Policy

British conference celebrates audio description

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The RNIB Audio Description Conference: Celebrating Progress and Looking Ahead, which was held in London on 23 September, brought together a host of audio describers, broadcasters, film distributors, academics and other professionals who were keen to discuss ways of improving and expanding this essential service for people who are blind or vision impaired.

RNIB: supporting blind and partially sighted people

The conference included sessions on the last decade of audio description on television and in cinemas in the UK, and the challenges facing the service over the next ten years. It was coordinated by RNIB (the Royal National Institute of Blind People), and sponsored by BTI Studios, Deluxe and ITV.

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Looking forward with access at BCA

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Media Access Australia’s Director of Digital Accessibility, Dr Scott Hollier, will be presenting on developments in access technology for blind and vision impaired people at the Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) national convention in Perth on 10th October.

Entrance of the Perth Mercure hotel at dusk. Image credit: mercureperth.com.au

Dr Hollier is a well-known international expert and his presentation will cover a wide range of access technology following the convention theme of “Looking Forward Looking Back - Celebrating 40 Years of Achievement.”


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Accessible India Campaign to greatly improve access to media

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The Accessible India Campaign is set to launch on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with a strong focus on improving access to information and communication technology in the region.

Accessible India Campaign. Accessible India - Empowered India. Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment


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European group looks at the accessibility possibilities of HbbTV

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HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) is a digital platform which provides seamless integration of traditional broadcast TV and content delivered over the internet. It also offers opportunities for improving the accessibility of TV, and these are being explored by a European consortium, HBB4ALL.

HBB4ALL: Connected TV accessibility logo


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Greens Senator calls for audio description on TV

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The Senate has supported a motion introduced by the Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, calling on the Federal Government to amend the Broadcasting Services Act to include a requirement for all free-to-air and subscription television services to provide audio description.

Headphones with auxiliary cable cable shaped into an audio waveform


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A world of access at Media for All

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Access to media is a growing feature at international conferences. A problem for Australian audiences is that these conferences are usually located in Europe or North America and tend to feature experts and case studies only from those regions of the world.

Sphere comprised of multiple images with light emerging from its centre


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Petition started to bring audio description to TV

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Stephen Jolley, who has been blind since birth, has started a petition on Change.org, asking the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, to change the broadcasting laws so that free-to-air television channels must provide audio description for blind and vision impaired people.

Girl wearing headphones, pointing a remote control with her right hand


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Making access work in the New World

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Access to media through audio description and captioning is well established through most of Europe, North America and the English-speaking world. However, the situation in other parts of the globe is very mixed. Reporting in Australia is, not suprisingly, biased towards English language developments and advances. What is happening in other parts of the world, especially in Asia?

Globe of the world with Asia in focus

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BBC paper looks at the future of online captioning

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As people increasingly watch TV programs online, the opportunity arises for captions to be made more responsive to the needs of individual users. A new BBC white paper looks at some of the possibilities, which include users being able to vary font size and colour, along with many other enhancements.

Man and woman smiling while viewing media on a smartphone together


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Academic calls for new audio description policy

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Dr Katie Ellis, senior research fellow in the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University, is calling for a new policy on audio description to be introduced in Australia to bring it in line with captioning.

Man wearing headphones while pointing remote control at TV


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