Australian policy and legislation

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The Media Access Review: A review of access to electronic media for the hearing and vision impaired

The Department of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy (the DBCDE) has finished conducting an investigation into access to electronic media for the hearing and vision impaired. The Media Access Review started in April 2008, and has involved the Department's release of a Discussion Report and responses to the report, and the Department's subsequent release of a Discussion Paper and responses to the discussion paper. 

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Audio description

There is currently no legislation requiring audio description on Australian media. However, one of the recommendations of the Federal Government's Media Access Review final report, released in December 2010, was that there be a technical trial of audio description on the ABC.

The trial, which took place on ABC1, commenced on 5 August 2012, and continued for 13 weeks. During that time, an average of 2 hours of audio described programming was broadcast each evening.

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There is a substantial regulatory framework for access to broadcast television in Australia, particularly in regards to captioning.

For more specific information about the regulation of free-to-air television captioning and subscription television captioning, visit the following pages:

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