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Unscrambling caption quality control

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In 2014 Media Access Australia will release the world’s first review of how the quality of closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf and hearing impaired is controlled internationally. The white paper is sponsored by Red Bee Media and will explore how a more consistent approach to captioning will benefit both viewers and caption providers internationally.

The report will draw on a range of approaches from across the world, both in English and other languages and will examine how various countries such as the UK, USA and Australia ensure the accuracy of closed captions on broadcast television.


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Highlights of 2013 – a Christmas card from Western Australia

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Western Australia, with its strong community groups and thriving accessibility scene, contributes a huge amount to Australia’s progress towards access. Here, Media Access Australia’s Western Australia manager Dr Scott Hollier provides an update on the key accessibility events that have taken place over 2013.

In March the largest web accessibility-specific event ever held in Western Australia took place with with the Perth Web Accessibility BarCamp. Run as a more casual ‘unconference’ with approximately 100 people in attendance, there were great presentations across all areas of accessibility, including a humorous debate on whether web accessibility is being taken seriously. The event was very well organised with Gary Barber at the helm and it demonstrated just how much work is being done across all local sectors.

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British online video provider improves accessibility

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The video on demand provider YouView has announced a range of improvements to make its services easier to use for blind and vision impaired people, as well as those with a motor skill or cognitive impairment.

The changes include a new zoom function that works with all aspects of the program guide, and which the company described as a UK first. The free YouView app for iOS and Android now has text-to-speech navigation of the program guide, while the app is also now available in a high-contrast version.


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New audio description business flourishes in South Australia

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Over the last four years a team of dedicated arts access workers in South Australia have worked towards establishing Access2Arts, a disability arts organisation that includes a professional audio description service to bring the arts to life for people who are blind or vision impaired. Access2Arts is soon to complete its first year of operation with a number of successful projects under its belt.

Formed in 2009 as Arts SA’s Disability and Arts Transition Team (DATT), initial purchase of audio description receivers and broadcasters allowed DATT to branch out and offer audio description to venues and arts companies not traditionally part of the fixed venue service, then offered by the Royal Society for the Blind.


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