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DCMP on AC&E Education Talk Radio Podcast

A megaphone with a word ballon. Text:  Education Talk Radio Podcast with Larry Jacobs.

DCMP's Cindy Camp visits the Education Talk Radio Podcast to discuss why the Described and Captioned Media Program exists, how it works, and why it is such a valuable resource to educators. Posted with permission from the American Consortium for Equity in Education (AC&E).




[MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY JACOBS: Good morning, everybody. My name is Larry Jacobs. This is Day 12 at Edu Talk Radio.


Excuse me. [INAUDIBLE] cleared my throat beforehand. And thank you for listening today, May 7, 2020, here on Education Talk Radio.

We do a lot of shows, and they're all archived over at our website, which is And we put a new schedule up there every Saturday. This show will be archived over there as soon as we're done, with the link, and all that sort of thing.

If you click on the Past Shows icon, you'll be able to go back in a little time machine to 2011. And amazingly, people do that occasionally. It's absolutely unbelievable how many people listen to our older shows every day.

1,000 of them. At least 1,000 of them every day. It's just astounding. To us, anyway.

So we hope to go over there We tweet over at @EduTalkRadio, and on Facebook it's EduTalkRadio, and also @LarryJacobs. And on LinkedIn it's Larry Jacobs, if you want to follow what we're doing.

We also have our Equity and Access website, which is ACE-ED.ORG. ACE-ED.ORG. And we encourage everybody to go over there and join our consortium. ACE-ED.ORG is now an acronym, the American Consortium for Equity and Education. ACE-ED.ORG.

It's the home of our online journal, Accessibility Compliance and Equity, which is a wonderful journal all about accessibility compliance and equity in this age of remote education. And you'll be able to go over there and just see that. Everything over there is free.

We hope you'll take a minute and join our consortium. We want to hear some educator voice, and get the words of educators out to everyone. There are some advantages to joining. We hope you do that. ACE-ED.ORG.

There's no -- you don't have the join if you don't want to, but we'd love you to. Everything's free over there, including the magazine. All right, we have a wonderful show today. A new guest, Cindy Camp, is with us. Bring her on in just a second.

Cindy is the Marketing and Communications Specialist with DCMP. That's Described and Captioned Media Program, DCMP. All right? And that's at

And they just do wonderful things. It's a free resource for accessible educational material. Cindy, are you there?


LARRY JACOBS: Hi, Cindy. I hear that accent from Spartanburg, South Carolina, right?

CINDY CAMP: Yes, a good ole southern accent.


LARRY JACOBS: --you were in Alabama? Wait a minute, you're in Alabama. Aren't you in Alabama? Am I right or wrong?

CINDY CAMP: I am. Our home office is in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but I work remotely from home in Alabama.

LARRY JACOBS: Good enough. And how's the weather down there today? I'm up here in Maine. It's a little overcast but a little chilly. I know it'd be chilly for you. How was it down there in Alabama today?

CINDY CAMP: The sun is out. It's a beautiful day. It's a little chilly here. I think we're only going to hit a high of 70-- or 68 today.

LARRY JACOBS: Oh, we would kill for that up here.



We just die for warm weather. That cold weather is still just hanging on a little bit too much. Though it's nice out, we need some really warm weather. So you enjoy that today down there. Up here in Maine it's-- we just keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting for it.


LARRY JACOBS: I'm thrilled you're here today to tell us about the DCMP which is such a magnificent free resource for accessible educational media. This is great, everybody. Just listen. First of all, and again, this is Education Talk Radio, who do you need to hear about this? Who's this for when you're with DCMP?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah, so basically it's for educators and parents of students who have hearing and vision loss. So anyone who works with a deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision or deaf-blind student can sign up for free membership and access all of our services.

LARRY JACOBS: And it's so important for these days, because we've got remote education all around the country. And you said it's good for parents, too. They can tap into it. The kids are home. The kids are home.

CINDY CAMP: Definitely. We want the parents to be using it, too.

