Deaf/hearing impaired TV, DVD, Cinema & the Arts news

Highlights of 2013: cinema access advances

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Throughout December Media Access Australia will bring you a summary of the biggest developments in access to media and technology seen in 2013. The first looks at developments in cinema both in Australia and internationally.

New technologies

In Europe three separate companies are introducing captioning or captioning and audio description to Italy and Spain through innovative devices.


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Online content to support the Australian Curriculum

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Finding online resources that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum is now a whole lot easier. Education Services Australia (ESA) has developed Scootle, a purpose-designed search tool which is available to teachers nationally. Some of the content to be found on Scootle is captioned, and teachers can refine their search to include only captioned material.

The Scootle portal houses an increasing range of content from a variety of educational sources. From an accessibility standpoint, only some of the content is captioned and Scootle has put processes in place to include more captioned educational content in the future.


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New access company launched in New Zealand

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Able is the new company which will be supplying captioning for channels TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR in New Zealand, as well as audio description for TVC One and TV2.

The staff at Able were formerly located in the studios of TVNZ, which owns TV One and TV2. However, as TV3 and FOUR are owned by another company, MediaWorks New Zealand, it was decided earlier this year to transfer them to an independent company. The CEO of Able, Wendy Youens, was formerly Access Services Manager at TVNZ.


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Ai-Media adopts European caption quality model

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The Australian access company Ai-Media, which will take over the captioning of all Nine network television programs in January, has adopted the NER model, a method of measuring live captions created using speech recognition technology.

The NER model was developed by Pablo Romero-Fresco of Roehampton University and Juan Martinez, a respeaking consultant. ‘Respeaking’ is the term used for a captioner repeating the dialogue of a TV program or other medium into a microphone, which is then turned into captions by text-to-speak software. In the NER Model, N stands for the number of words in the respoken text, E for ‘Edition’ errors introduced by the respeaker, and R for ‘Recognition’ errors caused by the software.


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