One in Four New Zealanders have a Disability. “If Mr Key doesn’t put the captions on very soon we’re going to send more letters”

Last night ONE News had a little coverage of our campaign. You can view the clip here on the One News site. Sadly the clip is not captioned, Annabel’s mum did a transcript so Annabel could show her friends at school.

Introduction ‘New figures show one in four New Zealanders live with a Disability that limits their day to day activities. Advocates say that’s largely down to the ageing population but also the stigma sometimes associated with disability waning. Renee Graham has more.’

Renee Graham ‘When Annabel MacKay was four years old she lost her hearing because of an extremely rare condition. Three years later she’s so sick of not being able to watch television with friends and family her and her classmates have written to the Prime Minister wanting more funding for more captioning.

Annabel MacKay ‘If Mr Key doesn’t put the captions on very soon we’re going to send much more letters’.

Renee Graham ‘New figures show a rising number of New Zealanders say they have a disability that limits their daily lives. 24% say they have impairments that’s up 4% from a similar survey 13 years ago. Researchers say the reason is we’re getting older.

Diane Ramsay (Statistics NZ Workforce and Household Manager) ‘There are more people aged over 65 so more of those are likely to be disabled or impaired. 41% are disabled because of illness or disease. 34% due to injury or accident. 5% of the entire population has a psychiatric or psychological impairment.

The survey found nearly half of all disabled children were diagnosed at birth.’

Rachel Noble ‘There is an increasing awareness that its OK to say I have a disability, whereas before it was something to be ashamed of’.

Renee Graham ‘The Minister for Disability Issues wasn’t available for an interview today but the Statistics Minister said the survey results will inform the governments Disability Strategy.

Rachel Noble ‘The last budget didn’t reflect our community in any way at all. I’m still looking for real commitment from a high level’.

Renee Graham ‘Researchers say societies definition of disability has broadened to include speaking, learning and developmental problems. As for Annabel’s quest? The Government said it already funds 250 hours of captioning for free to air TV per week and digital technology will offer new opportunities. Renee Graham ONE News.

CWG Comment

FUNDING: Please note the report incorrectly stated that Annabel is asking for additional funding for captioning from the Government. This is not correct. The campaign CaptionitNZ seeks to have changes introduced to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts so that mandatory captioning is introduced in a phased way over several years, as has been successfully implemented in the US, UK and Australia. See our Campaign introduction here.

ADEQUACY OF CURRENT CAPTIONING: In 2010, 240 hours were captioned. In March 2014 the government announced 250 hours were captioned. This is less than 25% of our Free to Air TV and compares woefully with UK, US and Australia who all have between 85-100% and backed by legislation. See the questions and responses given in the Beehive.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: The government continue to comment on this new technology – but have not shared with us what this technology may be that would help people like Annabel today. Why do we need to wait for advances in technology sometime in the future when relatively inexpensive captioning is available now? See recent reaction to a ministerial letter here.

See an Index of all our Captioning Blogs here.

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