Television

What is media access?

Media access refers to how digital, web and broadcast content can be used, read or viewed by people with disabilities, particularly those who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hearing impaired, or who have a cognitive condition or mobility disability. This includes the provision of effective access to websites, online information, digital communications, streaming services and broadcast television, as well as access in the classroom, cinema and the arts.


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Captioning, audio description and transcription suppliers

Media Access Australia does not provide captioning, transcribing or audio description services. However, there are a number of access suppliers that provide these services for video, TV, events, websites and online broadcasting in Australia.


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ACMA releases review of captioning rules

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has just released the final report into its statutory review of captioning rules. While ACMA, as the independent statutory authority, does not recommend specific legislative amendments in the report it has just tendered, it has made three key findings.

Image of ACMA logo

ACMA logo

ACMA requested submissions from the public in June 2016, and the issues it looked at during the review included captioning rules for multichannels, the framework for granting captioning exemptions and target reductions to broadcasters, along with the complexity of rules for captioning on subscription television services.

The findings of ACMA’s report include:


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Government forms Working Group on AD for TV

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The Turnbull Government has set up a new taskforce with the aim of improving TV accessibility. They have announced the formation of an Audio Description (AD) Working Group to examine options for increasing the availability of AD services in Australia.

Man wearing headphones listens to AD on TV

Man wearing headphones listens to AD on TV


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New muppet with autism joins Sesame Street

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Over the decades, iconic children’s TV show, Sesame Street, has always been good at raising awareness around a wide variety of sections of the community. The latest character to join the muppet family is Julia, who has autism, and makes her debut in April 2017.

Image of new muppet Julia

New muppet Julia

Julia actually made her debut in late 2015 in print and digital artworks as the focus of a Sesame Street workshop titled ‘Autism: See Amazing in All Children’ which also led to a series of videos, an app, e-books and a new website.


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New report on the trial of A.D. on ABC iview

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Media Access Australia was one of seven leading advocacy organisations that have just tabled a report, including consumer feedback, perspectives and analysis, of the Government-funded trial of Audio Description (AD) on the ABC's iview service, from April 2015 to July 2016.

Image of Audio Description

Image of Audio Description


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High compliance in TV captioning during FY 2015–16… but more needs to be done.

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At last, some good news on the captioning front. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reported in late December 2016 of a high level of compliance with captioning targets during the 2015-2016 financial year. However, their reporting period did not cover the back end of last year which saw multiple captioning issues emerge on the ABC and other networks, which proves more work needs to be done.

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

ACMA advised on 21 December 2016 that TV services reported increased captioning in 2015–16, with compliance results reflecting the continued efforts by television services to meet, and in some cases exceed, their captioning target obligations.


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Disability commissioner calls ABC transcription cuts a backward step

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The Disability Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, has blasted the decision last month from the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) to cut back transcription of some news and current affairs programs on TV and radio, as a “backward step” for accessibility.

Australian Broadcasting Commission logo

Australian Broadcasting Commission logo

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Ai-Media wins captioning contract for ‘BBC Worldwide ANZ’

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Ai-Media has been given a contract renewal to provide broadcast captioning for BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) for a further three years. In the deal, they will continue to supply captioning for BBC First, UKTV, BBC Knowledge and CBeebies on broadcast platforms across both territories.

Image of BBC Worldwide logo

 


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BBC iPlayer trialling subtitles for live channels in world-first

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In a welcome development from the UK, the BBC has begun trialling subtitles for live channels on their iPlayer platform. This is a first for any major video on-demand service in the world, as up till now, subtitles have only been available for on-demand programs.

Image of BBC iPlayer logo

Image of BBC iPlayer logo

 


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