access Award-winning film Ray.

EIN SOF Insights

Descriptions were an asset purchased by Universal Theatrical from WGBH Boston’s Center for Accessible Media’s DVS® division. While the DVD and theatrical versions were not exact, the movie’s dialogue, scenes, locations, costumes, and facial expressions, were already described. The cost to reconfigure the narrations to match the DVD version was minimal in exchange for increased “access to entertainment” – thus increased revenue from blind and low-vision customers.


  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Ray filmmakers received ACB’s Accessible Media Award and conducted a rare and dynamic Q&A at the ACB annual convention. The Ray DVD with DVS® was co-branded with ACB and stated the film won the ACB Award;
  • EIN SOF helped coordinate the Ray screening with DVS® at the Motion Picture Association of America’s Washington, DC headquarters, and ACB convention with filmmaker Q&A to thousands of attendees;
  • Universal made the DVDs with DVS® available to ACB members, on Amazon.com and Walmart.com;
  • Nielsen NRGi/EIN SOF conducted a focus group for Universal Home Entertainment to gain insights into how this niche market segment determines price point and which genre drives purchasing decisions;
  •  Campaign garnered “off-the-entertainment-page” coverage and was highlighted in the book, Disability and Business: Best Practices and Strategies for Inclusion, by Baruch College professor Charles Riley.

Campaign Highlights

EIN SOF and ACB developed a direct-mail campaign (large print/Braille post card) announcing the Ray DVD with DVS®, and ACB Award to Ray and the film’s producers, disseminated to thousands of ACB members and other national disability leaders and media.


For information about Ray DVD with DVS®, click here: http://www.acb.org/adp/dvdspre2010.html#2005 or http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=3587541

Reprint from Chicago Sun Times: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1572352.html

To learn more about the WGBH Media Access Group’s MoPix® project, providing access to entertainment, click here: http://main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag/resources/accessible-dvds.html