Deaf and hearing impaired

Accessible Cinema Advisory Group releases second communiqué


The Accessible Cinema Advisory Group (ACAG) met in late May to discuss the continued rollout of accessible cinema locations across the four major cinema chains of Hoyts, Village, Greater Union/Event/Birch Carroll & Coyle and Reading.

ACAG, assembled in 2010 by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, oversees and advises on the implementation of accessible screens, and the outcomes of the meeting have been released in a second communiqué to the public.

The communiqué is reproduced below.

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Screen Australia announces new audio description policy


Screen Australia, the Federal Government’s funding body for the screen production industry, has announced a new funding condition that requires films to be delivered with audio description.

The new condition complements Screen Australia’s requirement, introduced in 2007, for all feature films to be captioned.  

This initiative follows recommendations from the Federal Government’s Media Access Review final report, in order to provide around 600,000 Australians who are blind or vision impaired with access to audio described feature films.

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New Broadway theatre accessibility initiative


A new partnership between Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and arts access provider G-PASS means visitors to New York will have the opportunity to enjoy more Broadway shows.

The Broadway Accessibility/Audience Expansion Initiative enables theatregoers to view captions or listen to audio description at every performance of designated shows.

Using technology developed by Sound Associates, the G-PASSaccess services of I-Caption and D-Scriptive are both automated systems, delivering captions or audio description that are synchronised to the show’s cueing system.

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Report on captioning in the European Union released


The European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) has released a report which looks at levels of captioning on audiovisual media across the European Union.

The EFHOH, which has been campaigning for increased levels of captioning for the last ten years, notes that some countries have made great progress in that time. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France now have 100% captioning on their main television channels, but other countries are lagging behind.

The EFHOH notes that there are 50 million Deaf and hearing impaired people in Europe, and believes that 100% of programs on all public TV channels should be captioned by 2020.

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