We are Able

We’re a not-for-profit organisation working towards a more inclusive Aotearoa. We believe everyone should be able to access news, entertainment and culture. Funded by NZ On Air, we’re Aotearoa’s leading provider of media access services, including captioning services, subtitling and audio description.

Mist on the craggy New Zealand hillside.

Our vision & mission

Our vision is for a New Zealand where everyone has equal access to audiovisual media.That includes the 880,000+ members of the Deaf or hard of hearing community, the 180,000+ people who are blind or have low vision, and those who rely on subtitles to help improve literacy or navigate English as a second language.

Our mission is how we’re achieving our vision; through our work as New Zealand’s leading provider of captions, subtitles and audio description.We provide our services for Television (TVNZ, Prime, Discovery), film, film festivals and government. Led by a passionate team of wordsmiths and linguists, we have a unique focus on local content and authentic New Zealand voices.

A history of media
accessibility in New Zealand

A black and white photograph of a TV

1960

New Zealand's first official television transmission.

A black and white photograph of a TV
An illustration demonstrating teletext from the 1990s

1981

Funding for Teletext and captions raised through Telethon.

An illustration demonstrating teletext from the 1990s
TVNZ building

1980s

Teletext and captions are first launched on TVNZ.

TVNZ building
Access Services logo

1991

Introduction of live news captions.

Access Services logo
Coronation St 2011

2011

Audio description (AD) pilot begins.

Coronation St 2011
Person standing in front of an audio describing microphone

2011

AD officially launches.

Person standing in front of an audio describing microphone
An example of an Able newsletter

2013

Able is born as an independent charitable trust.

An example of an Able newsletter
A closed caption sticker placed on a glass door

2014

Channels carrrying captions expand even further, to include Sky and MediaWorks.

A closed caption sticker placed on a glass door
Collage of shows streaming on TVNZ

2016

Captions are introduced to TVNZ OnDemand.

Collage of shows streaming on TVNZ
TVNZ Breakfast logo and presenters

2020

Thanks to a funding boost from NZ On Air, captioned and audio described output increases, including the introduction of live captions on TVNZ's Breakfast.

TVNZ Breakfast logo and presenters
photo of New Zealand mountains and roads

2021

The list of content Able makes accessible continues to grow. Today, we provide captioning services for all of New Zealand’s broadcasters, including live captions and AD for TVNZ.

photo of New Zealand mountains and roads

1960

1981

1980s

1991

2011

2011

2013

2014

2016

2020

2021

Our commercial services

  • Need fast, accurate and cost-effective captioning services for TV commercials on TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2, Three, Duke and online?

  • Need movie, film festival, website, social media or YouTube captioning services?

  • Need world-class audio description, to help make your content accessible to the 10% of the population who is blind or has low vision?

Our People

Wendy Youens has brown shoulder length hair and blue eyes. She smiles, standing in front of a light blue background.
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Wendy Youens

Chief Executive

Sophie Jones has brown curly hair and green eyes. She laughs as she stands in front of a light pink background.
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Sophie Jones

Communications & Marketing Manager

Stephanie smiles at the camera, against a violet background. She has light brown hair and blue eyes.
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Stephanie Turner

Operations Manager

Here at Able we're proud of our skilled and tight-knit team, who share a passion for creating a more accessible Aotearoa. Get to know us more.

Want to find out more about media accessibility?

We'd love to hear from you.