Digital TV

Report on the accessibility of Electronic Program Guides

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Media Access Australia has released a report on electronic program guides (EPGs) and how television networks and content providers display access information such as closed captions (CC) or audio description (AD). The report has found there is inconsistency amongst broadcasters and content providers when it comes to displaying this information on electronic formats.

Report author Clarizza Fernandez said, "Australia is lagging behind its international counterparts like the UK and the US where there are clear guidelines for displaying 'CC' or 'AD' on EPGs.

"For the Deaf and hearing impaired, the blind and vision impaired, access information is essential and they should not be left out."


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Highlights of the Languages and the Media conference

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The Languages and the Media conference was held in Berlin last week. This is the premier access conference in the world and Media Access Australia’s CEO, Alex Varley, provides his personal top 5 trends and highlights set to make a difference to the world of access.

1. Audio description is now a major topic


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How to get your free talking set-top box

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Blind or vision impaired people who receive the Disability Support Pension will now be given a free talking set-top box as part of the switchover to digital TV. These devices assist viewers in navigating through menus, program guides and settings, and will be able to receive audio description once the trial on the ABC commences in August.

Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy, announced the decision in a media release.“After a successful trial in Victoria, talking set-top boxes will be made available to eligible recipients who receive a maximum rate pension because they are legally blind, or because they care for a child who is legally blind,” Senator Conroy said.


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Government to provide free accessible set-top boxes

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Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, has announced that talking set-top boxes will be distributed to blind and vision impaired people as part of the Household Assistance Scheme being co-ordinated by his department’s Digital Switchover Taskforce.

Senator Conroy made the announcement during a radio interview with Robyn Gaile, Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia, on the New Horizons program, which is broadcast on Radio for the Print Handicapped and community radio stations across Australia.


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