Blind/vision impaired TV, DVD, Cinema & the Arts news

International accessible art professionals to give free lectures in Adelaide

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This August, Adelaide will play host to the British audio describer, Willie Elliot, and artistic director, Daryl Beeton for a free program on accessible arts thanks to South Australia’s Disability Arts Transition Team (DATT).

Willie Elliot is a professional audio describer with experience in describing theatre, opera, dance, circus, visual arts, architecture, live events, TV, film and online.  He will present a forum on audio description and run professional audio description training. 

Daryl Beeton, Artistic Director of London-based inclusive theatre company Kazzum, will deliver three workshops that explore the idea of integrating access elements into the creation of performance.


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Ofcom publishes 2012 TV access requirements

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Ofcom, the UK media and communications regulator, has published its mid-year statement on 2012 TV access requirements, requiring increased captioning and audio description across UK television channels.

The statement, ‘Television channels required to provide access services in 2012’, has the following outcomes for 2012:


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TV Speak makes TV accessible for the blind and vision impaired

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TV Speak is a revolutionary new application which makes a TV-enabled computer accessible for the blind and vision impaired by speaking on-screen textual information such as menus and program guides.

Designed by the Spanish company Code Factory, TV Speak can be installed on computers with Windows 7, Vista or XP, which have been connected to a TV antenna via a tuner card. Once installed, it will verbalise functions such as:

  • Common operations like channel up and down
  • Access to teletext
  • Electronic program guides
  • Tuning TV and radio stations
  • Recording programs
  • Parental control

TV Speak is currently only available in the USA, Spain, France and Germany.


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FCC reminds broadcasters to make emergency information accessible

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The US communications and media regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has published a Public Notice reminding broadcasters, cable and satellite television operators and all other domestic video program providers to provide access services on emergency information.

Given the recent floods and tornados across the United States, the FCC emphasised the importance of ensuring that people who have vision or hearing impairment have access to emergency information, especially all ‘critical details’ pertaining to the emergency, and how to respond.

The requirement applies to all distributors of video programming to American households, with no exceptions. All distributors must ensure the information they provide is accessible, whatever signal or medium they use to distribute the contact.


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