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Audio Described Television Programming on WXXI-TV

As a further service to Rochester's visually impaired community, WXXI television offers a large number of its programs with descriptive video (DVi or D)))).

The programs listed below include descriptive video for the month.  Programs with descriptive video provide concise descriptions of sets, scenery, costumes, action and other important visual elements between the dialogue of the program.

Digital television standards provide for two types of main audio, and six types of associated audio services, one of which is for people with vision disabilities.  In order to access D))) programs in the digital world, you will need to have either a digital television with additional associated audio services or a converter box with enough associated audio services.  As long as you are equipped with one of these two options, any program that contains D)))/audio description, the description will be heard along with all of the regular program audio. For more information on how to access D))) programs, call WXXI at 325-7500.

In July 2019 WXXI Television had to change frequencies.  If you are having trouble receiving WXXI televisions programming over air, using an antenna, you may need to rescan to access the new frequencies.  (This is NOT necessary if you subscribe to cable.) Here's a short video to help you rescan your over the air television.

According to the World Health Organization, there is an estimated 2 billion visually impaired people in the world with varying degrees of vision loss. Of that, more than 40 million are blind.  People who are blind need and want accessible communications options, just like anyone else.  Enter BlindShell.

Audio described programming - January 2021

Dec 23, 2020

There'a a new Masterpiece Mystery coming on Sundays at 8pm in January - Miss Scarlet and the Duke.  Kate Phillips (Peaky Blinders) stars in a six-part mystery as the headstrong, first-ever female detective in Victorian London, who won’t let any naysayers stop her from keeping her father’s business running. Stuart Martin (Jamestown) plays her childhood friend, professional colleague, and potential love interest, Scotland Yard Detective Inspector William Wellington, a.k.a., The Duke.

WXXI's audio described programming in December includes a number of Children's specials.  Join Peg and Cat as they learn what makes Hanukkah and Christmas special (see air times below).

In his new six-hour series, Africa's Great Civilizations, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century.  And for the kids, there's "An Arthur Thanksgiving" with several opportunities to enjoy it.

Travel host and producer Mickela Mallozzi explores dance and music culture around the world. A professional dancer, Mallozzi begins her journey in her hometown of Minturno, Italy, where she visits the town's annual wheat harvest festival. Other episodes include dancing tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina; South Korea's Jeju Fire Festival; the dance and music traditions of Croatia's Dalmation Coast; cooking and dancing with the indigenous people of Malaysia's eastern regions; and dancing the Viennese Waltz in Vienna.

One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote. The Vote brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then — and continue to dominate political discourse today. Tuesdays at 8pm beginning Sept 8.

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule - August 2020

Jul 22, 2020

On Saturdays and Sundays (1p and 2p, beginning Aug 9) we'll feature African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. This series, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent right up to today when America remains a nation deeply divided by race.

Disney+ has received the 2020 Achievement Award in Audio Description from the American Council of the Blind (ACB), a United States-based organization that strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.

July 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so we decided to do a series of posts about accessibility as it relates to people with vision loss and anything new that we’ve learned about.  Today we’re going to highlight some of the accessibility features for television and local cable provider Spectrum, as well as reflecting briefly on the beginnings of audio description.

DVI Primetime and Kids programming - July 2020

Jun 19, 2020


One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote — a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. (Mon-Tue, 7/6-7/7 @ 9pm)

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule: June 2020

May 20, 2020

Primetime DVI Programming: June highlights bring us the return of "Spy In the Wild: A Nature miniseries." Spy Creatures explore the rarely seen emotions of animals, revealing if they are as strong and complex as our own. (Wednesdays at 8pm beginning 6/17)

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule: May 2020

Apr 29, 2020

Join WXXI television on Saturdays at 4:00pm throughout May for the Ken Burns' film, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Plus, WXXI television continues helping children "Learn at Home," (L-A-H) 6am to 6pm

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule: April 2020

Apr 19, 2020

  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and children being taught at home, WXXI has launched a new Learn-at Home program schedule.  The Learn-at-Home schedule currently airs each Monday through Friday from 8a through 6p. Programs with descriptive video in that time-frame are included in the list in the Children's section below.

