TV access

UK regulator releases access requirements for 2016

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its list of TV channels which will be required to provide access services – captioning, audio description and signing – in 2015.

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Government announces review of the ACMA

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The Department of Communications is undertaking a comprehensive review of Australia’s communications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to ensure that the organisation is equipped to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing media landscape.

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UK disability advocates release roadmap for VOD accessibility

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The accessibility of video-on-demand (VOD) services is a hot topic in Australia, the UK and other countries at the moment. There have been calls for legislation to be introduced unless the VOD services make acceptable progress in introducing captions and audio description voluntarily. But what constitutes accessible progress? In the UK, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Action on Hearing Loss, and Sense (who represent people who are deafblind or have associated disabilities) have issued a report that attempts to answer that question.

Elderly couple watching TV together. Woman pointing remote at screen. Image credit: Defining progress for Access Services on Video on Demand (VOD)


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ACMA releases caption compliance reports for 2013-2014

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released the annual captioning compliance reports for free-to-air and subscription television for the financial year 2013-2014. They show that the majority of services have met—or exceeded—their targets for the year.

The report for free-to-air compliance found that all 51 commercial stations and SBS met their captioning target for the year, which was to caption 95 per cent of programs on their primary channels between 6 am and midnight. The ABC fell one per cent below its target, due to the fact that only one hour of its music program


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UK regulator releases caption quality report

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released the third of four planned reports on the quality of live captioning on television.

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Ofcom commenced its caption quality measurement project in in 2013, and the first two reports were published in 2014. The reports are based on samples of news and entertainment programs broadcast by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.


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NZ increases funding for captioning and audio description

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NZ On Air, the New Zealand Government’s broadcast funding agency, has announced that it will increase its funding for captioning and audio description by NZ$400,000 ($AUD 371,207).

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Digital TV regulation submissions released

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The Federal Government has released the submissions it has received in response to its review of digital television regulations, with a number of them focusing on accessibility issues.

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Media Access Australia’s submission to the review makes four key recommendations:


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Report on the state of captioning in Europe released

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The European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) has released a report which looks at the levels of captioning on television, video-on-demand (VOD) services and cinema in EU countries.

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Why does Netflix’s accessible offering hit Presto and Stan for six?

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Barely a moment after we were celebrating the launch of ABC’s long-awaited audio description service on the popular iview player video on demand (VOD) giant Netflix stormed into Australia and unleashed captioning, and only a day later, audio description.

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Was this event unfortunate timing for those of us who wanted publicity for the new iview service or the shape of things to come?


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Report shows British TV channels are exceeding access requirements

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its Television Access Services report for 2014, which shows that all 72 domestic channels have met or exceeded their access requirements, and many have done considerably more than required.

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Ofcom requires broadcasters to submit bi-annual reports giving the percentage of programs which have captions (called ‘subtitles’ in the UK), signing and audio description.


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