Lianna sits at a table in her house, concentrating hard on an art project in front of her.

Kia ora Lianna, tell us a bit about your journey with captions – when did you first discover them? Why do you use them?

I discovered captions back when the service was first launched!! I know – and what an amazing service to be able to provide this to have accessibility. I am profoundly Deaf, and when I’m speaking face-to-face, I can use the combination of lip-reading and sounds to get the words; but if the person turns away I don’t know what’s said. When watching TV, although I can hear the sounds of voices, I don’t pick the individual words up fully, so I need the captions to match the sounds so that I know what is being said. Captions have made a huge difference in life in general, meaning we can be part of knowing the news, sports, soaps, movies and be included like our hearing peers.

What are your most loved shows to watch with captions? Ah, that is a difficult one but I’m all for reality shows e.g. Ambulance, Border Patrol, Police 10/7, Crimes and more – it’s so difficult to choose!

Have there been any highlights of TV that you’ve watched with captions? The main highlights are Mitre 10 Dream Home, The Block – as I love the drama it comes with, as well as the amazing transformation of homes from scratch to the time it is sold, in between the challenges, the behaviour of participants and the rapport that evolves from this.

Why do you believe media accessibility is important? Imagine a hearing person who doesn’t have access to any sound at all: what would be important for them? The answer would be the same.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future of accessible TV? Everything to be 100% captioned so we have more options!

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