Human Rights Commission releases Australia’s first fully-accessible DVD

Thursday, 28 February 2013 11:27am

Twenty Years: Twenty Stories is a video project initiated by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) which celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA). The DVD release, as well as having captioning and audio description, will also feature spoken menus – an Australian first. 

Each of the twenty videos, which were produced in association with the Sydney Community Foundation, tells the story of a disabled person who managed to bring about systemic change by making a DDA complaint. The videos, created by both professional filmmakers and community groups, were made possible by donations from government and commercial enterprises. Captioning of the videos was funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs’ Captioning Grant, which is administered by Media Access Australia.

The audio description was provided at no cost by The Substation, which worked with DVD authoring house MotionLink (also donating its services), to create the spoken menus. “The talking buttons enable people who are blind or vision impaired to successfully navigate the menus, including turning on the audio description for the films,” said Vanessa Lewis from The SubStation. “As such, it is the first truly accessible Australian DVD.”

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, whose recent, successful battle with RailCorp over train announcements is the subject of one of the videos, spoke of the vital importance of audio description. “For someone such as myself who is totally blind it’s critical to know what’s happening on the screen, not just to hear the sound. What is she doing, is the scream from the victim or a passer-by, what smashed the glass?”

Twenty Years: Twenty Stories is being launched by the Governor-General tomorrow. Accessible versions will be also available to watch on the AHRC’s website.


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