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May 5, 2004

TV captions an insult to deaf

From: Wodonga Border Mail - Albury,New South Wales,Australia - May 5, 2004


BORDER and North East residents are among many regional Australians being denied access to entertainment and information because of poor television captioning, a Deafness Forum of Australia officer said in Albury this week.

The forums chief executive officer, Mr Brian Rope, said while Albury was no worse off than any other regional city across Australia, it was a concern.

He said his organisation had called on the Federal Government to address the substandard television captioning being inflicted on regional Australians.

"There is legislation in place to ensure that Australians who have a hearing impairment or are deaf can watch television without feeling like second-class citizens," Mr Rope said.

"While the major metropolitan stations are using professional organisations to deliver caption services on programs, including live events, the regional stations are taking shortcuts and failing to meet the accepted standards.

"The regional stations are attempting to generate their own captions on a limited number of programs, resulting in horrendous lag behind the actual dialogue and some pretty average attempts at spelling.

"Quite frankly, its an insult because it should not be difficult to get the captions right."

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