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Federal Household Assistance Scheme continues to help people with disabilities


A bright point in this week’s Federal Government budget is the continuation of the Digital TV Taskforce’s Household Assistance Scheme (HAS).

The HAS provides a set-top box, installation and an antenna, if needed, to eligible households. These households are usually vulnerable people that are elderly, isolated or have a disability.

“The HAS is a model for how government programs should be run,“ said Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley. “It has been designed in consultation with the people it will help and is sensitive and responsive to their needs.”

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The SubStation introduces fast captioning service for TV commercials


Australian access company The SubStation has introduced a new service called Captionflow which will allow captions for TV commercials to be ordered and delivered online in as little as an hour.

Commercial producers who use the Substation’s sister company, DubSat, to distribute their commercials to TV stations in Australia and New Zealand will now be able to order the captions at the same time. Captionflow also eliminates the costs associated with couriers and dubbing.

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Google launches live captions on YouTube at Google I/O


For the first time, people who are Deaf or hearing impaired can watch the live video stream of Google I/O, Google’s developer conference, with live captions.

YouTube launched its live captioning feature with the Google I/O live video stream today. According to Naomi Black, Google’s Technical Program Manager for Accessibility Engineering, the feature will be available to all YouTube partners including competing live streaming websites.

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American cinema chain to provide captioning and audio description in theatres nationwide


Leading motion picture exhibitor Regal Entertainment Group, which owns and operates the largest theatre circuit in the United States, has announced that it will install personal captioning and audio description technologies in all its digital cinema locations by the end of 2012.

The rollout of these access solutions will take place in conjunction with the group’s digital cinema rollout, and will be available for widespread use in America over the next 12 to 18 months.

Chief Administrative Officer & Counsel Randy Smith said, “almost every Regal location nationwide will be fully equipped with digital cinema systems and be further equipped to provide closed captions and descriptive video for our deaf, hard of hearing and blind guests”.

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