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US access provider releases caption quality survey results


The WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) has now released the results of a survey of caption viewers who were presented with examples of cpationing errors and asked to rate them according to how they affected their comprehension.

The survey was part of NCAM's development of a prototype automated assessment system for live captioning (including the captioning of news programs). The first stage of this process was to determine the relative severity of different sorts of errors.

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Problems with captions

Digital TVs and set-top boxes

Caption problems due to poor reception are rare if you are using a digital television or digital set-top box. With a digital signal you should either get a good picture with good captions or no picture and no captions at all.

If there are caption display problems on screen on multiple stations it usually means that your TV or set-top box is faulty and you will need to contact the manufacturer. Sometimes software upgrades are available that will fix this.


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Media Access Australia releases report on Accessible Regions Campaign


Media Access Australia today released the findings of its Accessible Regions Campaign. The campaign has found that the quality of captioning on regional news and current affairs programs is severely lacking.

The Accessible Regions Campaign

Between October and December 2010, Media Access Australia conducted an Accessible Regions Campaign, which focused on ensuring that regional news and current affairs programs are broadcast with quality captions.

In the past, regional broadcasters have had a much poorer record on meeting captioning requirements than their metropolitan counterparts. Metropolitan broadcasters are subject to a far higher degree of scrutiny than regional broadcasters, which naturally means that there is less pressure on them to meet their targets.

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Canadian coalition creates Access 2020


A coalition of Canadian accessibility organisations has formed to achieve full captioning and audio description on television content in Canada by 2020. The aptly named Access 2020 will use the CRTC (the Canadian media regulator) hearings into vertical integration in May 2011 as the starting point for this new policy approach.

Access 2020 is taking the view that 1% of TV ownership transactions from now until 2015 should be spent on accessibility research, standards development and third-party monitoring of access.  The crux of the argument is that media organisations gain significant benefits from being allowed to vertically integrate, and consumers should also receive benefits, including proper disability access. 

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