Monday, February 6, 2012

Great news for the deaf and hearing impaired communities in NZ

This post was shared by Eddie Reisch in early January - a great start to 2012

Sky launches captioning on 13 channels

The post reads

"It’s a giant step forward for the deaf and hearing impaired communities on February 1st 2012, when SKY Television launches closed captioning on 13 popular channels.

SKY has been working on the launch of captioning for several months; the project required considerable technical design as well as investment in hardware and software to enable closed captions on the following 13 channels:
  • Animal Planet,
  • Disney Channel,
  • Disney Junior,
  • TCM,
  • TV1,
  • TV2,
  • TV3,
  • Cartoon Network,
  • Crime & Investigation,
  • Discovery Channel,
  • Nickelodeon,
  • UKTV
  • and National Geographic.

It’s a service SKY is pleased to offer, Chief Executive Officer John Fellet commented: “This is a service we’ve long wanted to offer to SKY customers but have held off offering until now while we tried to gain funding from New Zealand On Air, as TVNZ and TV3 currently do.  I know this new service will be very valuable to the deaf and hearing impaired - while it is a niche audience, it’s a step towards more equal access and we are delighted to offer it”. Closed captioning information will be displayed on the on-screen electronic programme guide (EPG). Viewers can elect to enable closed captions for a single programme, or make a global setting to show closed captions whenever they are available. Viewers can even search for content screened with closed captions.

Last year a Captioning Working Group was formed, with members from the National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD) and Deaf Aotearoa.  Louise Carroll, NFD’s Chief Executive Officer and Captioning Working Group Chairperson welcomed this initiative, saying;

Example of a television broadcast with closed ...Image via Wikipedia“We are absolutely delighted with SKY’s decision to provide captioned programmes on 13 channels. This is a huge step in improving access to over 700,000 hearing impaired and deaf people in New Zealand.

The limited number of captioned television programmes and movies, made internationally and in New Zealand, is an on-going access issue for people who are deaf and hearing impaired. We congratulate SKY Television in removing this barrier to access for many Kiwis and we strongly encourage broadcasters to consider the needs of all viewers equally.”

SKY will continue to evaluate the viability of providing further captions on additional content and channels as the information becomes accessible.     
youtube close captionyoutube close caption (Photo credit: itjil)

Closed Captions are available on MY SKY decoders. SKY Digital decoders can display closed captions through Teletext if the television supports Teletext."
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