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Larry Goldberg

Larry Goldberg founded the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media. He was a pioneer in the development of the emerging captioning system for digital television in the U.S. and is a nationally recognized expert in accessibility solutions for people with disabilities. He was awarded a patent in 1996 for "Rear Window™," the first closed-captioning system for movie theaters and theme parks. Mr. Goldberg chaired the Federal Access Board’s TEITAC Audio/Video subcommittee, drafting recommendations for updates of section 508 standard, and regularly briefs Congressional and regulatory committees on access barriers and opportunities within new media, most recently testifying as an expert witness at hearings before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet on the “21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.” He works with technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, HP, Adobe, and others on solutions to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities within their products and services. He serves on numerous national advisory boards and is currently on the FCC’s Digital Television Closed Captioning and Video Description Working Group. His undergraduate work focused on Cinema Studies and Broadcast Journalism (BA, University of Southern California cum laude, 1976).


The WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) is a division of the WGBH Educational Foundation, the leading producer of PBS prime-time programs and Web content, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities. In 1972, WGBH pioneered captioning on television for viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. In 1988, WGBH again broke new ground by developing the Descriptive Video Service (DVS), which offers blind and visually impaired viewers a carefully crafted narration, woven into the pauses of the program audio, which provides important non-verbal information that sighted people take for granted. In 1993, WGBH established its National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) as a research and development division center to build on this unique expertise. NCAM is a founding member of the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (WAI/W3C), serves on numerous W3C committees and leads standards-setting activities and research projects related to accessible infrastructure design, content, and navigation in digital broadcasting, digital cinema, digital talking books, multimedia, the Web, DVDs, digital libraries and online learning platforms. NCAM pioneered the use of video description and captioning on the Web and has done extensive work developing access tools, implementing access solutions, publishing guidelines for science and math-focused digital content, and developing technical specifications for accessible online learning. Staff sit on numerous standards committees, many national consumer and industry advisory boards, and participate in access working groups and technical committees within the W3C, the IMS Global Learning Consortium, ISO/IEC, the National Science Digital Library, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).