Captions will be available on TVNZ 1’s Breakfast programme from Monday 5 October 2020 following a major funding boost for Able, New Zealand’s provider of captioning and audio description for free-to-air television.

NZ On Air has given Able a significant funding boost, increasing its annual funding from $2.9 million to $4.9 million for the year ahead, made possible through a Budget 2020 funding boost for vital public-media platforms and services.

‘We know that those who benefit from captions, including the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, have been asking for captions for Breakfast for many years, and we’re very excited to be able to launch this new service and make the show accessible. All New Zealanders deserve to be able to enjoy and access local content, and this new funding is taking us a step closer to equal access,’ said Able chief executive Wendy Youens.

In Able’s 2019 research into media-access services, 43% of general users wanted captions added to Breakfast, and 60% of Deaf and hard-of-hearing users wanted the programme captioned.

‘There are so many households with a mix of hearing and hearing-impaired or Deaf family members. Bringing captions to Breakfast means the whole family will be able to watch together. We’re really excited to be reaching new viewers from next week. This has been a long time coming, and the Able team have a big task on their hands with three hours of live television each morning, but we’re all looking forward to the challenge,’ said executive producer of Breakfast Jonathan Williams.

In addition to launching captions for Breakfast, Able will be using the funding boost to increase captioning and audio description across TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2, Three and Prime.

Next in the journal:

The Earcatch logo, a yellow 'E' on a dark blue background.

On-demand audio description app Earcatch winds up, but will continue to be available in Aotearoa

Able launched Earcatch in Aotearoa a year ago – a New Zealand-based library of audio description (AD) made…

A graphic image of an old-school TV with a scene of Pulp Fiction on it.

Blind people watch TV too

Audio description comes as standard on shows streaming on Netflix and other international services. So, Able Chief Executive…

Dan Buckingham, Jai Waite and Rachale Davis are on a stage together. Dan has brown hair, a white button-up shirt and is using a wheelchair, turned away from the camera. Jai is wearing a blue button-up top, using a wheelchair, and is in the middle of speaking. Rachale has blonde shoulder-length hair and a yellow top, looking over at Jai.

Navigating authentic representation of disability

During the annual SPADA conference this year, our CEO Dan Buckingham facilitated a panel with Jai Waite from…

Picture of Virginia Philp (who was part of AD's inception) smiling. She has shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes.

Decade of Able: Virginia Philp, team leader, audio describers

Virginia Philp leads our small crew of audio describers. She overseas everything audio description: recruiting, training and managing…

David wears glasses and a hearing aid, and smiles.

Decade of Able: David Kent, trustee

David Kent is a trustee on the Able board. Since 2005, David has chaired the Southern Hearing Charitable…

A photo of Clive Lansink, who has short grey hair and a grey moustache. He is wearing a blue, yellow and red checkered flannel button-up T shirt.

Decade of Able: Clive Lansink, Chair, Blind Low Vision NZ

Kia ora, Clive. I’ve heard that you were instrumental in audio description advocacy, prior to its introduction to…