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

London calls for an Australian audio describer

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Lara Torr could be off to the UK to pursue her dream of becoming an expert audio describer thanks to the British Council’s Realise Your Dream competition.

Torr is an arts professional from South Australia who works across visual arts and theatre. In 2011 she trained to become an audio describer, someone who describes an artwork, performance or program for those who are blind or vision impaired. So far in 2013, Torr has described productions for the Adelaide Festival and the State Theatre Company of SA. She also wrote the description for the National Gallery of Victoria’s Monet’s Garden exhibition and run an audio description workshop in Hobart.


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Access All Areas Film Festival announces 2013 feature program

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Now in its sixth year, the free Access All Areas Film Festival celebrates how the joy of cinema can be opened up to everyone regardless of disability. The festival takes movies with open captions and audio description on the road throughout Australia.

The annual film festival is divided into three sections: the cinema tour, schools tour and community tour. Program details for the schools and community tours will be announced shortly but will include ten short, family friendly films.


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New access system hits Spanish cinemas

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A number of Spanish cinemas are introducing captioned and audio described movies across their screens using Acce-Play, an accessible cinema system developed by Spain’s Navarre de Cinema and the University of Deusto in Bilbao. The technology will allow for more flexibility with the display of captions.

Using the Acce-Play system, captions can either be open or closed, depending on the cinema’s preference.  The open captions can be projected onto a 50 centimetre wide, 5 metre long screen under the main cinema screen. Closed captions can be shown either on a small personal screen attached to the viewer’s seat or shown on a set of interactive glasses.

Audio description, an extra audio track for blind and vision impaired viewers, is sent to wireless headphones as usual.


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Access grows in the Middle East

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Over the coming weeks Media Access Australia will be looking at how access to media and technology is growing in the Middle East, as CEO Alex Varley pays a visit to the Qatar Assistive Technology Centre, known as Mada.

Mada is a not-for-profit organisation that shares many values and roles with Media Access Australia.  Mada works directly with people with disabilities and focuses on developing resources and assistive technologies in the Arabic language.  An early project was translating our sociABILITY: social media for people with disability guide into Arabic.  Mada was established by the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology in 2010 and has additional

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