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US Super Bowl to be fully captioned for first time

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The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the National Football League (NFL) and the FOX Broadcasting Company yesterday announced that this year’s Super Bowl, to be broadcast on 6 February, will be fully captioned for the first time, including captioning of all national commercials and promotions.

While the Super Bowl, the NFL’s championship game, has been captioned for years, this will be the first time that captioning on commercials has reached 100%. According to a survey conducted by access advocate Sean Zdenek, 75% of commercials during last year’s Super Bowl were captioned. The Super Bowl is usually the most watched television event of the year in America, with a 30-second advertising spot during it costing US$2.7 in 2010.


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Name change for Australian DVD distributors’ association

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From 1 February 2011, the Australian Visual Software Distributors Association (AVSDA), representative of the Australian film and TV home entertainment industry, will be known as the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA).

The Association plays a vital role in ensuring Australian DVD and Blu-ray products are released with captions and audio description. AHEDA has worked with consumer groups, Media Access Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission since 2006 to improve access levels, and continues an educational campaign to members to encourage the importation of titles with access features and the local production of titles with access features.


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Canadian disability service providers appalled at government appeal

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The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) have come out with strong statements against the Canadian government’s appeal of a court ruling that federal government websites are to be made accessible to sensory impaired users by 2012.

John Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB, said, “The fact that it took a court case to plead for full web accessibility in the first place is bad enough, but to learn that the government plans to spend more time and taxpayer money fighting the court’s ruling is just appalling.”

Robin East, President of the nationwide Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, echoed these sentiments, saying, “we are outraged by the government’s decision to appeal this landmark decision”.


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Google Chrome OS to have inbuilt screen reader

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According to Google support, the next version of Google Chrome Operating System (OS), an operating system targeted at netbooks, will have an inbuilt screen reader.

The information came to light when Dallas Despain, Accessibility Web Developer at RightNow Technologies, reported on the RightNow blog that the next release of Google Chrome OS will include an inbuilt screen reader available via a Chrome extension called ChromeVox.

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