The arts

Museum Victoria crowd-sources text alternatives

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Museum Victoria has come up with an innovative way of making their online collection available to people who are blind. The museum has launched 'Describe Me', a website that allows volunteers to write text alternatives for images posted on Museum Victoria's website.

A text alternative, or alt-text, is a line of text hidden within a website which conveys the meaning of an image. A person using assistive technology, such as a screen reader or braille device, can have the technology read out this description. Providing alt-text is essential for those wanting to make their websites accessible.


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Festival season made accessible through audio description and captions

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This year’s Sydney and Perth festivals will provide audio description and open captions on a range of performances for patrons who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf or hearing impaired.

Running from 5 to 27 January, the Sydney Festival is being held around premier Sydney venues. Audio description will be provided for two performances at the Sydney Opera House including 2001: A Space Odyssey on 25 January and The Secret River on 26 January. Patrons can also take a tactile tour prior to the performance of Secret River. A separate tactile tour of the set and costumes for Semele Walk will be conducted on 15 January.

Open captions will be provided for two performances of The Secret River on 30 January and 8 February.


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A Charlie Chaplin classic gets the audio description treatment

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Canadian access company Descriptive Video Works has audio described the vintage silent film The Gold Rush to bring to life one of Charlie Chaplin’s most famous works for the blind and vision impaired.

Audio description is normally provided for content that has a range of other aural elements, such as dialogue, sound effects and music, all of which play important roles in storytelling. The challenge presented by a silent film for audio describers is that apart from music, all elements of the movie must be described, as there is no dialogue or sound effects.


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Sydney Opera House introduces captioned online videos

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As part of the 3 December celebration of International Day of People with Disabilities, Sydney Opera House has published the first four of 31 closed captioned videos from its 2012 Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI).

In keeping with the House’s recent captioning award for entertainment, cinema & the arts captioning, its commitment to providing accessible arts continues with the development of a new accessible video player and the top four FODI session videos captioned for everyone’s enjoyment.


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