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When are bad captions permitted on television?

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When a viewer complains about inadequate TV captioning Australia’s media regulator steps in to determine if the breach is excusable. We look at the regulations to see what the TV networks can get away with.

Caption quality is one of the most talked about issues among caption users. There have been advances in dealing with quality in recent years, including the incorporation of quality standards into Australian regulations with the passing of the new captioning rules and regulations in 2012.


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Blind Citizens Australia National Convention – register now

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Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is the representative body for Australians who are blind or vision impaired. The organisation advocates on key issues and works to connect its members across the country. Its national convention, held annually, provides the opportunity for the blind and vision impaired community to share developments in media and technology access.

Highlights of the convention include:


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Apple’s ‘budget’ iPhone 5C still not affordable

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Apple unveiled its iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at this week’s launch, with many disappointed about the pricing of its very first ‘budget’ phone, the iPhone 5C. Despite being regarded as one of the most accessible smartphones to people with disabilities, Apple’s smartphones still remains expensive in comparison to others on the market.

Leading up to the announcement, it was hoped that the lower cost iPhone 5C would allow low income earners access to a smartphone with impressive accessibility features. This would have been a significant development for Australians with disabilities.

Digital media and technology: 

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Virgin America found in breach of access regulations

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The Virgin America airline has been fined for failing to make its safety videos accessible for passengers who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

Under the Air Carrier Access Act, which was introduced in 1986,airlines are required to offer either open captioning or sign language interpretation on all video safety briefings. Since beginning its service in 2007, Virgin America has failed to offer either. The US Department of Transportation has fined the airline $150,000 and ordered it to cease and desist from further violations of the Act.Virgin America has agreed to add captioning by 30 September 2013.


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