LARRY JACOBS: Well, that's wonderful. It's, everybody. When you say "accessible media," Cindy, what-- just tell everybody what that is. So we--

CINDY CAMP: So it's basically when a vid--

LARRY JACOBS: For kids with serious challenges, kids with sight challenges. Yeah.

CINDY CAMP: Right. So basically it's a video that has captions for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, and audio descriptions for individuals who are blind and low-vision. And most everybody is familiar with captions. We turn those on when we're in noisy restaurants. We've all seen that.

You may not have heard audio description. But what happens is when a video has a lot of visual activity, someone with vision loss isn't able to keep up with it. So they add in a secondary audio track. And when there are pauses in the conversation, or there's music being played, that will be toned down and a voice actor will come on and provide a description of the action so someone with vision loss can enjoy the videos just as much as everyone else.

LARRY JACOBS: It's so darn important. That's all I can say. It is so darn important. And you know, by the way, everything is free, right? Am I right?

CINDY CAMP: It is. Everything is free.

LARRY JACOBS: Yeah, everything is free. And it's part of the Department of Education, isn't it?

CINDY CAMP: Yes. We are fully funded through the U.S. Department of Education and we're administered under the National Association of the Deaf. We've been around for quite some time, and we hope that we will continue to be around. Because accessible video is more important now as we get more into multimedia.

LARRY JACOBS: Go ahead and explain that a little further.

CINDY CAMP: So a lot of times, technology changes and you think about old ways of teaching going away. Well, video has been around forever, and the format's changed. Now we stream everything.


CINDY CAMP: But DCMP, we used to send out the 16-millimeter reel-to-reel films. We went to VHS. We went to DVD.

And now it's all streamed online. So it just gets easier and easier. But it's still such an important part of education.

LARRY JACOBS: It really is. And actually, let me ask you a question about that. As you heard at the beginning of the show, we are very interested in equity and access. You know that, of course. You work with us and all that sort of thing.

And I congratulate you guys for what you do. But you just said everything's streamed. But are things still available on DVD?

CINDY CAMP: They are.

LARRY JACOBS: And the reason I'm asking that is because some kids don't have access. This is the challenge we have right now with this COVID-19 disaster going on for everybody. Talk about the DVDs. Just talk about that, make sure everybody understands that.

CINDY CAMP: You're exactly right. The majority of our materials are still available on DVD. So if somebody lives in a rural area and they don't have good internet access, sometimes schools don't have reliable internet access--


CINDY CAMP: --they can just order the DVD. They get it, they keep it for two weeks. If they need it longer they can ask to keep it longer.

They send it back. Postage is paid both ways. Again, no charge to our clients at all.

LARRY JACOBS: That's swell. Well, you must sleep well at night. You're doing a nice thing every day.


LARRY JACOBS: You're doing a good thing every day, Cindy. I've got to tell you

CINDY CAMP: Thank you.

LARRY JACOBS: I mean, it's really good stuff. And you said something-- you said they use a voice actor when you were talking about the descriptive audio.


LARRY JACOBS: Yeah. Who is the "they"? When you said this, who is the "they"?

CINDY CAMP: So there are a lot of different companies that you can hire to add audio description to your videos. Audio description is really very complicated, even more so than adding captions.

LARRY JACOBS: I would don't think so.

CINDY CAMP: So I don't recommend that you do it yourself because you have to write a script.


CINDY CAMP: It has to be concise to fit in when there are blank moments in the dialogue. And then you have to have somebody who has a good voice to read that and create the secondary audio track.

LARRY JACOBS: And it's important what you said. Because if you just do it in a dull voice, you're ruining what people-- you're ruining what you're trying to accomplish, give people a sense of video, if I don't the action on the screen.


LARRY JACOBS: If you're not a good actor, you're not going to be able to do that. [CLEARS THROAT] If you just have a dull voice, it's going to make whatever it is dull. So you've got to have an actor.


LARRY JACOBS: That's really interesting. I never thought of that. And timing it correctly as well. That's so-- wow.

CINDY CAMP: Yep. Yeah. Well, and you think about-- we use video in education because it helps students go on impossible field trips. They get to see things and experience things they wouldn't normally get to.


