Captions

ACCAN announces Apps For All Challenge winners

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The winners of the inaugural competition to recognise the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, have been announced.

The challenge, announced earlier this year, was run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and sponsored by Telstra.

Prizes for the winners included the Telstra Prize of $1500 in cash, promotion through Telstra’s social media and a one-off opportunity to participate in a mini-incubator experience with Telstra’s own in-house app developers and technology specialists.


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Apple launches new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with accessibility features

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Apple has launched a series of new products including two new iPhone models and the long awaited smartwatch, with the iPhones containing a number of new accessibility features.

The Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus run the new iOS8 operating system which, like other recent iPhones, contains a number of accessibility features such as the VoiceOver screen reader, zoom, playback of captioned video and high contrast themes. The new iOS8 also contains additional accessibility features including an improved zoom, a greyscale feature, improved predictive text for the on-screen keyboard and the ability to use different software keyboards.

Digital media and technology: 

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Facebook introduces video captions

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Facebook has launched a major update to its accessibility features, now allowing users to add captions on videos.

The announcement comes from Facebook Accessibility’s August 2014 update, providing a complete guide to adding and viewing captions on user-uploaded video files.

Facebook’s steps to provide captions on videos are outlined below:

How do I add captions to my video?

You can add captions to a video by uploading a SubRip (.srt) file that is saved using the following format:

filename.en_US.srt

To add captions to a video as you upload it:

Digital media and technology: 

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Leading Australian arts and disability conference is fully accessible

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The fourth national Arts Activated: Creative Connections conference will be presented in Sydney in late October. The conference is the leading arts and disability conference in Australia and is hosted by Accessible Arts (NSW).

The two-day conference features streams covering access through technology, creative practice, audience development, international collaborations, disability-led practice and community connections. The extensive program features 85 speakers from across Australia and the world.


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Finding your way around our updated education website content

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The education section of our website has a new menu structure, with an increased level of content and information to assist teachers and parents.

There are three main categories that provide focused points of reference: accessible media for diverse learners, hearing impairment and deafness and low vision and blindness.


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NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships awarded

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On Saturday 30 August, 22 teachers were awarded NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships across a range of subject areas and disciplines at Parliament House, Sydney. Media Access Australia’s Education Manager was among them.

Our Education Manager, Anne McGrath also works as an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf with the Catholic Education Office, Sydney. McGrath was awarded the 2014 Premier's IOOF Centre for Educational and Medical Research Itinerant Support Teacher (Hearing) Scholarship by the Premier, Mike Baird, and the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli.


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ACMA finds Nine cricket coverage breached caption quality rules

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that segments of Channel Nine Cricket broadcast in January 2014 breached its caption quality standard.

The ACMA’s standard, which came into effect in July 2013, states that captions must be readable, accurate and comprehensible. The breaches related to the pre-game segments of programs which went to air on 12 and 17 January.


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Did you know: One Deaf lawyer helped increase access for all Deaf Canadians?

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In 2000, Vancouver lawyer Henry Vlug lodged a complaint against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) for not including closed captions on all of its television programs.

Vlug stated he could not enjoy programs such as major league baseball playoff games without the inclusion of captions, arguing that Deaf Canadians are equal to those who can hear since their taxes funded the broadcaster, entitling them to the full experience of CBC programming.

The case was won and the lawyer granted CAD$10,000 by the CHRT for pain and suffering. CBC appealed the tribunal’s settlement but later dropped the bid when it settled with Vlug out of court for a lower amount.


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How fast should captions be?

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A recent article by Diana Sanchez, General Manager of Red Bee Media Spain, looks at one of the perennial areas of debate about captioning— the optimum speed for captions on television.

In the article, Sanchez notes that studies have shown that some people have difficulty reading captions because they are too fast, yet they have consistently become faster over the last 30 years, and asks why this has happened.

The answer, writes Sanchez, is that whenever caption providers or other bodies that draw up quality standards consult organisations which represent the Deaf and hearing impaired, the latter will generally push for captions which are closer to verbatim.


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