New Zealand TV programs to be captioned for DVD

Thursday, 21 June 2012 15:29pm

Three of New Zealand’s largest media organisations have joined forces to ensure local content that is broadcast with captions will now also be captioned for DVD release.

Government body NZ On Air, national broadcaster TVNZ and film and TV production company South Pacific Pictures have listened to calls from the cross-sector Captioning Working Group to increase captioning on DVDs.

Since 1984, captions on New Zealand television have been funded by NZ On Air, with a growing number of regular captioned programs. It is only now, through international comparison of access services brought to light by the working group, that New Zealand will move to ensure the captions created for TV will be  carried to the DVD versions.

Louise Carroll, chairperson of the Captioning Working Group which is made up of a number of community organisations, said, "New Zealand's level of captioning was among the lowest in the world. NZ On Air is helping remove at least one aspect of this barrier by improving DVD access for more than 700,000 Deaf and hearing impaired people."

South Pacific Pictures head John Barnett said, "The audiences for captioned DVDs are comparatively small…but by working together we've found a way to move past a difficult business case to better serve the Deaf and hearing impaired community."

More information on the announcement can be found in the full NZ On Air press release.

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