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BBC releases accessible Doctor Who DVD

by Ouch Team

20th November 2006

The BBC will be releasing the UK's first fully accessible DVD on Monday. The box-set of the Doctor Who second series, featuring David Tennant and Billie Piper, will have audio navigation built into the standard release of the DVD so that visually impaired people can access all the content independently.
The Dr Who Box Set
"This is a great step forward," says visually impaired film fan Tim Gebbles who, with RNIB, approached the BBC with the idea. "When trying to use regular DVDs, it involves a lot of guesswork: starting again, reloading the disk because I get lost in the menus and ultimately need sighted help."

When you slip the DVD into the drawer it says: "Doctor Who, second series." and then asks if you would like to continue using audio navigation. If you select 'enter' it then helps you find all the episodes and extras, speaking what's available as you arrow through the menu options. When watching the episodes, you can opt to have an Audio Description soundtrack which fills in narrative gaps, speaking useful information to help you know what's going on in those more visual moments.

We got Sara Morgan, a visually impaired sci fi fan from London, to check out accessible Doctor Who:
David Tennant and Billie Piper stand outside the Tardis
"This series of Doctor Who was fantastic! I really like Rose, I'm sad that she's gone. It was great to see K9 again and the episode called 'The Girl in the Fireplace' was inspired and out of the ordinary.

"It was good to feel I was in control of what I was watching. I could find things on the DVD I normally wouldn't know were there, like David Tennant's Video Diary and lots of mini documentaries about the making of the shows. The voice was very good, clear and precise."

The Doctor Who second series box-set will be available to buy in your local high street and online from Monday 20 November, RRP £69.99

BBC DVD plan to release a number of their key titles next year with the same accessibility features. Watch this space.

The box-set is also subtitled in English.

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