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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption quotas

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In the fourth part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at the confusing state of caption quotas for Australian TV, and how they can be simplified to benefit consumers and broadcasters.

Man's right hand holding open scissors over a line of red tape


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Digital Theatre productions with captions

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UK not-for-profit captioning organisation Stagetext has partnered with on-demand live arts service Digital Theatre to offer captioned versions of theatre productions.

A digital theatre production is where the play is recorded live and then distributed online, like a ‘film’ of the theatre performance. The addition of captions means that these productions are accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired people around the world.  This is part of the push to provide a different form of physical access when a person cannot attend the performance at the venue.  It also means that the performance is available multiple times and can be watched when the viewer chooses.


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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption reporting

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In the third part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at calls to end the requirement that broadcasters must report on how much captioning they have done.

Scissors cutting through red tape


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Ai-Media trials live captioning in UK schools

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The Australian-based access company Ai-Media, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the UK charity Nesta, has been working on a project which looks at the benefits of real-time captioning and transcriptions in British classrooms.

35 primary school teachers have taken part in the project, which is called the Visible Classroom and is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. They have had real-time captions provided by Ai-Media which are streamed onto an electronic whiteboard or tablets during lessons, and afterwards children are able to read the transcripts.

In an earlier trial of the system in Australia, it was found that the captions also benefited non-Deaf students, and allowed teachers to review their professional practice. The UK project is producing similar results.   


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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption quotas on subscription TV

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In the second part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at the issue of caption quotas on subscription television, and the importance for consumers of knowing in advance how much will be captioned on individual channels.

Open scissors cutting through red tape


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Call for proposals for leading accessible arts conference

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The annual Leadership Exchange in the Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference has called for proposals for pre-conference workshops and conference sessions for its 2015 event which will be held in Washington DC during August.

The professional LEAD network explores practical methods of providing accessibility to the arts as well as sharing information among arts administrators and managers in the field of accessible arts.

The fifteenth annual conference will run at the Kennedy Center from 5-7 August, with pre-conference sessions on 3 and 4 August.

Digital media and technology: 

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Repealing captioning red tape: Improving caption regulation

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The next round of the Federal Government’s repeal red tape campaign is due to take place next month and is likely to include captioning issues. We have contacted a number of interest groups including Federal politicians with our recommendations on how repealing red tape could benefit the operation of the captioning elements of the Broadcasting Services Act.

Right hand holding open scissors over a line of red tape


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Telstra introduces captions on BigPond Movies

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Telstra has released an initial batch of 14 BigPond movies with open captions, with a promise to expand the service in the future.

To find the captioned titles on BigPond Movies, click on ‘Movies’ on the home page, then ‘Open Captions’, which will bring up a list of them. The initial titles include The Lego Movie, Transcendence, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Veronica Mars. Because the captions are ‘open’, they will be visible when played on all devices.


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Californian DVD kiosks to be accessible after court settlement

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The DVD supplier Redbox has agreed to makes its kiosks in California accessible for blind and vision impaired consumers after several advocates for the blind launched a class action against the company in 2012.

In settling the class action, Redbox has agreed to incorporate audio guidance, tactile keyboards and other accessibility features into its kiosks. One kiosk at each location will have the features within 18 months, and they will be extended to all of its kiosks within 30 months. There will also be 24-hour phone assistance available at each kiosk.

In addition to this, Redbox will pay US$1.2 million to the class of aggrieved persons in California, and US$10,000 to each of the individuals who made the complaint. It will also pay court costs.


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Telstra announces accessibility initiatives

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Telstra has announced several new initiatives aimed at improving access for people with disabilities to telecommunications services.

The company has launched a portal on Telstra.com that lets users search for features that may assist specific disabilities such as speech, vision, cognitive and dexterity impairment.

For vision, features include: screen reader, adjustable font-size, high contrast mode and voice output of caller ID.

For cognition, features include: simplify display, photo associated phone book, supports third party apps and supports gesture navigation.


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