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OS X Mavericks released with improved accessibility

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Apple has updated its operating system for laptop and desktop computers to OS X Mavericks. The update includes a number of improvements which make Macs easier to use for people with a disability.

Accessibility improvements

Closed captioning support

Digital media and technology: 

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Student campaigns for real time captions at school

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Earlier this month high school senior Delanie Harrington delivered a petition of 1,900 signatures to the Poway Unified School District Board of Education in San Diego California asking for real time captioning in the classroom.

Real time captions provide equal access to education by offering a rolling transcript of a teacher’s voice. They are created by a professional captioner working in a remote location, who coverts an audio feed into text. While the school district makes American Sign Language interpreters available, as Harrington does not use sign language she requires captions.


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Lack of records hampers captioning complaint decision

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The broadcasting regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was unable to make a judgement on a complaint about delayed captions on Da Vinci’s Demons on FX+2 due to a lack of records.

The complaint alleged that the captions were displaying considerably behind the dialogue on the +2 hours version of the program broadcast on 4 May 2013 on Foxtel. The investigation by the ACMA showed that although Foxtel was able to demonstrate that the original broadcast of the program two hours earlier was error-free and that it had no internal log of any problems on the plus 2 hours version, it did not have a copy of the program as transmitted and therefore could not show that there was no error.


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London calls for an Australian audio describer

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Lara Torr could be off to the UK to pursue her dream of becoming an expert audio describer thanks to the British Council’s Realise Your Dream competition.

Torr is an arts professional from South Australia who works across visual arts and theatre. In 2011 she trained to become an audio describer, someone who describes an artwork, performance or program for those who are blind or vision impaired. So far in 2013, Torr has described productions for the Adelaide Festival and the State Theatre Company of SA. She also wrote the description for the National Gallery of Victoria’s Monet’s Garden exhibition and run an audio description workshop in Hobart.


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