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TVNZ Expands Captioning Through Voluntary Code

22 September, 2006

TVNZ Expands Captioning Service Through Voluntary Code

An initiative aimed at making advertisements accessible to the Deaf and hearing impaired has been launched by TVNZ and the Office for the Prime Minister and Cabinet as it supports Deaf Awareness Week.

A new voluntary code for the captioning of government television advertisements aims to ensure that New Zealand's Deaf and hearing impaired will not miss out on important government communications.

All government agencies subscribing to the code will receive an immediate discount on the cost of captioning their commercials. They will also have use of the Captioning logo, demonstrating their commitment to deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders.

Commenting on the new code, Disability Issues Minister, Ruth Dyson said, "I'm delighted that TVNZ as the country's public broadcaster for television has taken this initiative. Over 400,000 New Zealanders are deaf or hearing-impaired, affecting their ability to understand and enjoy television - therefore, it makes sense to address the special communication requirements of this group of people."

A number of government agencies and large New Zealand brands already caption their television commercials and in time TVNZ aims to encourage the integration of captions on a broad range of advertisements.

"By captioning commercials advertisers provide enhanced access to New Zealanders who would otherwise experience an incomplete presentation of information", says Josh Borthwick, Sales Manager for TVNZ Interactive.

"Within the context of overall production budgets, it is relatively inexpensive to caption television commercials making it very worthwhile from both an economic and social perspective."


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