Wendy Youens Chief ExecutiveWendy 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 over 10 years and is passionate about making media accessible. She's always keeping an eye on new technologies and what’s happening world-wide in the media accessibility industry. Wendy volunteers as a trustee on a couple of not-for-profit boards and also as a youth mentor through First Foundation. She loves getting out into the great outdoors and is currently working her way through New Zealand’s Great Walks. She's a bookworm at heart, but loves watching the latest cooking show on TV too. Maybe she’s missed her calling as a TV chef?! Email me
Stephanie Turner Operations ManagerStephanie directs the day-to-day operations at Able, ensuring the smooth production and delivery of captioning and audio description to our clients. Stephanie started off captioning - her dream job, as it combined her love of words and TV - and then was a team leader for several years. She took on the operations manager role in 2014. Stephanie enjoys being part of a team that provides a valuable service to the community. Stephanie loves film, reading and, of course, TV. She has too many favourite programmes to name, but current faves include Stranger Things, Killing Eve, Veep and Derry Girls - and, believe it or not, 1980s glam soap Dynasty... Those shoulder pads! Email me
Ingrid Lauder Team Leader - Caption ProducersIngrid 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 is now 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, of course, watch film and television, so captioning is her dream job! Some of her favourite programmes include Queen Sugar, This Is Us, Jane the Virgin, and she's always got time for any soapy teen dramas. Email me
Shrutika Gunanayagam Team Leader - Caption EditorsOriginally from India, Shrutika and her family immigrated to New Zealand when she was 8. Despite studying radio at AUT, her interest in TV saw her join Able in 2015. In her case, though, she wants to watch everything and so ends up watching nothing. Perhaps it’s because she prioritises old Friends reruns over the shows du jour... Shrutika looks after the superlative editor team while also overseeing some of Able’s commercial work and continuing to caption. She serves as a lieutenant in her local Girls’ Brigade company, and she loves books, movies and music. She’s all about good (or so-bad-they're-good) romcoms – especially the Christmas ones – and her favourite band of all time is the Backstreet Boys (seriously). Email me
Virginia Philp Team Leader - Audio DescribersVirginia 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. 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. Email me
June Yeow Administration CoordinatorJune first joined the service fresh out of university in 2008 as a caption producer and has recently taken on the administration coordinator role after 10 years captioning – a long time! Her busy days are filled with scheduling, invoicing and ensuring the Able office runs smoothly. June has a degree in English literature, and her hobbies include travelling, reading (YA novels are a favourite genre), watching TV – if you don’t watch Lifetime or Hallmark movies, you’re missing out – and chasing her two miniature schnauzers around Auckland’s parks and beaches. Email me
Mary Fisher: The Importance of Representation
After racing in 2012 and 2016, Mary Fisher’s been watching the Paralympics from afar and cheering the New Zealand team on. She’s now a Board Member of Paralympics New Zealand, and works for Blind Low Vision NZ. The Able team have been captioning and audio describing the highlights, and we spoke to her about her experiences as a Paralympic athlete, and the importance of the Paralympic Games.
Tokyo Olympics: Meet the Kiwis who make television accessible
Able NZ's Alex Walker thrives on live captioning challenges as the Olympics draw to a close. Written by Andre Chumko for Stuff (www.stuff.co.nz), Aug 05 2021
An interview with Martine Abel-Williamson, President of the World Blind Union
Martine Abel-Williamson is President of the World Blind Union and was an early adopter of audio description. To mark the tenth anniversary of AD in New Zealand, we sat down to hear Martine’s thoughts about the emergence and importance of audio description in Aotearoa.
Introducing the amazing Able team!
We've got an extremely dedicated team who are working hard to produce as much accessible content as possible.