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Caption reporting retained as communications amendment bill passes House of Reps

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A bill to amend sections of the Broadcasting Services Act, including some sections relating to captioning, was passed in the House of Representatives last night. However, amendments to the original bill mean that broadcasters will have to continue reporting on captioning compliance, while a scheduled review of the captioning rules will go ahead.

Young girl watching TV. Image credit: Mr Jan, Flickr


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Red Bee publishes results of caption survey

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The captioning provider Red Bee Media Australia has published the results of a survey it conducted about the positioning of captions on the Seven Network program My Kitchen Rules.

My Kitchen Rules logo


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Q&A: The importance of accessible gaming

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Media Access Australia spoke with accessible gaming advocate Ian Hamilton on the importance and value of accessible digital entertainment ahead of his presentation at this year’s annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN 2015).

Xbox 360 controller resting on a flat surface. Image credit: Steve Petrucelli, Flickr

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Q&A: IAAP’s CEO Chris Peck

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The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), the body created to promote the development of an accessibility profession, turns one year old this March. Ahead of its first birthday—coinciding with the 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN 2015)—Media Access Australia spoke to IAAP’s CEO, Chris Peck, for a look at the organisation’s achievements so far.

Portrait of IAAP CEO, Chris Peck


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ACMA reports on Australians’ online video use

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a report which looks at the different ways that Australians are viewing TV programs, with the catch-up TV services being particularly popular. This highlights the need for captioning on these services.

Man sitting back on couch with hands interlocked behind his head, watching TV. Image credit:  D.Reichardt, Flickr


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Audio description app trialled in the UK

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The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has commenced a trial of a new app designed to deliver audio description for programs on video-on-demand services.

MovieReading logo

The app was developed by the Italian company Universal Multimedia Access, which also created the MovieReading app. This allows a caption file for a movie to be downloaded to a user’s smartphone or tablet, so that the captions can be watched as the movie screens in a cinema.

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Coles web accessibility case settled

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The case against grocery retailer Coles, for the alleged inaccessibility of its online shopping service, has been settled.

Miniature shopping cart resting on a laptop keyboard. Image credit:  Tim Reckmann, Flickr

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Harvard & MIT sued over lack of captions

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Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are being sued for the alleged discrimination against people who are Deaf or hearing impaired by failing to caption the videos they provide online, such as in the universities’ popular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Exterior shot of Harvard's Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, students walking around nearby


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Canadian cinemas commence autism-friendly movie sessions

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One of Canada’s largest entertainment companies, Cineplex Entertainment, has announced the introduction of a movie screening program for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

Interior shot of a large, empty movie theatre. Image credit: m4tik via Flickr


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Senate committee reports on proposed captioning changes

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The Senate committee which reviewed the Government’s proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act, including changes to the captioning provisions, has issued its report. It has supported all but one of the proposed changes, including an end to the requirement that free-to-air networks need to make annual captioning compliance reports. The only amendment it has rejected is the cancellation of a scheduled review by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), although it recommends this be delayed by three years.

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