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The concept of narration and description in motion pictures was created by Helen Harris, founding president of RP International (RPI), the leading non-profit organization in the United States, fighting Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), and other blinding, degenerative eye diseases. TheatreVision© is a new process of incorporating a special soundtrack for feature films that runs concurrently with the dialogue of the picture. This track provides a "descriptive narration" of what is being shown on the screen, so that those without sight can still experience the wonderful medium of motion pictures.
Over the next few years, plans call for these special narrative tracks to be heard via headsets in theatres. With the help and cooperation of many in the Hollywood community, the prototype for TheatreVision© was created.
This new film technique is anticipated to bring between 10 to 31 million visually impaired moviegoers into theaters. Many of Hollywood’s top filmmakers have already created TheatreVision© versions of their existing films. These specially formatted films are being made available to the unsighted through select neighborhood theatres, as well as through libraries, charitable organizations, special screenings and schools for the blind. TheatreVision© complements RPI’s existing program, AudioVision, which provides audio-oriented, "visually challenged" versions of media ranging from greeting cards to books.