Policy & Legislation

Unscrambling caption quality control

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In 2014 Media Access Australia will release the world’s first review of how the quality of closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf and hearing impaired is controlled internationally. The white paper is sponsored by Red Bee Media and will explore how a more consistent approach to captioning will benefit both viewers and caption providers internationally.

The report will draw on a range of approaches from across the world, both in English and other languages and will examine how various countries such as the UK, USA and Australia ensure the accuracy of closed captions on broadcast television.


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New Zealand

New Zealand does not as yet have any legislation in place requiring broadcasters to provide captioning or audio description. Instead, these services are paid for by an independent broadcast funding agency, NZ On Air, which is in turn funded by the New Zealand government.


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New disability statistics show continuing need for access

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In 2012, there were 4.2 million Australians with a disability, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics survey results released yesterday. The results highlight the significance of access services for the Australian population.

The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers shows that the percentage of Australians with a disability has remained steady since at 18.5 per cent since the survey was last conducted in 2009.


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Audio description on TV – where to now?

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Media Access Australia has prepared an analysis of the ABC’s report on the technical delivery of the audio description trial on ABC1 last year. Written by Project Manager for Television, Chris Mikul, Audio description – where to now? looks at viewer responses to the trial, the technical issues that were raised by it, and how these may be overcome.

At the end of October, the Department of Communications released the technical report prepared by the ABC. The report was keenly anticipated by blind and vision impaired TV viewers who want Australia to join the US, the UK, New Zealand and many other countries in having a permanent audio description service on television.


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