7 Days of Captioning in New Zealand – Should Stenography be used for Live Captioning?

Captions give access. We love New Zealand and would like it to be an inclusive and accessible place for all Deaf & Hard of Hearing New Zealanders. Here’s some ‘highlights’ over the last week.

Thursday 28 August – Lightbox, the new subscription video on demand service from Spark New Zealand launches – unfortunately without captioning. According to Lightbox, the cost to caption is prohibitive. (In its former guise, the company formerly known as Telecom had half year profits of 167m through 31 December 2013).

The team at Able live caption using lipspeaking technology to caption the Leaders debate (between John Key & David Cunliffe) on TVOne. Great to see it captioned. The politicians talking over each other and the delay between speaking & captioning made it a challenge to follow. Should stenography be used for a live programme?

Friday 29 August – National MPs Paul Foster Bell and Steven Joyce visit Zealandia in Wellington and tweet about the Tuataras. Did you know that Tuataras only respond to low frequency sound, they would benefit from captioning too?

Saturday 30 August – Minister Judith Collins resigns. Breaking news on channel 3 airs without captioning. Web is spammed with clips of the PM announcement & Judith Collins Press conference. Not a captioned clip in sight on the web from a TV company or press (even if it was aired on TV with captioning). Why do Deaf & HOH New Zealanders miss out when news breaks?

Sunday 31 August – The Sunday morning repeat with captioning of Saturdays The Nation (aired live without captions) is bumped in preference of a semi live show to discuss Saturdays events. Thanks to some stealth work from Able and the Nation, it has captions. TV3 often has content that people want to watch but they have no live captioning capability. Its time they could isn’t it?

Monday 1 September – The Prime Minister appears on TVOne Breakfast news along with Nicky Hager to speak about recent Dirty Politics claims and Judith Collins etc. TV3s breakfast programme has Steven Joyce and Metiria Turei. No Breakfast News has captioning in New Zealand.

Tuesday 2 September – Orange is the New Black launched on Monday exclusively on TVNZ On Demand and the twittersphere is alive with people saying they have been watching it. Nil points for caption accessibility. TVNZ On Demand doesn’t support captioning.

Wednesday 3 September – Advance voting opens for the NZ Election (main polling day 20 September). NZ Greens have announced that they will support mandatory captioning in the Broadcasting & Telecommunications Acts. NZ Labour policy advises that the low level of captioning “may be considered to breach Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. No further update available from National Party.

PS Don’t forget to also follow us on Twitter @captionitNZ

1. labour policy

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  1. Nancy September 4, 2014 | Reply
    "Should stenography be used for a live programme?" - Absolutely YES.

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