Catchup services

Media Access Australia launches report on the accessibility of video-on-demand services

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Media Access Australia's latest report on the state of play for accessibility on video-on-demand (VOD) services recommends that captioning be introduced on all catch-up TV services by the end of 2015, and all VOD services by the end of 2016.

Access on demand: captioning and audio description on video on demand services cover

Media Access Australia has today launched Access on Demand, a comprehensive report on the accessibility of VOD services in Australia and other countries.


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ABC launches trial of audio description on iview

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The ABC has today launched a trial of audio description on its online catch-up TV service iview. The trial will last 15 months, during which 14 hours of audio described programs will be added to iview each week.

Audio Description logo and ABC iview logo

The audio description is initially available on iPads and iPhones only, and people will need to download the latest version of the iview app to receive it. The trial will be extended to desktop PCs in mid-May, Android devices in June, and to HbbTV enabled TVs (which are connected to the internet) in July.

Digital media and technology: 

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New report highlights the need for VOD accessibility

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A new review into current and future trends in technology, media and telecommunications refutes the idea that younger people are reluctant to spend money on media content, including video on demand (VOD) services, and reinforces the need for these services to be made accessible with captions and audio description.

Young woman watching TV, resting with feet up on couch with bowl of popcorn beside her


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Accessible Christmas gift ideas for 2014

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Looking for that special something for that special someone—a Christmas present that is both accessible and awesome? Look no further than Media Access Australia’s guide on accessible Christmas gift ideas for 2014.

iTunes gift card

iTunes $30, $20 and $50 gift cards


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UK regulator issues latest video on demand accessibility report

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The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) has released its 2014 report on the provision of access on video on demand (VOD) services in the UK. This shows that there have been improvements in the provision of captioning (and to a lesser extent audio description), but there remains much work to be done.

ATVOD: The Authority for Television On Demand logo


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UK VOD industry has two years to deliver captions or face regulation

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The video on demand (VOD) industry in the United Kingdom has two years to prove that it can deliver reasonable access for deaf people or it will face the government introducing mandatory regulation. This was one of the key discussions at The Future of Subtitling Conference held in London on 10 November 2014.

Silhouette of a man pointing remote control towards multiple screens


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Five highlights of Language and the Media

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The bi-annual Languages and the Media conference is being held in Berlin from 5-7 November. This is the biggest media access conference in the world and Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley will be presenting at the conference. In this preview, he gives us his five personal highlights of the conference.

Languages & The Media: 10th International Conference on Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media. November 5th - 7th, 2014. Hotel Radisson Blu, Berlin.


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Trial of audio description on ABC iview to start in 2015

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The Minister of Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has advised Media Access Australia that a trial of audio description will commence on the ABC’s catch-up TV service, iview, in April 2015.

The service will initially be available on iPhones, then expand to other platforms including Android, via PCs and Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) by August 2015. (HbbTV is the platform that will host the Freeview Plus service, due to be launched on 2 September.)

The trial will last for 15 months, and provide at least 14 hours of audio described content per week, with a mix of drama/entertainment, documentary/current affairs and children’s programming. Currently, the only catch-up TV service in the world to provide audio description is the BBC’s iPlayer.


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Leading US accessibility advocate speaks at Sydney conference

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Karen Peltz Strauss, one of the principle architects of accessibility legislation in the US, spoke today at the M-Enabling Conference about the decades-long efforts to make telecommunications, television and, more recently, the internet accessible for people with disabilities.

Peltz Strauss, who is currently Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been involved in this field for 30 years. In her presentation, she explained that legislation always struggles to keep up with technology. For example, an amendment to the Telecommunications for the Disabled Act in 1988 ensured that all telephones would be accessible to people with disabilities – with the exception of wireless phones.


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