Asia-Pacific May 28, 2012
NEW ZEALAND: SKY is adding four new channels to its “closed caption” service to further improve its offering to New Zealand’s deaf and hearing impaired communities. The caption service will be launched today on History, BBC Knowledge, MTV and TVNZ Heartland channels.
“We already provide captions on 13 channels which have proven extremely popular with in deaf community. The response has been so positive that we’re extending it,” says SKY spokesperson Kirsty Way.
“It’s another step towards more equal access, SKY will continue to work towards launching captioning for even more SKY channels and will apply for NZ On Air funding to make captioning available on Prime.”
Closed captioning information will be displayed on the on-screen electronic programme guide (EPG). Viewers can elect to enable closed captions for a single programme, or make a global setting to show closed captions whenever they are available. Viewers can even search for content screened with closed captions.
A cross sector Captioning Working Group was formed last year, with members from Deaf Aotearoa, the Hearing Association and The National Foundation for the Deaf. Louise Carroll, Captioning Working Group Chairperson welcomes SKY’s extension of captioning programming.
“The Captioning Working Group aims to achieve equity in communication; social inclusion and democratic and civic participation. New Zealand’s level of programme captioning was among the lowest in the world and SKY is helping to remove this barrier by improving access for more than 700,000 deaf and hearing impaired people in New Zealand.” The following 13 SKY channels currently feature the closed caption service; Animal Planet, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, TCM, TV1, TV2, TV3, Cartoon Network, Crime & Investigation, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, UKTV and National Geographic Channel. Closed Captions are available on MY SKY decoders. SKY Digital decoders can display closed captions through Teletext if the television supports Teletext.