Captioning means more Kiwis are able to access TV content

Captioning 18 Nov 2015
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Chris Major (Director of Government Relations, SKY TV), Wendy Youens (Chief Executive, Able), Jane Wrightson (Chief Executive, NZ On Air)

Kiwis use TV and films to learn, share and connect, but for the thousands of New Zealanders who are Deaf or hard of hearing, access to information is far more limited.
Thanks to Able, New Zealand’s only TV captioning and audio description provider, TV is becoming more accessible for every Kiwi.

Able are proud to announce that they will soon be offering captioning services for content on Prime TV, which will widen the variety of content available for Deaf and hard-of-hearing Kiwis.

Yesterday evening Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams announced in Parliament that from February 2016, Able will be providing captioning for programmes on Prime, including shows such as the NZ on Air-funded Decades In Colour, The Crayfishers, Shearing Gang and Forensics NZ.

The announcement coincides with Able’s second birthday. “Eleven percent of New Zealanders have used captioning, so it’s important that we offer as greater diversity of content as possible,” says Able Chief Executive Wendy Youens.

SKY have invested in the necessary equipment to allow the broadcast of Able’s captioning service, which is fully funded by NZ On Air. SKY’s investment into the infrastructure needed to support captioning on Prime is a significant milestone for media accessibility in New Zealand.

“We are delighted that hearing impaired viewers will now be able to enjoy the great programmes NZ On Air funds on Prime, as well as some prime time international content, says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson. “This year we’ve increased Able’s funding by $400,000 so more New Zealanders could enjoy what the rest of us take for granted.”

With a focus on Prime’s NZ On Air-funded and prime-time content, SKY and Able’s commitment to making television more accessible is a huge step for the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

Captioning enables Deaf and hard of hearing Kiwis to enjoy what many people take for granted, allowing them to access news and entertainment that they can discuss with colleagues, friends, and family. People for whom English is a second language also access Able’s services, which help them to stay informed of current events and politics.

All Able’s services are free, and available for anyone in New Zealand.

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Hon Amy Adams, Minister of Broadcasting

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Lachlan Keating (MACT), Wendy Youens (Able CEO), Jonathan Godfrey (MACT), Mattie Wall (MACT), Lewis Grant (MACT chair), Paul France (MACT)

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Pippa Jefferies (Able team leader), Virginia Philp (Able team leader), Wendy Youens (Able CEO), Ingrid Lauder (Able team leader), Stephanie Turner (Able Operations Manager)

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