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21 October, 2015
10:50 AM

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Live captioning: We listened and talked

By Umair Jilani

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On 15 September 2015, over 80 attendees gathered at the ACMA’s Citizen conversation to find out what industry and the public thinks about live captioning. Titled Live captioning: let’s talk, the event was part of the process to help to inform the ACMA’s review of the Television Captioning Standard (due March 2016), which focuses on the quality of captioning for live, part-live and pre-recorded television programs. 

In recognition of the topic and its attendees, the event was live captioned—a hearing loop was provided and Auslan interpreters provided signing throughout the day.

Members of the community joined a mix of citizens/consumers, broadcasters, advocacy representatives for the deaf and hearing-impaired and captioning service providers at the full-day session, with speakers and panelists sharing their knowledge and experience.  

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The day focused on the accessibility of captioning for viewers that are deaf or have a hearing-impairment with particular reference to programs that are live (for example, a live netball game) or part-live (the news) or near live (a program recorded earlier in the day). 

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Topics ranged from what’s happening overseas, what decisions need to be made about captioning news and sports, and what quality actually means to a captioning service provider; through to how a broadcaster learns to do more with less and what may be ahead for live captioning.  

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A panel discussion involving citizens that are deaf or have a hearing-impairment, caption service providers and broadcasters provided insight into the different perspectives involved in captioning, giving attendees an appreciation of the work that goes on behind the scenes to provide captioning services.

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In addition to participants sharing their views during the day, other views were also aired through a series of vox pops included in our highlights video.

The views expressed from the day will inform the ACMA’s Review of the Television Captioning Standard. A discussion paper regarding the Review will be published in November 2015 to allow stakeholders to have their say about any proposed changes to the Television Captioning Standard. 

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Access a complete transcript of the day and a copy of the presentations.

Feedback from participants included:

Excellent chance to meet different groups in the industry.

Excellent start and refreshing to see the industry being a bit more open and willing to discuss issues.

Great variety of speakers and excellent to get a closer insight into how other countries are managing and looking at their captioning requirements.

I thought it was a very useful event. The tone was good, and people were frank. I think it was a good opportunity to convey some of the real challenges before the ACMA remakes the [Captioning Quality Standard], and having overseas comparisons was particular useful so that Australia doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.

If you would like to keep up-to-date with the Review, you can sign up to the captioning mailing list at captioning@acma.gov.au.



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