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New Zealand audio description trial begins today

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The trial of audio description on New Zealand television begins today with an episode of the long-running British soap Coronation Street.

The program, which airs on TVNZ, was selected to be the first to be audio described by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand.

It is planned that the audio description of Coronation Street will continue until the end of the year. The success of the service will then be evaluated, and it is expected that more programs will follow. The service can be received on Freeview HD and Freeview Satellite TV receivers, and has been funded by a grant of NZ$500 from NZ on Air.


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Media Access Australia welcomes user testing for new website

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Within the next couple of weeks we will officially launch our new website, showcasing the latest web technologies and meeting best practice international guidelines for website accessibility.

To ensure the highest possible standards are reached before the launch, we would like to invite anyone who is interested to give the website a test run and provide us with feedback. Your contribution will help all our website visitors, including people who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hearing impaired and with mobility impairments, to access the site.


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US cinema chain expands captioning following litigation

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The Regal cinema chain, the largest in the US, has pledged to provide closed captions as it converts its cinemas to digital, beginning with cinemas in the greater Seattle area.

The pledge, reported by Hearing Loss Law online, was in the form of a declaration from Chief Operating Officer Randy Smith. It was in response to a lawsuit brought against a number of cinemas in the Seattle area by Wash-CAP (Washington State Communication Access Project) which is due to go to trial in March this year.

The pledge was not just limited to the locations in the Seattle lawsuit, but was for all cinemas as they go digital across the country.


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Government review of disability standards in education

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Peter Garrett, Minister for School Education, has released a discussion paper which encourages people to contribute to the Review into Disability Standards for Education 2005.

The Review of Disability Standards for Education 2005 discussion paper provides an important opportunity for education providers, training colleges, teachers and parents to provide feedback about important issues that may require comment. The aim of the Review is to improve “the education and training experience for people with disability”.


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