CINDY CAMP: And entertainment is part of the educational video experience. So if you use a monotone voice or if you use a computerized voice-- now, they're getting better. But in general, using a computerized voice, it really breaks up the flow of the video and it doesn't enhance the experience. It kind of defeats the experience.

LARRY JACOBS: It really did. It--

CINDY CAMP: So quality is-- yeah.

LARRY JACOBS: Thank you. Quality matters. And you--


LARRY JACOBS: I have to ask-- I want to ask this the right way. Are your videos sourced by you folks, or are they sourced by the Department of Education and sent to you folks?

Who sources the videos and whatever you need? Who sources it? You guys?

CINDY CAMP: We do. Yeah, we actually-- every five years our contract comes up for renewal, and we have a list of priorities where we think we need to add content. And we contract with commercial producers.

We have content from National Geographic, NASA, Scholastic, History Channel. And so it's all really good stuff that's already being used by teachers. It's just not accessible. So we negotiate with those producers to be allowed to add the accessibility features and make it free to our clients.


Did I lose you?

LARRY JACOBS: Cindy, are you there?

CINDY CAMP: I am. I lost you there for a minute.

LARRY JACOBS: No, no, it was me. I lost you. I don't know what happened. My internet slipped off, speaking of streaming.


LARRY JACOBS: But I always have the phone line open, in case I have to switch. And it's rare that I have to do that. Lucky you, you were one of those. So I'm glad we had the line open.

CINDY CAMP: Definitely.

LARRY JACOBS: And what I was saying was they must love you for doing this, because it gets-- it opens their materials to a whole new world that would otherwise not be able to access it. I think it's wonderful.

CINDY CAMP: Yes, it really is a win-win for everyone. Because then we give that accessible back to the producer, and then they have that if they sell their materials, or however they make it available. Now it's accessible. So it's an added feature that they didn't have before.

LARRY JACOBS: It's just-- how many schools do you work with? Or students. However you want to answer that.

CINDY CAMP: [CHUCKLES] Well, actually we track by the number of adults--


CINDY CAMP: --because it's the teachers and the parents who actually setup the account. We don't allow the students to have their own individual account, because we want to make sure, especially with the younger ones, that there's an adult monitoring what they're having access to. We wouldn't want a first grader watching high school content, perhaps.


CINDY CAMP: So honestly, we-- [COUGHS] our numbers have grown exponentially in the past couple of months with the coronavirus. And so I'm not sure what our current membership is, but it's tremendous.


CINDY CAMP: I can say that teachers and parents can setup student accounts under theirs. And last month the number of student accounts grew by 2000% over what it was the year before.

LARRY JACOBS: Huh. 2000%?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah, it's amazing. But suddenly-- teachers may have been using this in the classroom, and now they see the benefit of setting up a student account because they're not with the students. They need them to be able to access it independently.

LARRY JACOBS: How can I say this? You're at the right place at the exact wrong time.


LARRY JACOBS: That's the way I'm going to say that. And you know what I mean--

CINDY CAMP: Yes, yes.

LARRY JACOBS: --in terms of this terrible disease and what it's done to everybody, including education, et cetera. What are the big video-- what's the hot stuff? What's the most popular materials that people are using right now?

CINDY CAMP: Well, a little bit of everything. Some of our most popular content, we have a lot of ASL videos. So that helps parents who have their children learn to sign so they can communicate with their children. A lot of interpreter training programs use those ASL.


CINDY CAMP: There's ASL storytelling, so even the little ones who can't read the captions yet can still have access to the media. We've got a lot of new videos coming out. We have Physics Girl. We've got a few coronavirus related-videos that are out.

Some of my favorite, I love the history videos. We've got Time Blazers. So some really good series. And I know parents will like this one. We have PAW Patrol.


CINDY CAMP: And [LAUGHS] that's a great one.

LARRY JACOBS: I'm sorry to say I know what that is. I do know what that is.



CINDY CAMP: Well, it's educational, but the kids don't know that. So they watch it and they learn anyway.

