Wendy Youens Chief Executive

Wendy reports to the Media Access Charitable Trust board and is responsible for overseeing everything that happens at Able.

Wendy has been with the service for nearly seven years and is passionate about providing access services for NZ’s vision and hearing impaired communities and is always keeping an eye on new technologies and what’s happening world-wide in the media accessibility industry.

She loves getting out into the great outdoors and is currently working her way through New Zealand’s Great Walks. Her favourite TV shows are all cooking related: MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. Maybe she’s missed her calling as a TV chef?!

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Stephanie Turner Operations Manager

Stephanie oversees the day-to-day operations at Able, ensuring the production and delivery of captioning and audio description meets our obligations to NZ On Air. She directs recruitment and staff processes and manages Able’s technical infrastructure.

Stephanie has been with the service since 2004, joining fresh out of university as a caption producer – her dream job, as it combined her love of words and TV. She was a team leader for six years and took on the operations manager role in 2014.

She loves film, reading and, of course, TV. She has too many favourite programmes to name, but current faves include This Is Us, Veep, House Of Cards and, embarrassingly, 1980s glam soap Dynasty.

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Sara Huszak Admin Coordinator

Sara’s responsibility is to create and distribute the schedules of captioned and audio described programmes and organise the resources for the captioners and audio describers so that they can caption and audio describe the programmes.

Sara comes from an administration background and has worked in a range of different organisations, including The National Foundation for the Deaf, where she learned a lot about the Deaf and hearing-impaired communities and how to speak Sign Language.

She also loves to sing and play the bass guitar, and her favourite TV programmes are Miranda and The IT Crowd.

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Ingrid Lauder Team Leader - Caption Producers

Ingrid first joined the service in 2007 after she completed her master’s degree in English literature at the University of Canterbury. She became a Captioning Editor, and then left to do her big OE, living in London for three years. On her return to NZ at the end of 2013, she was delighted that an opportunity arose for her to work for the service again.

Ingrid has recently become team leader of the producers. Her main responsibilities include recruitment, training of new producers and managing the producer team. She also continues to caption.

Ingrid loves to travel, practise yoga, read, and watch film and television. Some of her favourite programmes include Hart of Dixie, Friday Night Lights and Downton Abbey.

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Virginia Philp Team Leader - Audio Describers

Virginia is a founding member of the audio description team at Able and worked on the first audio described programmes which were broadcast on TV ONE in March 2011.

She joined the service as a caption producer in 2009 after completing degrees in Ancient History and Classics and Broadcast Journalism.

As the AD service has steadily grown, she now splits her time between both captioning and audio description. Her responsibilities are to train, guide and direct the small team of audio describers and to help them produce an increasing amount of audio described programming across a range of genres. 

Virginia loves watching television and being involved in making it accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Her favourite TV programme of all time is the British comedy Gavin & Stacey, and it was a highlight to audio describe this series and to share the dry humour and ‘comedy gold’ with viewers who rely on AD.

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Imogen Staines Team Leader - Caption Editors

Originally from Cardiff, Imogen has lived in New Zealand for 10 years. She joined Able as a caption producer in 2014 after graduating with a first class honours in art history at the University of Otago. She found Able a perfect fit and progressed from producer to editor to team leader of the editors within two and a half years.

As team leader of the editors, Imogen manages the wonderful editor team and oversees a portion of Able’s commercial output. She also continues to caption.

Imogen loves music and could name you every Libertines song ever recorded. She’s also a complete film obsessive, with a movie quote on hand for every occasion. Fashion, in particular fashion history, is one of her great loves, and her favourite TV shows are Adventure Time, Mad Men and Peep Show.

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Introducing the 30 amazing individuals that make up team able

We've got an extremely dedicated team who are working hard to bring you as much accessible content as possible.