Open captions

Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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New Zealand holds an inquiry into captioning

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New Zealand’s Government Administration Committee has announced an inquiry into captioning, and is seeking submissions from the public.

Remote control being pointed at a TV with captions at the bottom of the screen

The inquiry’s terms of reference include:


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ACMA publishes preliminary captioning exemption orders for Telstra Pay TV

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published preliminary exemption orders for 34 channels provided on Telstra Pay TV for mobile phones. These include both free-to-air channels such as ABC1, and channels available on Foxtel.

Silhouette of a man standing in front of a curved wall of lots of different TV screens.  Image Credit: Telstra Pay TV


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More than 2,300 people have signed to legislate closed captioning in NZ

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On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19 May 2016, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group submitted a petition to Mojo Mathers, Green MP, with more than 2,300 signatures in a bid for the House of Representatives to legislate closed captioning across all relevant media. 

A Woman holds and points a remote control at a TV screen


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Using captions for children’s literacy in any language

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Captions are not just essential for Deaf and hearing impaired people. Their power to assist literacy, especially in developing countries, has been demonstrated on a massive scale by organisations such as Planet Read. Another program, partnered with Planet Read, takes the same concept into new areas, including the possibility of using any language.

Screenshot from the 'Cricket at the Zoo' AniBook, with Hindi captions present. Image credit: bookboxinc via YouTube


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Choosing accessible movie sessions

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With so many big movies being released for the Christmas season, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Arthur Christmas, it’s important for people with a hearing or vision impairment to find out the most accessible way to experience them, in a cinema session offering captions or audio description.

People watching a movie in a cinema


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Accessible film festival hosts free gala screening in Sydney

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Access All Areas Film Festival (AAAFF) will be celebrating the International Day of People with Disability on 3 December with a free screening of Last Cab to Darwin starring Michael Caton and Jacki Weaver.

Michael Caton as Rex in Last Cab to Darwin


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Handel’s Messiah live streamed and accessible

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Streaming live events on the internet allows people who cannot attend to experience the performance. A more recent innovation is to include accessibility services to allow people with disabilities to also enjoy the show.

Handel's Messiah at the Sydney Opera House. Image credit: Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House is providing a live-streamed, fully-accessible version of Handel’s Messiah on Sunday 6 December 2015 from 12.50pm AEDT.


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ACCAN launches campaign for online caption quality

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has formed an alliance of organisations which is calling for online videos to be provided with accurate, readable captions.

YouTube auto-caption for Tony Abbott reads "things like the big butts well we want to carefully look". Image credit: ACCAN via Facebook


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