New Zealand audio description trial begins today

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Tuesday, 1 March 2011 15:13pm

The trial of audio description on New Zealand television begins today with an episode of the long-running British soap Coronation Street.

The program, which airs on TVNZ, was selected to be the first to be audio described by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand.

It is planned that the audio description of Coronation Street will continue until the end of the year. The success of the service will then be evaluated, and it is expected that more programs will follow. The service can be received on Freeview HD and Freeview Satellite TV receivers, and has been funded by a grant of NZ$500 from NZ on Air.

The introduction of the audio description service has been made possible by developments in digital television. “We've been providing captioning for those with hearing impairments for a long time,” said Helen Clifton, TVNZ’s Head of Production Services and Technology, “and we can now make television an experience to be really enjoyed for those with visual difficulties."

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