Captions

Why does Netflix’s accessible offering hit Presto and Stan for six?

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Barely a moment after we were celebrating the launch of ABC’s long-awaited audio description service on the popular iview player video on demand (VOD) giant Netflix stormed into Australia and unleashed captioning, and only a day later, audio description.

Batsman preparing to swing at a cricket ball

Was this event unfortunate timing for those of us who wanted publicity for the new iview service or the shape of things to come?


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What are the most accessible video-on-demand services?

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With consumers increasingly turning to their computers and mobile devices to watch TV programs and movies, the accessibility of video-on-demand services is becoming a critical issue for those who rely on captioning or audio description.

Woman seated on a couch using a laptop, with TV on in the background

Media Access Australia’s report Access on Demand, which was released last week, highlights the vast differences in the accessibility of VOD services available in Australia.

Digital media and technology: 

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Report shows British TV channels are exceeding access requirements

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its Television Access Services report for 2014, which shows that all 72 domestic channels have met or exceeded their access requirements, and many have done considerably more than required.

Ofcom logo

Ofcom requires broadcasters to submit bi-annual reports giving the percentage of programs which have captions (called ‘subtitles’ in the UK), signing and audio description.


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Media Access Australia launches report on the accessibility of video-on-demand services

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Media Access Australia's latest report on the state of play for accessibility on video-on-demand (VOD) services recommends that captioning be introduced on all catch-up TV services by the end of 2015, and all VOD services by the end of 2016.

Access on demand: captioning and audio description on video on demand services cover

Media Access Australia has today launched Access on Demand, a comprehensive report on the accessibility of VOD services in Australia and other countries.


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Petition to make Steam accessible launched

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A Change.org petition has launched asking for the world’s largest digital game distribution platform, Steam, to be made accessible for people with disabilities.

Left hand resting over the W,A,S,D keys on a computer keyboard. Image credit: Brian J. Matis via Flickr

Digital media and technology: 

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Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter adds closed caption support for videos

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Kickstarter, one of the world’s most popular crowdfunding platforms, has announced a new accessibility feature enabling entrepreneurs to add closed captions and subtitles for videos uploaded to its website.

Woman speaking with the caption "Now, with the ability to add subtitles and captions". Image credit: Kickstarter blog

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Captions can help address disability education funding crisis

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New data has been released showing that Australian schools are struggling to fund the educational support needs of students with a disability. For schools looking for low-cost ways to support learning, especially for students with a hearing impairment, using captions on classroom videos offers essential access to the curriculum.

Teacher and students in a primary school classroom

Recent research conducted by the Australian Education Union (AEU) through the State of Our Schools Survey questioned 3,300 teachers and principals about funding for students with disability.


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Netflix launches in Australia with captions

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The US-based video-on-demand (VOD) service Netflix launched in Australia today. The good news for Deaf and hearing impaired viewers is that virtually all the content is captioned.

Netflix logo placed inside the shape of Australia


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New caption quality rules take effect in the US

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced new quality rules for closed captions on television which come into effect in the US on 16 March 2015.

Left hand pointing remote control towards TV. Image credit: flash.pro via Flickr


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Caption reporting retained as communications amendment bill passes House of Reps

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A bill to amend sections of the Broadcasting Services Act, including some sections relating to captioning, was passed in the House of Representatives last night. However, amendments to the original bill mean that broadcasters will have to continue reporting on captioning compliance, while a scheduled review of the captioning rules will go ahead.

Young girl watching TV. Image credit: Mr Jan, Flickr


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