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

Americans push for accessible in-flight entertainment

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Following on from the March 2013 introduction of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act in the USA, a recent Senate hearing has heard statements that push for improvements to in-flight entertainment for Deaf and hearing impaired passengers.

As reported in USA Today, National Association of the Deaf’s policy counsel, Andrew Phillips, believes that American domestic airlines provide an inferior service to international counterparts.


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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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UK broadcasters exceed access requirements

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The bi-annual report into the provision of captioning, audio description and sign language on British TV has been released by the media regulator Ofcom. The January to June 2013 report shows that most broadcasters are exceeding their access targets.

The UK system splits the broadcasters into three levels, all based on their audience share.  The biggest category is Level 1 broadcasters, which includes the main free-to-air channels such BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 and the main subscription channels from Sky.


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