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NVDA screen reader now recognises long description

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Free screen reader for Windows, NVDA, has been updated to recognise 'longdesc', an attribute used by web developers to describe the data that is visually presented in images such as graphs and diagrams.

To access the long description, press 'NVDA'+'d' once the screen reader announces it is there. For example, if users have their screen reader focused on an image of a graph, NVDA will announce there is long description available. To activate the long description, users can press the NVDA button (usually Insert) and the 'd' to hear the long description. This update is compatible with the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers.

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Audio description trial hailed a great success

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The trial of audio description on Australian television ended Sunday night on ABC1, with the Australian drama Dangerous Remedy being the last program to be described for blind and vision impaired viewers.

Since the trial commenced on 5 August, an average of two hours of audio described content was broadcast each night. Other Australian programs described during the trial included Rake, Lowdown and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

“The ABC is to be commended for doing such a good job with the trial,” said Chris Mikul from Media Access Australia. “The quality of the audio description, particularly on the locally produced shows, has been terrific.”


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YouTube asks users to report lack of captions

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YouTube has posted a notification on its site asking users to report videos that lack captions. The online video streaming website is asking users to fill out a form if they believe a video posted on YouTube should have captions. This follows the mandate set by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act 2010 (CVAA)that makes it compulsory for TV networks to make closed captions available on their content online.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US recently set a September 30 deadline for all TV networks and web video sites to caption videos it posts online. The mandate ensures captions are provided for content, to keep up with the increasing number of videos that are posted on websites, particularly by commercial networks and broadcasters.

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Had technical issues at the cinema? Let us know and you could win a DVD

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Media Access Australia’s accessible cinema questionnaire is gathering feedback from moviegoers on technical issues for closed captions and audio description. By providing your answers you’ll not only be helping improve cinema access, but also go in the draw to win a new release DVD of a Hollywood blockbuster movie.

The questionnaire is designed to capture information around technical issues that patrons may experience while trying to watch accessible cinema. These may be a number of problems, such as captions dropping out halfway through a movie or volume changes to the audio description.

The information collected from the questionnaire may be used for a report that will be sent to movie post-production houses and Australian cinemas to help them to improve the delivery of closed captions and audio description.


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