The 21st century Communication and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) is 10 years old.  Tune in to find out how this law is working for people who are blind or visually impaired.

NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and children being home from school, the children's television block is subject to change so that we might provide educational content for those families with children at home.

American Masters profiles Hollywood bombshell Hedy Lamar, Saturday, March 28 at 4:00pm.

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule - February 2020

Jan 17, 2020

Tune into Independent Lens: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, a program that offers a different perspective on the pervasive inequities institutions of higher education address. Sunday 2/16, 2pm.

10:00p Country Music “The Sons and Daughters of America (1964-1968)”

10:00p Independent Lens "Cooked: Survival by Zip Code”

09:00p Country Music “Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (1968-1972)”

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule - January 2020

Dec 18, 2019


This month we present Ken Burns film Country Music and a one-hour kids special, The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur.  Complete listings below.

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule - December 2019

Dec 2, 2019


When winter weather hits, we all know what it feels like to be snowbound.  But what about the animals that stick around all winter.  Snowbound: Animals of Winter, Wed 12/18 at 8pm.

At the 2019 ACB Conference and Convention in Rochester, NY, Will Schell of the Disability Rights office of the FCC provided an update on accessible electronic devices, as they apply to the areas of oversight by the FCC.  Many know that the FCC oversees and regulates the radio and television industry, as well as cable, cellular and telephone industries.  Consumer accessibility issues within these industries were reported on, as well as updates to the Secondary Audio programming rules and regulations as they apply to audio description and emergency alert systems.

DVI Primetime & Kids schedule - November 2019

Oct 18, 2019


The brown bear is a large bear that lives across much of northern Eurasia and North America. Adult brown bears can weigh between 220 and 1,400 lbs. Learn more about brown bears, the Kodiak bear (the largest subspecies) and polar bears on Nature, Wednesday, 11/20 at 8:00pm.

On Tuesday, October 22nd host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. brings us another edition of "Family Reunions."

As we anticipate the release of the Downton Abbey movie, WXXI-TV encores season 6 of the PBS Series Downton Abbey, in a marathon on Sunday, Aug 25 beginning at 7pm.


In this video Donna Danielewski, Senior Director of the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH (NCAM), shares NCAM's mission and accomplishments. They are working on behalf of all people with disabilities to make all digital media accessible.

DVI Primetime and Kids programming - July 2019

Jun 26, 2019

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, PBS stations across the country and all of WXXI's services are celebrating with special programming inspired by the heavens.  Enjoy Chasing the Moon on American Experience.

DVI Primetime and Kids programming - June 2019

May 21, 2019


American Experience tackles the Stonewall Uprising this month. When police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City on June 28, 1969, the street erupted into violent protests that lasted for the next six days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.

This program will explore the field of audio description, a way of making the elements of visual media much more enjoyable for people who are blind or visually impaired.

DVI Primetime and Kids Programming - May 2019

Apr 18, 2019

Nature presents “Equus: Story of the Horse: Origins” on May 15th

10:00p Unforgotten Season 3 on Masterpiece "Episode Five"  
11:00p Wallander Season 4 on Masterpiece  

10:30p Independent Lens "Out of State"  

9:00p Amelia Earhart: American Experience  

8:00p Nature “Moose: Life of a Twig Eater”  

9:00p Live from Lincoln Center “Cynthia Erivo in Concert”  
10:00p Live from Lincoln Center "Andrew Rannells in Concert"  


Rick Steves visits Scotland's Islands and Glasgow this month.  Travel along with him on Saturday the 6th and 13th at 3:30pm.

10:00p Independent Lens "Tre Maison Dasan"  

9:00p The Central Park Five  

3:30p Rick Steves' Europe "Scotland's Islands"  

10:00p Unforgotten Season 3 on Masterpiece "Episode One"  

10:00p Independent Lens "The Providers"

8:00p Nature "The Egg: Life's Perfect Invention"

In the March episode of ACB Reports, FCC Attorney Will Shell reports on accessibility issues that the Disability Rights Office is working on.  Specifically, he'll talk about developments in the Audio Description marketplace.  (See this month's audio described television listings for WXXI-TV)