Captions

New ‘game-changing’ phone app enhances phone accessibility

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‘OpenAccess Captions’ is a brand new application for iPads and iPhones that was developed by Brisbane-based charity Conexu Foundation. It is an app that aims to connect callers via a live captioner so that phone conversations can be read in live-time.

Conexu Foundation logo

This app was launched this week to coincide with Deafblind Awareness Week (the last day is today). The app creators have hailed it as a ‘game-changer’ for those who are Deaf and blind or have hearing loss or vision impairment. 

Digital media and technology: 

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Channel 4 seeks viewer feedback about its accessibility services

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Channel 4 has created a survey to capture as much feedback as possible from people who view their programming with captions (subtitles in the UK), audio description, signing on TV, or on the station’s on-demand service.

Channel 4 logo


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Chris Mikul’s captioning legacy

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Chris Mikul was the Project Manager of Media Access Australia since its inception and has been an active advocate for better captioning, audio description (AD) and inclusion for nearly three decades. In his final interview before leaving the organisation, Chris shares some of his high points and talks openly about the challenges and issues that still remain, in order to improve the quality of captions and make AD much more available in Australia.

Head and shoulders photo of Chris Mikul

Aside for fighting for better captioning on traditional TV, TV streaming and in the online world, he believes that organisations should keep accessibility front and centre in their mind before embarking on any digital communications project or website build.

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New Zealand holds an inquiry into captioning

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New Zealand’s Government Administration Committee has announced an inquiry into captioning, and is seeking submissions from the public.

Remote control being pointed at a TV with captions at the bottom of the screen

The inquiry’s terms of reference include:


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ACMA publishes preliminary captioning exemption orders for Telstra Pay TV

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published preliminary exemption orders for 34 channels provided on Telstra Pay TV for mobile phones. These include both free-to-air channels such as ABC1, and channels available on Foxtel.

Silhouette of a man standing in front of a curved wall of lots of different TV screens.  Image Credit: Telstra Pay TV


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More than 2,300 people have signed to legislate closed captioning in NZ

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On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19 May 2016, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group submitted a petition to Mojo Mathers, Green MP, with more than 2,300 signatures in a bid for the House of Representatives to legislate closed captioning across all relevant media. 

A Woman holds and points a remote control at a TV screen


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ACCAN calls on networks to use windfall to improve accessibility

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has called on the free-to-air networks to use some of the windfall from a 25% cut in licence fees announced in this year’s budget to increase captioning levels and introduce audio description.

A woman holding a remote control pointing at a TV


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BBC publishes research on improving live caption timing

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The BBC has released details of experiments it has undertaken which prove that it’s practical to reduce the delay in live captions appearing on the screen.

Young woman watches the TV with captions

Live captions, which are created as a program goes to air, are often frustrating for viewers because there is a delay (on average around 5 seconds, but sometimes much longer) between the audio and the captions appearing.


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U.K. Government fails to act on video-on-demand accessibility

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The organisation Action on Hearing Loss has expressed disappointment at the U.K. Government’s failure to set targets or introduce legislation for the provision of access services (captions, signing and audio description) on video-on-demand (VOD) services.

Left hand pointing a remote control at a Smart TV displaying a Video on Demand app


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Snapchat adds closed captioning support for Discover videos

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Social messaging app Snapchat has added closed captioning support for videos shared within its Discover section, allowing major publishers to share accessible video content with broad communities of smartphone users without access to audio content.

Right hand holding an iPhone 6 with Snapchat Discover displayed on screen. Image credit: Snapchat


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