LARRY JACOBS: Of course. Yeah, it's fun. It's fun. I do love it. And actually, do you work a lot with PBS? Would they be a big source of materials for you?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah, yeah, we do. We work with PBS Studios. We've got a lot of their content.

LARRY JACOBS: Oh, I'm sure. It's-- wow. Really something.

And does any of the content come with a cool little lesson plan? Or are you just-- yeah, are you just putting a video, or however you want to say that, out there? Or does it also come with a lesson plan on what to do with it?

CINDY CAMP: A lot of them do come with supplemental materials. We did-- some of our older ones-- we actually have a series of lesson plans that were produced by master teachers, and those are linked in.


CINDY CAMP: Currently, a lot of the new stuff, the producers will have supplemental materials on their website. So we link to that. So yeah, a lot of them really require very little effort on the teacher's part to be able to use them effectively in the classroom. And one of our new features, actually, is everything is correlated with the national common core standards.


CINDY CAMP: --and also with individual state standards. So then teachers can easily document this video teaches the standard. Or they can search by standard to find something they need to teach.

LARRY JACOBS: Right. It's so good what you do. Again everybody, it's

Cindy, besides using us-- and thank you so much for being with us today and using our ACE-ED materials. And we want you to keep doing that, OK? Send us whatever you need us to get out there.

How else do you reach out to educators and parents? You're the Marketing and Communications Specialist. How else do you do it, so they know?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah. We go to a lot of national and regional conferences to try and get in contact with the right people. We don't have a huge staff, so we can't do a lot of the local stuff. But we're trying to do that.

And I've actually been doing a lot more of the virtual trainings. People are have-- especially now, they're having remote meetings. So it's very easy for me to just jump on a video call and provide training. So if anybody is interested in that, be sure and let me know.

LARRY JACOBS: OK, so I've got-- it's This is Cindy Camp we're talking to here. Which organizations are the key organizations for you as you go out there?

Because I know you've got a lot of meetings. You just said that. Which are the key ones?

CINDY CAMP: Well, we try and hit as many as possible--

LARRY JACOBS: Oh, I know you do.

CINDY CAMP: CEC, the Council of Exceptional Children, is a big one for us.


CINDY CAMP: Yeah. One we actually had to miss out this summer because it was canceled, the National Deaf Education conference.


CINDY CAMP: The NFB, National Federation of the Blind. We try and hit all of those, and then some of the smaller ones, because we know that not everybody is able to go to those big ones. We go to CASE and NASDSE.

LARRY JACOBS: That's a great group, Council of Special Ed Administrators. Yeah.

CINDY CAMP: Yeah, they are.


CINDY CAMP: And I know another group that advertises with you is the American Librarian Association.

LARRY JACOBS: Oh yes. Oh yes.

CINDY CAMP: We go to those as well. Yeah.

LARRY JACOBS: Yeah, the AASL is who we work with, the school librarians. And that is so important. And actually, that's a great point. Do most schools -- thank you for bringing that up -- Do most schools have your materials, or make sure everybody knows your materials are available in the school library? That's a great point. That's so important.

CINDY CAMP: Well, and we try to make it available. We try and make sure. One of the problems is there's so much turnover in schools.

So we'll have a great network going, and then somebody retires and we start over. So I think my job is secure. We're always going to be working to get the word out.

LARRY JACOBS: Yeah. Well, you do a great job at doing that, and it's just so important. And by the way, any way we can help you, you know that we're happy to do it for you.

CINDY CAMP: Well, thank you.

LARRY JACOBS: And I mean that sincerely. Send us-- actually, this is a good point. Do you send out press releases on new materials that you have, and that sort of thing?

CINDY CAMP: That goes out in our monthly newsletter. And so anybody who signs up with us, you don't get a ton of emails.


CINDY CAMP: You get a monthly newsletter, and one of the features is always new videos. And we've got a ton that we had just pushed through because we know people are needing the content right now. And we have just launched a new video player, and it allows you to customize the accessibility features to meet the needs of your students. This is going to be huge. So--

LARRY JACOBS: That's really good, right.

