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Apple Watch accessibility features

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With Apple’s new watch becoming officially available, Media Access Australia has put together a round-up of all the accessibility features of the new wearable device and a comparison with some of the company’s other devices.

Apple Watch with sport band. App icons displayed on screen

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What are the most accessible video-on-demand services?

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With consumers increasingly turning to their computers and mobile devices to watch TV programs and movies, the accessibility of video-on-demand services is becoming a critical issue for those who rely on captioning or audio description.

Woman seated on a couch using a laptop, with TV on in the background

Media Access Australia’s report Access on Demand, which was released last week, highlights the vast differences in the accessibility of VOD services available in Australia.

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Hong Kong honours accessible websites and apps

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The Government of Hong Kong has once again recognised the efforts of web developers and designers in creating websites and mobile apps that are accessible to everyone.

Web Accessibility Campaign: Making Web Content Available for All banner. Image credit: ogcio.gov.hk


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AD 2020 – what will happen to audio description in the next 5 years?

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Predicting the future beyond the next year or two is a risky business, even more so if you are looking at media and digital services. Media Access Australia CEO, Alex Varley, will be putting his access expertise and reputation on the line at the annual Print Disability Round Table in Adelaide where he will speculate on what audio description (AD) will look like in the year 2020.

Elderly farmer wearing headphones whilst using a stylus on a tablet device, over an aluminum tray of peas resting on his lap


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Swedish app massively expands audio described cinema

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A new mobile app provided through Sweden’s Available Cinema project will increase the number of audio described cinema sessions from 150 to 150,000 each year.

Rows of empty cinema seats. Image credit: m4tik via Flickr

According to the project manager, Lisa Wacklin, audio description was previously delivered live in the cinema and the app has allowed the huge increase by automating the process.


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Report shows British TV channels are exceeding access requirements

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its Television Access Services report for 2014, which shows that all 72 domestic channels have met or exceeded their access requirements, and many have done considerably more than required.

Ofcom logo

Ofcom requires broadcasters to submit bi-annual reports giving the percentage of programs which have captions (called ‘subtitles’ in the UK), signing and audio description.


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Media Access Australia launches report on the accessibility of video-on-demand services

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Media Access Australia's latest report on the state of play for accessibility on video-on-demand (VOD) services recommends that captioning be introduced on all catch-up TV services by the end of 2015, and all VOD services by the end of 2016.

Access on demand: captioning and audio description on video on demand services cover

Media Access Australia has today launched Access on Demand, a comprehensive report on the accessibility of VOD services in Australia and other countries.


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Netflix introduces audio description

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Daredevil, a TV series about a blind superhero, has become the first program on Netflix to have audio description for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Marvel Daredevil logo


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Employment discrimination inquiry highlights value of digital accessibility

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The role of digital accessibility in helping reduce discrimination against older Australians and those with a disability—while helping create value for employers—has been recognised at the launch of a new inquiry.

Elderly woman and man in office attire


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ABC launches trial of audio description on iview

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The ABC has today launched a trial of audio description on its online catch-up TV service iview. The trial will last 15 months, during which 14 hours of audio described programs will be added to iview each week.

Audio Description logo and ABC iview logo

The audio description is initially available on iPads and iPhones only, and people will need to download the latest version of the iview app to receive it. The trial will be extended to desktop PCs in mid-May, Android devices in June, and to HbbTV enabled TVs (which are connected to the internet) in July.

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