Captions

Audio description takes to the sky

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Emirates airline has announced the introduction of audio description to its in-flight entertainment system, making it the first airline to provide both captioned and audio described content for passengers to enjoy.

Emirates has worked closed with Walt Disney Studios to supply closed captioned content since 2007. In the month of August alone, there will be over 50 movies with closed captions for the Deaf and hearing impaired. To continue Emirates’ commitment to exceptional customer service, audio description will be introduced on 16 Disney movies, allowing people with vision impairment to listen to the visual narration soundtrack.


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Accessible cinema to get a legislative boost in the USA

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Last week the United States Attorney General signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which recommends amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act to provide captioning and audio description of movies.

The ruling will provide a consistent approach across the United States for cinemas to exhibit closed captioned and audio described movies. While the majority of movies released by American studios have captions and audio description, the number of cinemas making use of these features is varies widely across the country.

Some of the rulemaking inclusions are:


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Captions and literacy (new)

A student becoming literate involves a number of skills and capabilities, not only the capacity to read, but also the ability to understand, make meaning and analyse, and sometimes act on what has been read.

Literacy takes a variety of forms, including print and digital media literacy. Australian students are increasingly required to respond to a variety of text options in schools, including print, multimodal, digital and media texts, as defined by the Australian Curriculum.


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Caption developments for cinema and the arts

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The last few years have seen major developments in cinema accessibility alongside the update to digital cinema. Theatre and musical theatre have also benefited from the digital revolution with a variety of new methods available to view captions or listen to audio description.

In an update on last year’s article on the Off-Screen Cinema Subtitling System we’ve learned that testing of this new technology has taken place in a UK cinema with the next stage being to finalise software for cinemas to use.


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Q&A: Former Australian Disability Commissioner, Graeme Innes

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Media Access Australia spoke to former Australian Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes about his time in the role, web accessibility, disability employment, and the need to change attitudes towards disability in the public and private sectors.

Could you reflect on your time as Disability Commissioner?


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Ofcom releases access requirements for 2015

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its list of TV channels which will be required to provide access services – captioning, audio description and signing – in 2015.

Ofcom conducts an annual mid-year review of access requirements, based on each channel’s revenue and audience share in the previous year. Following this year’s review, 79 domestic channels will be required to provide access services in 2015, compared to 76 in 2014. This accounts for over 90% of the total UK audience share.


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The National Library: a ‘treasure trove’ of captioned resources

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The National Library of Australia (NLA), located in Canberra, is home to extensive collections across a range of disciplines including Australian cultural collections; and provides access to online journals, databases, newspapers and much more.

The NLA also provides an impressive and the most substantial list of captioned videos nationally, via its search engine. Once a captioned title has been located, borrowers can organise an interlibrary loan between relevant libraries.

With over 61,400 captioned videos and DVDs available for discovery by the search engine Trove, the NLA offers huge opportunity for the provision of access to captioned educational content for teachers and students in Australian schools.


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Canada makes captioning of commercials and promos mandatory

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made it a licence condition for all television commercials, sponsorship messages and promos to be closed captioned from 1 September.

Canada is the first country to make the captioning of commercials and promos compulsory, and is thus the first country to achieve what is in effect 100% captioning on TV broadcasts. While the voluntary captioning of commercials is common in Australia and many other countries, captioning of promos is very rare.


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