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Study of Canadian TV access levels released


Media Access Canada has just released a study of captions and audio description on Canadian television which found that broadcasters are fulfilling their captioning obligations but falling behind on audio description.

The study found that all ten broadcasters were meeting or exceeding the caption quotas set by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission, although the quality of captions was variable. However, seven broadcasters were not meeting the requirement to provide 4 hours of audio described programs per week.

The study, which was carried out by Analysis and Research in Communications Inc., is the first to measure accessibility in Canadian Broadcasting since 1992.

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American disabilities association argues for sensible audio description regulations


The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has made a submission to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), making numerous recommendations about how audio description should be regulated when it is introduced as a compulsory service on television next year.

Under provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 rules regarding mandatory levels of audio description will be reinstated on 8 October 2011, with required hours of described programming beginning in the first quarter of 2012.

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Report on captioning in the European Union released


The European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) has released a report which looks at levels of captioning on audiovisual media across the European Union.

The EFHOH, which has been campaigning for increased levels of captioning for the last ten years, notes that some countries have made great progress in that time. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France now have 100% captioning on their main television channels, but other countries are lagging behind.

The EFHOH notes that there are 50 million Deaf and hearing impaired people in Europe, and believes that 100% of programs on all public TV channels should be captioned by 2020.

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World Blind Union releases audio description toolkit


The World Blind Union (WBU) has released a comprehensive document which aims to increase the awareness and availability of audio description throughout the world.

The ‘World Blind Union Toolkit on providing, delivering and campaigning for audio description on television and film’ was developed with input from WBU members in many countries. It explains what audio description is, describes the technical methods used to deliver it on various media, and provides sample of audio description and real-life case studies of people who use it.

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