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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

In Memoriam: Bill Stark

June 17, 1943 — June 11, 2024

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Bill Stark, a family member, friend, and colleague at the Described and Captioned Media Program. Bill was 80.

Bill Stark smiles as he poses in front of greeneryi with pink flower. He wears glasses, a red shirt and gray suitcoat.

Bill was a pioneer in the field of media accessibility. He and his wife Dianne started what would become DCMP in Spartanburg, SC, in 1991 by being awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide captioned films to deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Under Bill’s guidance, the program became a leader in accessible media creation, distribution, and technology development. During Bill's time as project director, the program evolved from distributing 16mm film to VHS to DVD and eventually streaming media. Each grant cycle brought new challenges and opportunities. In 2006 the program officially became the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) with the addition of audio description.

Early in his career, Bill was a Captioned Films for the Deaf (CFD) depository manager, film evaluator, caption writer, and lesson guide writer. He helped make some of the early history of CFD, which became the DCMP. He was taught how to caption in the 1970s by the late "father of closed captioning," Dr. Malcolm Norwood. Bill directed summer workshops with teachers across the country for captioning and lesson guide writing before becoming the director in 1991. He guided the program through its changes until 2011, when his son Jason became director and CEO of DCMP. Primarily thinking of himself as a teacher, Bill continued his advocacy efforts through writing, research, and friendship.

Bill will be missed, and his legacy will continue to have a positive impact on children for decades to come.

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The Logic of the Motion Picture in the Classroom: Films in Schools for the Deaf (1915–1965)

Tags: dcmp, history, news

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