Descriptive Videos

Descriptive videos are video recordings–on VHS tape or DVD–that offer an audio descriptive video service (DVS). DVS provides an additional narration that overlays the main audio track without interfering with the dialogue or other crucial sounds. It describes the visual elements of a movie such as action, setting, costumes, characters and facial expressions. DVS makes videos more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

A regular VCR player and a TV are needed to watch VHS tapes with DVS. DVDs require a DVD player and a TV, or a computer with a DVD drive. The Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library (MBTBL) does not provide any playback equipment.

Only individuals who have been certified to use Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library materials may borrow descriptive videos. Descriptive videos are strictly for home use; copyright restrictions prohibit the loan of descriptive videos to institutions.

There will be a replacement charge of $25 for each lost or damaged video.

  •  - 7/3/17
    A comprehensive list of all DVDs offering descriptive video services.
  •  - 7/3/17
    A comprehensive list of all VHS tapes offering descriptive video services.
  • DVD Titles with Descriptive Video Service - Audio (MP3) - 6/27/17
    A comprehensive list of all DVDs offering descriptive video services in an audio format. Does not include navigation points. File size: 30.2 MB. Listening time: 1 hour, 5 minutes and 53 seconds.
  • DVD Titles with Descriptive Video Service - Braille (BRF) - 6/16/17
    A comprehensive list of all DVDs offering descriptive video services in an electronic Braille (BRF) format. Requires braille printer/embosser or refreshable braille display.
  • VHS Titles with Descriptive Video Service - Braille (BRF) - 5/8/17
    A comprehensive list of all VHS tapes offering descriptive video services in an electronic Braille (BRF) format. Requires braille printer/embosser or refreshable braille display.
  •  - 4/6/17

Loan Policy

  • You may borrow no more two VHS tapes and one DVD title at a time. We cannot send you other titles until you have returned the earlier ones and they have been checked-in.
  • Videos will be loaned for 14 days. There are no renewals.
  • Descriptive video titles cannot be reserved for special dates.
  • Videos will be sent Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped. Videos should be returned to the library in the same manner as other materials, by turning over the label on the mailing case so the library’s address is facing up.  No postage is required.
  • Remember that some videos may contain strong language, sex or violence.  When available a national motion picture rating system is noted in the description.
  • Please rewind VHS tapes before returning them to the library. Please do not leave them in cars or place them near heaters, stoves, etc. In cold weather, allow videos to warm to room temperature before inserting into your player. Avoid dropping them or placing them on TV sets, speakers, or near electric motors.
  • Please handle DVDs by the edges as they are easily scratched. Avoid dropping them or placing anything on them.
  • The DVDs in this collection contain an audio description track which is available through the DVD menu's Set-Up or Language options. Typically, this audio track can also be found by pressing the Audio button on the DVD player's remote control once the movie has started. Some movies will prompt you to select an audio track upon start-up. Please note that access to this track will vary from DVD to DVD, and sometimes assistance from a sighted friend or family member may be required.
  • The loaning of descriptive videos may be suspended if videos are not returned or replaced, although this will not affect talking book, braille or large print service.
  • Descriptive videos are a request-only service.  When you receive the descriptive video catalog please order all of the videos you would like to borrow. An order form is included. The videos you receive will come from this list, as available.