Deaf/hearing impaired TV, DVD, Cinema & the Arts news

Highlights of 2013: access in the air

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As many of our readers prepare to jet off on summer holidays, people will be curious about how their access needs will be accommodated by airlines. A number of developments this year are changing the way we travel as well as the enjoyment of our air travel experience. Most developments are taking place in the USA as a result of the Air Carrier Access Act, which impacts strongly on Australia and the rest of the world.

In March 2013, amendments to the Air Carrier Access Act were introduced to the US Senate, requiring domestic and foreign air carriers to ensure that all visually displayed entertainment is accessible, including by making available captioning and audio description for people who are Deaf, hearing impaired, blind, or vision impaired.


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Unscrambling caption quality control

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In 2014 Media Access Australia will release the world’s first review of how the quality of closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf and hearing impaired is controlled internationally. The white paper is sponsored by Red Bee Media and will explore how a more consistent approach to captioning will benefit both viewers and caption providers internationally.

The report will draw on a range of approaches from across the world, both in English and other languages and will examine how various countries such as the UK, USA and Australia ensure the accuracy of closed captions on broadcast television.


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Forty years of captioned news

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This week marks the 40th anniversary of the world’s first captioned news program, which went to air on America’s PBS network at 11pm on 3 December 1973.

Today, news bulletins around the world are routinely captioned using a number of different techniques. Live elements of a program are captioned by ‘stenocaptioners’ who use a stenographic keyboard, or by captioners using speech recognition software. These techniques did not exist in 1973, so the first captioned bulletin, called The Captioned ABC Evening News, was a repeat of the bulletin that had gone to air at 6 pm. This gave a team of six captioners time to prepare the captions for broadcast.


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Highlights of 2013: cinema access advances

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Throughout December Media Access Australia will bring you a summary of the biggest developments in access to media and technology seen in 2013. The first looks at developments in cinema both in Australia and internationally.

New technologies

In Europe three separate companies are introducing captioning or captioning and audio description to Italy and Spain through innovative devices.


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