CINDY CAMP: Now you can change the size of the font in the captions, the font color, the background color. So if you happen to have a student who is deaf that may have some vision loss, you can enlarge those captions so it makes it easier for them to read.


CINDY CAMP: You can mix-and-match the soundtracks. So we have quite a bit of content in Spanish. If someone, say, and their parents--

LARRY JACOBS: Oh, thank you for telling me that. Yeah.

CINDY CAMP: --speaks Spanish, but the student is learning English, you can actually hear it in Spanish and have the captions be in English.

LARRY JACOBS: That's pretty cool.

CINDY CAMP: So there's tons of possibilities.

LARRY JACOBS: I have to ask-- let me--


LARRY JACOBS: Do you know about TSOL? Teachers-- TSOL. Teachers-- so I can't remember what the acronym is. Students of Other Languages. TSOL. You know about them?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah, yeah. We are familiar. And our videos are great for English Language Learners. The problem is we are specific--

LARRY JACOBS: Thank you for bringing this up.

CINDY CAMP: [LAUGHS] Yeah, yeah.

LARRY JACOBS: And describe to me-- it's TSOL. Let me just do it. Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages.

Teachers of English Students of Other Language. That's TSOL. Couldn't remember the acronym for some reason. Yeah.




LARRY JACOBS: Do you work with a group called NABE, Bilingual Educators?

CINDY CAMP: We don't, but I'm familiar with them.

LARRY JACOBS: NABE, it's a good group.

CINDY CAMP: Yeah. Because we specifically focus on students with disabilities. So there's some crossover, but--

LARRY JACOBS: There is, yeah.


LARRY JACOBS: Well, these kids need it. And actually, what you just said about the kids can watch a video, and the language they're speaking is Spanish, but the captions are English. Or vise versa, I'm sure.


LARRY JACOBS: It would be incredibly useful not just for kids who have disabilities, I don't know if you have to stay in that particular focus, but just for the generic child who's learning English as a second language.

CINDY CAMP: It is. Unfortunately, we do have to stick within the disability category.

LARRY JACOBS: Mm. I understand that.

CINDY CAMP: But if the teacher has one student who qualifies in their classroom, they're able to use our materials with all their classes. So say you have a high school teacher who teaches five or six sections of the same class, as long as they have one qualifying student, they can use our videos in all their classes. Because we don't want them to change their lesson plan for that one student.

LARRY JACOBS: Thank you for sharing that with everybody. Thank you. That's incredibly important. I hadn't even thought of that aspect of what you do, and it's just incredible. And this is available to any student who has a child with special needs in either sight or hearing?

CINDY CAMP: Yes, yes.

LARRY JACOBS: Right? That's just-- how long has this been around?

CINDY CAMP: We actually-- it began in the late 1950s in one form. At that time it was privately-funded. And then through the years, we changed. We went to totally grant-funded through the U.S. Department of Ed. We started out just captions for the deaf. And then in 2006 we added in audio description for the blind.


CINDY CAMP: So lots of changes, but we've been around.

LARRY JACOBS: Well, you have been around. And as you said, it was privately-funded. That must have been one heck of an individual who did that at the beginning.

CINDY CAMP: Well, it was a small group, and they wanted to make sure that some entertainment videos were accessible to the deaf.


CINDY CAMP: Yep, yeah. So--

LARRY JACOBS: How many videos--

CINDY CAMP: But you can see how important it is.

LARRY JACOBS: It is, it is. And it starts small.


LARRY JACOBS: How many videos now are in your library? However you want to say that. Materials.

CINDY CAMP: Over 8,000.

LARRY JACOBS: Isn't that amazing?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah. And we add about 300 hours of new content every year.

LARRY JACOBS: And what's the oldest thing that's in there? You must have viewed a lot of it. What's the oldest thing that's in there?

CINDY CAMP: Oh my goodness. Actually, I think we still have a couple of historical videos. Probably from the 1960s.

LARRY JACOBS: Wow. That's a long time ago now. It is.

CINDY CAMP: Yeah. We've got a couple, and they were like some of the very earliest captioned videos.

