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About DCMP

About the Described and Captioned Media Program


The DCMP provides services designed to support and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

Explore our website to learn how we are living our mission to promote and provide equal access to communication and learning for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.

The DCMP is an idea that works thanks to funding by the U.S. Department of Education and administration by the National Association of the Deaf.


On-Demand Accessible Media

Described and captioned educational media is available to students who are deaf, blind, hard of hearing, visuaally impaired, or deaf-blind. Thousands of accessible videos are available to students, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Users who qualify can search by keyword, browse by topic and subtopic, and browse by Common Core and state standards. There are no user-registration or service fees.

Learning Center and eLearning Resources

The Learning Center offers a wealth of information related to education, accessibility, deafness, blindness, and other related topics. Use of this center is free to everyone. Read about what people are saying about the DCMP. Learn about captioning, description, laws pertaining to accessibility, assistive technology, and an array of other subjects–all at your fingertips. Start browsing and start learning.

DCMP's eLearning Resources provide professional development opportunities for teachers; students in transition and their teachers; and ASL interpreters. Continuing Education Units are available for select trainings.

Guidelines for Captioning and Describing Media

The guidelines for both captioning and description are used by accessibility providers, government agencies, businesses, school technical departments, teachers, parents, students, and online content creators. The DCMP’s purpose is to present recommendations for technique, style, and technical considerations.

Accessible and printable versions of DCMP's Captioning Key and Description Key are freely available online.


About the U.S. Department of Education


The mission of the U.S. Department of Education is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation. The U.S. Department of Education funds the DCMP through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), which is part of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

OSERS supports programs that assist in educating children with special needs, provides for the rehabilitation of youth and adults with disabilities, and supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. OSEP is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations to support research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development, and parent-training and information centers.

About the National Association of the Deaf

NAD Logo

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who recognized the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the United States of America. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.

Mission and Vision Statement

Our mission is to promote and provide equal access to communication and learning through described and captioned educational media.

The ultimate goal of the DCMP is for accessible media to be an integral tool in the teaching and learning process for all stakeholders in the educational community, including students, educators and other school personnel, parents, service providers, businesses, and agencies.

The DCMP supports the U.S. Department of Education Strategic Plan for 2018-2022 and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by committing to the following goals in order to improve learning outcomes:

  • Ensuring that students (early learners through Grade 12) who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind have the opportunity to achieve the standards of academic excellence.
  • Advocating for equal access to educational media as well as the establishment and maintenance of quality standards for captioning and description by service providers.
  • Providing a collection of free-loan described and captioned educational media aligned to state and Common Core standards.
  • Furnishing information and research about accessible media.
  • Acting as a gateway to Internet resources related to accessibility.
  • Adapting and developing new media and technologies that assist students in obtaining and using available information.

The Described and Captioned Media Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.