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Highlights of 2013: cinema access advances

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Throughout December Media Access Australia will bring you a summary of the biggest developments in access to media and technology seen in 2013. The first looks at developments in cinema both in Australia and internationally.

New technologies

In Europe three separate companies are introducing captioning or captioning and audio description to Italy and Spain through innovative devices.


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Online content to support the Australian Curriculum

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Finding online resources that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum is now a whole lot easier. Education Services Australia (ESA) has developed Scootle, a purpose-designed search tool which is available to teachers nationally. Some of the content to be found on Scootle is captioned, and teachers can refine their search to include only captioned material.

The Scootle portal houses an increasing range of content from a variety of educational sources. From an accessibility standpoint, only some of the content is captioned and Scootle has put processes in place to include more captioned educational content in the future.


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Nokia assistive app competition

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Smartphone company Nokia and the Royal National Institute for Blind People in the UK have partnered in a competition for apps which assist people who are blind or vision impaired.

Eligible apps must be compatible with Windows 8 and Nokia Lumia phones. While there’s a broad range of assistance apps available on Android and Apple iOS phones, options for blind and vision impaired Windows users are far more limited. The Nokia Create: Do Good Mission aims to help remedy this.

Digital media and technology: 

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New access company launched in New Zealand

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Able is the new company which will be supplying captioning for channels TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR in New Zealand, as well as audio description for TVC One and TV2.

The staff at Able were formerly located in the studios of TVNZ, which owns TV One and TV2. However, as TV3 and FOUR are owned by another company, MediaWorks New Zealand, it was decided earlier this year to transfer them to an independent company. The CEO of Able, Wendy Youens, was formerly Access Services Manager at TVNZ.


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Conference for educators of blind and vision impaired children

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A conference hosted by the Royal National Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) brings teachers together to explore how accessible media and technology can improve education and literacy outcomes for school students who are blind or vision impaired.

Starting today, VisCon features a keynote address by Ike Presley from the American Foundation for the Blind’s National Literacy Centre. His work focuses on the link between assistive technology and literacy.


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