Kia ora! Tell us a bit about yourself. (Eg. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? What do you enjoy doing?

My name is Averil Paroli.  I was born in Wellington and I am the oldest of three siblings.  I am the only one in my family who is profoundly deaf.  I grew up in Ohairu Valley, Johnsonville and now I am now living in Levin with my husband.  Our four sons (not deaf) have grown up and left home.  I enjoy looking after my grandchildren and spending time with family and friends and pottering about in my garden.

When did you discover captions?

I first discovered Teletext captions when I was in the UK doing my OE in 1983.  It wasn’t around in NZ at that time.  I was very excited when Teletext first started in NZ in the mid to late ’80s.

Why do you use captions? What benefit do they provide for you?

Closed captions are a fantastic tool for the Deaf as it enables us to learn and know what people are talking about and be able to participate in conversations.

What are your most loved shows to watch with captions?

Oh, I enjoy a wide range of tv programmes such as Coronation Street, House, murder mysteries such as Poirot, Midsummer Murders etc to name just a few.

Have there been any highlights of TV that you’ve watched with captions?

I have enjoyed watching live sports with delayed captions which is something that has happened recently.  I just wish we had a sports channel that shows different sports other than rubgy and cricket!

Why do you believe media accessibility is important?

Deaf people need full access to captions on ALL channels on TV, Web and Media Outlets as we have been controlled and limited in what we can watch.  Particularly on TV, to give you an example: TV1 News is captioned but TV3 News is not so that is frustrating at times as it would be nice to have different options in watching News from different channels especially Al Jazzera (AJ). .

Captions are also very good for people who have English as their second language, and there are times when people don’t speak clearly on TV then captions are good.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of accessible TV?

I really would like to see full legalisation in Captioning in NZ as we are so far behind in getting captions legalised compared to US and UK.  I have had both trips to UK and US recently and their captioning is far greater than in NZ. It is great to see full captions on every program on TV, Web and other forms of media on EVERY channel overseas; but it is extremely disappointing to see lack of action from the government in NZ.  Hopefully, legalisation will pass sooner rather than later in NZ.

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