Video

Accessible DVDs released in March 2013

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At least 21 movies released on DVD in the last two months have been made accessible with closed captions and audio description. Of the 60 titles we researched, 45 were captioned (or 75 per cent) and 21 described and captioned (or 35 per cent).

Distributors 20th Century Fox, Accent, Eagle, Gryphon and Madman all had titles released internationally with either captions or subtitles that were not released in Region 4, a market which includes Australia, New Zealand, South America and Oceania.

Further still, both Disney and Icon released titles locally without audio description where this feature was available in international territories. Those movies were Now Is Good from Disney and Beasts of the Southern Wild from Icon.

The titles with both audio description and captions are:


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Unpublished


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Opinion: The scourge of YouTube’s auto-captions

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Michael Lockrey is Asia-Pacific sales manager for Amara and a renowned advocate for Deaf and hearing impaired media access. Here, he dissects the effects of YouTube’s auto-captioning tool, and suggests how Google and its users can play a part in resolving them.

Google’s YouTube is the global giant of online video, with over 72 hours of video being uploaded to the platform every minute. But with popularity comes responsibility. While YouTube in many ways could be seen as a pioneer of Deaf access online, the premature release of its auto-captioning feature could be doing more harm than good.

The mantra “poor quality captions are as good as no captions at all” will be familiar to many of us within the Deaf and hearing loss advocacy sector. It’s a common catch-cry when dealing with traditional broadcasters.


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Unpublished


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SBS falls short with DVD access

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As part of a series of home entertainment accessibility reports outside regular entertainment DVD titles, Media Access Australia has collated information around the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and its level of DVD accessibility, showing whether its titles have closed captions and audio description.

In looking into the accessibility of DVDs of programs previously broadcast, it is noteworthy that audio description is not yet broadcast on television as part of a full time service, but captioning has been mandatory under the Broadcasting Services Act for many years. With this in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that the level of audio description on SBS titles is very low at 1%.


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US senator introduces legislation for accessible entertainment

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The impact of access legislation in the USA has had a ripple effect around the world. The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, introduced in 2010, has seen a flood of captioned video reach the web. Now two bills being put forward by an Iowan senator could see progress in cinema and in-flight entertainment.

Senator Tom Harkin, who was responsible for introducing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1989, has introduced the Captioning and Image Narration to Enhance Movie Accessibility (CINEMA) Act to amend Title III of the current ADA. The CINEMA Act will require cinema complexes with two or more screens to offer captioning and audio description for all movies at all sessions.


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