The media access report, issue 20, spring 2011

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Media Access Australia - Inclusion through technology
‘We believe that all Australians have the right to access all forms of media and information, through technology, so they can participate fully in society.’
Media Access Australia is Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disabilities.
At the core of our work is the understanding that exclusion from mainstream audiovisual media has profound effects on educational outcomes, workforce participation and social inclusion.
Access to media through technology empowers people to be independent, gain knowledge, make their own choices, and be active members of our society.
Our expertise
We promote inclusion by providing expert knowledge and advice on existing and emerging mainstream technologies to government, industry, educators, consumer organisations and individuals.
We demonstrate how media accessibility can be improved in practical ways, by piloting innovative ideas and major projects.
We work as a catalyst for change in areas of access that include television, DVD, cinema, the arts, education, computing and the Internet, with a primary focus on people who are blind or vision impaired, or Deaf or hearing impaired.
We seek to improve national and international Internet accessibility standards as a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international online community where the general public and organisations work together to develop web standards.
We are a national organisation, based in Sydney, with a satellite office in Perth.
Our heritage
Media Access Australia was formed out of the Australian Caption Centre, a not-for-profit organisation co-founded by Adam Salzer and Alexandra Hynes in 1982.
The Centre aimed to promote and produce captioning for Deaf or hearing impaired Australians. At the Centre’s inception, captions were non-existent, however, over its life the organisation grew to provide captioning services on TV, video and DVD.
In 2005, the Centre sold its commercial operations including captioning services to Red Bee Media, and became Media Access Australia. We no longer provide services to business, allowing us to focus on promoting inclusion without the conflicts of commercial operations.
As Media Access Australia, our focus broadened to include people who are blind or vision impaired and others who are disadvantaged in access to media. We recognised that, while some needs are different between disabilities, there are important similarities in terms of solutions, technologies, industries and regulation. By focusing on these similarities we can achieve better results for all.
Statistical information published in The Media Access Report is derived from public sources such as television listings and websites. It has been made available for general use only and is provided without warranty as to its accuracy or currency.

and news items dealing with captioning, audio description and other access services. If you have any material you would like to submit, contact Chris Mikul on (02) 9212 6242, or email

The Media Access Report is published by Media Access Australia, Suite 408, 22-36 Mountain Street, Ultimo NSW 2007. Phone/TTY: (02) 9212 6242, Fax: (02) 9212 6289.
If you would like to be put on the mailing list to receive future issues of The Media Access Report, email





Disney offers audio description for outdoor attractions 4

Victorian Government releases access guidelines for colour blindness 4

Outrage at decision in JetBlue accessibility case 5

UK project to help bring music to cochlear implant users 5

Federal Government announces support for Arts Access Australia 5

CBM offers Christian audio library for people with a print disability 6

The Deafness Forum Captioning Awards 2011 6

Behind the words: MAA chats with the best captioner in the business 7


Ofcom reveals UK television’s spotless access record 8

Audio description mandatory on UK Freeview TV receivers 8

American disabilities association argues for sensible audio description regulations 9

Canadian communications regulator calls for comments on proposed caption quality standards 9

FCC reminds broadcasters to make emergency information accessible 10

Audio description for mobile devices delayed in the US 10

DVD 11

Access on new release DVDs 11


Captions boost inclusion during National Literacy and Numeracy Week 12

Khan Academy adds Universal Subtitles to website 12

US universities lead the way on classroom captions 13

Captioned online videos promote assistive technologies for learning 13

New Captioning Studio and Echo360 partnership brings captions to university students 13

Florida State University sued for inaccessible eLearning system 14

WA invests $4m in classroom accessibility technology 15


Theatre Development Fund awarded grant to expand its captioning services 15

American cinema chain to provide captioning and audio description in theatres nationwide 16

Sony’s caption glasses for movies receive positive feedback 16


NVDA proven a more robust screen reader than Thunder 17

Apple continues to improve accessibility of iOS 17

Accessible web browser and music player for Android released as standalone apps 18

Nokia unveils plans to include voice-to-text feature 18

Gmail for Android is now more accessible 19

Accessible Twitter changes name to Easy Chirp 19

Apple announces iOS 5 with accessibility improvements 20

Users and industry rush to support NVDA 20

ONLINE MEDIA 21 sued for not captioning online videos 21

Deaf advocacy group sues Netflix for not captioning videos 21 provides closed captions 21

Facebook excludes Deaf and hearing impaired by not supporting captioning 21

Australian Government’s web accessibility efforts recognised through award 22

WA and Victorian governments commit to web accessibility 22

Update to ABC iView for iPad supports closed captions 23

US access committee reports on Internet video captioning 23

Low vision people often disregarded online 24

YouTube expands automatic captioning to other languages 24

CAPTCHAs shown to yet again impede accessibility 25

Canadian Government launches new standard on web accessibility 25

Olympics video magazine provides level playing field for Deaf and hearing impaired 26

Glossary 26

Acronyms 27


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