LARRY JACOBS: They must be something. Wow. They must be something. As people were learning to do this, and it was just when people became aware of the special needs of certain people, it's just--


LARRY JACOBS: It's just really something. OK, this has been wonderful. I want everybody to know it's, OK? It's Described and Captioned Media Program, which is-- Cindy is in Alabama, but it's based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. But it's part of the Department of Special Education of the Department of Education.

And it's just-- this is free. Hello? It's free! Right?

CINDY CAMP: It is. It is.

LARRY JACOBS: Doesn't it make you crazy, you have this wonderful free resources, and you've got to spend all this time just to get it out there? You know?


LARRY JACOBS: Everybody needs to know about it. It makes you crazy. It makes you crazy.

CINDY CAMP: It does.

LARRY JACOBS: It's wonderful out there, and it's for-- and I wanted to ask one more question. Can a parent who has a kid, and the teacher doesn't know, the parent can apply, right?

CINDY CAMP: Oh, definitely. The parents can sign up, they can use this at home. They can actually order DVDs for summer vacation, so you've got something for the kids to watch on the car trip.

LARRY JACOBS: Mm. Stop that summer slide.

CINDY CAMP: [CHUCKLES] That's it. Parents and teachers can share a student. We make it very easy. Whoever signs up that student first, there's a code. They send it to the parent. They send it to the child's other teachers. So that child has one login, and then all of the adults can give them media to watch.

LARRY JACOBS: It's just wonderful what you're doing. You sleep well at night, Cindy Camp.



CINDY CAMP: I do enjoy my job.

LARRY JACOBS: You're going to heaven. You're going to heaven. You and your friends and colleagues, you're all going to heaven. Congratulations.


LARRY JACOBS: You've done it. You've done it. I know everybody's in quarantine. I don't know if Alabama's opening up or whatever, but just stay safe down there, OK?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah, thank you.

LARRY JACOBS: Everybody stay safe. You know? But crazy times, so we've got to do it.

But here's-- wow, this is such good stuff. Thank you, Cindy. Thank you.

CINDY CAMP: Thank you.

LARRY JACOBS: OK, my pleasure. And we'll do more OK? You take-- oh, did you-- wait a minute. I forgot about something. You said you had a-- did you tell me you had a quote from a couple of teachers?

CINDY CAMP: I do have a good one.

LARRY JACOBS: I forgot to ask you. You did write me that. What would you like to say from those teachers?

CINDY CAMP: Yeah. This is from a high school teacher in Texas who said "COVID-19 has placed many barriers between me and my students, especially my students with hearing loss. The last thing kids need when they're locked up in the house is a stagnant recorded lecture. DCMP allows me to continue to use engaging media I would've used in the class already."


CINDY CAMP: "If it weren't for DCMP, I would have either spent hours captioning media myself, or had to ask parents to pay to rent the media from another source, neither of which is a good idea."

LARRY JACOBS: Wow. Teacher from Texas. Wow. Another? Is there another one?

CINDY CAMP: Let's see. Yeah, this one is from an English teacher in California. "Given I teach a specific course to students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical and health care field, I thoroughly enjoy and will continue to invest in the plethora of topics. In particular, counseling and self-help. There are so many great topics within the umbrella that I'm looking forward to assigning more videos along with my provided lessons."

LARRY JACOBS: Wow, wow. That says it all, doesn't it? You're just doing great work. Cindy, thanks a million.

CINDY CAMP: Thank you.

LARRY JACOBS: OK, you take care. Be safe down there.



CINDY CAMP: Thank you. Yes.

LARRY JACOBS: Thank you. Bye bye.


LARRY JACOBS: Cindy Camp, everybody., OK? And please tap into this. This is free, and they would love you to use everything they have.

OK, we're going to archive the show, We're going to tweet it out, @EduTalkRadio. Please go over to, join our consortium, read our magazine. Everything's free.

You can follow that over on Twitter at @Access2EquityED. Thank you, Cindy Camp. My name's Larry Jacobs. Thanks for listening.


Tags: dcmp, consumers

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