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Developer discusses the creation of handheld audio description device

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In a recent interview, Bryan Gould, Accessible Learning and Assessment Technologies Director at the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) in the USA, talked about the development of the Durateq, a handheld audio description device which is now in use in Disney theme parks.

Spaceship Earth structure at Walt Disney World's EPCOT theme park, illuminated at night


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UK channels breach rules by not providing access in other countries

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has found that a number of UK-based channels owned by AXN and MTG breached access regulations by not providing enough captioning or audio description on services broadcast to Italy, Denmark and Sweden in 2014.

Little girl pointing remote control at a cartoon on TV


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Choosing captioned options is an essential first step

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In many subjects, students (and teachers) have a choice about which texts or resources to study. For students who use captions, it makes sense to choose texts or resources that have captioned film versions available.

Finger pointing to the text "English Captions: Yes [Descriptive subtitles for the hearing impaired]" on the back of a DVD box


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Using captions to teach skills and concepts

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Access and opportunity combine with the use of captioned video in the classroom to provide necessary context, as well enduring information, after the initial learning experience passes.

Considering that captions are really just words used in a particular way to provide access and meaning, it challenges us as educators to ponder how we can use the opportunity these words provide. The written word has been used to teach concepts for thousands of years, so let’s look at words in the context of access. The use of captioned video ‘turns a light on’ to expose the hidden treasure – information – which lies within the video. Further learning for all students can be facilitated by releasing that knowledge in a variety of forms.


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Study will review disabled consumer experiences with video on demand

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Curtin University academic Katie Ellis will investigate disabled consumer experiences of subscription video-on-demand (VOD) services in Australia in her project ‘Accessing Video on Demand: A study of disability and streaming television’.

Left hand pointing a remote control at a Smart TV


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Captioned Discovery Kids helps primary children learn

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Discovery Kids is Australia’s only dedicated educational channel for primary-school aged children (5-12) and a sponsor of Media Access Australia's national CAP THAT! campaign. From its launch on Foxtel in 2014, 100% of the content on Discovery Kids has been captioned.

Robert Irwin speaking with the caption "No? Well, that's where closed captioning comes in"


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Audio description trial on iview enters third month

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The trial of audio description on the ABC’s iview service is about to enter its third month, with feedback from viewers on the choice of programs and quality of the description being very positive.

ABC iview icon

Since the trial began in April, over 12,000 drama programs and over 5,000 factual programs have been played on iview with the audio description activated. The most popular drama program so far has been Poldark, and the most popular factual program The Killing Season.


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iTunes to remove content that isn’t captioned

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1 July 2015 is the deadline in the United States for all online video content to have captions if it was previously captioned for broadcast on television. Following that date, iTunes will commence removing from its store movies and TV programs which fall into this category.

iTunes desktop application with playback controls visible. Image credit: maury.mccown via Flickr

Digital media and technology: 

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Accessible Live Events call for papers

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The University of Antwerp is hosting a special international symposium on Accessible Live Events on 29 April 2016 and is seeking proposals for papers and presentations.

Audience cheering whilst facing the stage at a live performance. A person's hands are raised in the foreground making a 'heart' shape.


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UK Labour MP supports VOD access campaign

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Labour MP Lillian Greenwood has submitted a private member’s bill to the House of Commons in support of Subtitle It!, a campaign to improve the accessibility of video-on-demand (VOD) services.

Lillian Greenwood holding a sign which reads 'Subtitle It! Whatever we watch, however we watch it #SubtitleIt'


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