Victorian council to hold accessible cinema trial

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Monday, 17 November 2014 10:45am

Yarra Ranges Council in Melbourne’s far north east is exploring the possibility of offering audio described and captioned movies at its iconic memorial hall, known locally as ‘The Memo’.

Memorial Hall, Healesville, Victoria

A successful trial of open captioned cinema has already taken place, with upcoming audio description and closed caption trials soon to commence.

Council reported a terrific response to the open captioned trial and is keen to continue on with a select number of open captioned sessions each week. The cinema, which runs movies ranging from small arthouse to major Hollywood blockbusters, attracts a local audience which leans toward a more senior age. This demographic is more likely to have varying degrees of hearing loss and feedback from these patrons showed that having the words visible on the screen assisted with picking up lines they may have missed.

The upcoming trial for audio description will run from Thursday 27 November to 3 December and the movie shown at each session will be the M-rated English comedy Pride.

Audio description provides people with vision impairments the opportunity to experience cinema by accessing the visual elements on the screen via personal narration. This narration is delivered through a headset and timed to transmit between the dialogue on the movie’s own soundtrack.

Council will screen the M-rated drama The Judge with closed captions from 5 to 10 December.

Closed captions deliver the full soundtrack of a movie in text format, allowing people with hearing impairments to follow along by reading the text. The captions can only be viewed through a set of closed caption glasses.

Council’s Regional Arts Coordinator Jenny Davies is coordinating the trials. “If we have something that’s not accessible and there is potential to make it accessible, that’s what we do. This fits in with Council’s strategy of access for all.”

Book tickets and find out more about the audio description trial and closed captioned trial, or visit the cinema or call 1300 368 333 for more information.

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