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US air travel access rules will affect Australian airlines

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In a ruling issued last week by the US Department of Transportation, airlines servicing the US will need to improve access to core travel information and services on their websites and airport kiosks.

The new rule is part of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 and will come into effect on 12 December 2013. Airline website pages for booking and changing reservations will need to be accessible. Within two years, these pages must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA, with entire website compliance required within three years.


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Accessible DVDs & Blu-Rays released in October 2013

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In Media Access Australia’s most recent search we have found that captioning and audio description across both DVD and Blu-Ray remains at their usual levels.

Of the 84 DVD titles searched, 54 per cent were captioned and 33 per cent were audio described. Of the same titles, 63 had a Blu-Ray version and accessibility rated at 67 per pent for captions and 44 per cent for audio description.

A few inconsistences were identified:


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Unpublished


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Foxtel launches captions on its movies on demand

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People who are Deaf or hearing impaired will have greater access to Foxtel’s content after the subscription service launched closed captioning for selected on demand movie services from 1 October this year. This move will see Foxtel provide closed captioning for the vast majority of new release movies aired across its 14 On Demand movie channels, plus instant access On Demand movies to iQ subscribers.

Head of Channel Partnerships Benjamin Cox told Media Access Australia that the introduction of closed captioned content was a response to the increasing popularity of its rental movies and TV shows.

“We’ve received a lot of customer feedback over the years and closed captioning for on demand content is something that has always been requested, particularly since video on demand has grown in usage over the recent years,” Cox said.

 “We’re heavily investing in captions for our linear channels and it makes sense to provide it across on demand services as well.”


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2013 Captioning Awards winners announced

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The annual Captioning Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in captioning. The winners in 2013 were announced on Friday in Sydney at a presentation dinner hosted by Deafness Forum of Australia and Foxtel.

The awards promote better quality, frequency and wider use of captions on television, in cinemas, DVDs, theatre, live events and in other situations such as public transport. Captions are such a benefit to the one in six Australians who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment or chronic disorder of the ear. Captions are an essential part of daily communications, entertainment and social needs, providing enjoyment and information about what is happening in the world around us. 


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