Cinema and the Arts

Music for the hearing impaired

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Interior Design: Music for the Bionic Ear, a piece of music designed for people with hearing impairments, opens in February at the Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre, in Melbourne.

The performance has been designed specifically for communicating music through cochlear implants that traditionally are unable to discern between music and generic sound.

Sound artist and composer Robin Fox led the team commissioned to create the composition, which was funded by the Australian Network for Art and Technology and run by Melbourne's Bionic Ear Institute, according to a report published in The Age online.


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Testing of cinema captioning systems in the USA

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At the recent Washington, D.C. Digital Captioning Symposium presented by Regal Entertainment Group and National Association of Theater Owners, representatives of Deaf and hearing impaired groups were given the opportunity to test four types of cinema captioning devices.

Catharine McNally, founder of Keen Guides, was a symposium participant and one of the testers of the devices.  Each of the market-ready devices was tested for 20 minutes, and Catharine has relayed her personal opinion on her blog.  The four devices tested included the Doremi Captiview units, which are the units being installed in Australian major cinema chains as part of the four-year access

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World Deaf Cinema Festival begins

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As reported in May, the inaugural World Deaf Cinema Festival is currently taking place in Washington DC.  

Hosted by Gallaudet University, the four-day festival will include presentations by Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and actress Marlee Matlin.  Deaf actors, including Shoshannah Stern, who starred in TV’s “Weeds” and “Jericho,” will take part.

Gallaudet University is the USA’s premier university for Deaf and hearing impaired students.

Organisers say the festival has drawn 173 film submissions from 30 countries that will be judged by an expert panel — the most submissions of any similar festival.  Some films have audio, some do not, but all have captions.  

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Latest MAA Annual Report now available online

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Media Access Australia held its AGM on 26 October 2010 and approved the annual report and accounts. Media Access Australia had a successful year with significant progress in cinema, education, television, downloads, and digital technology and online media access.

Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley said, “I am pleased to see continuous progress in media access, particularly in the rapidly changing new media area. We have firmly established ourselves as the first port of call for consumers, government and business for issues connected with media access. None of this could happen without our successful collaboration with community organisations and international partners.”

“Our team is continuing to grow and it is a pleasure to work with such knowledgeable and passionate people.”

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