The media access report


MEDIA ACCESS NEWS Glossary



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MEDIA ACCESS NEWS

Glossary


Audio description: The descriptive narration of all the visual elements of a TV program, movie, DVD, performance or other media, giving access for the blind or vision impaired. AD may be pre-recorded and delivered as an option for television programs or DVDs, or it may be performed live (e.g. for a theatrical performance).

Captions: A transcription of the audio elements of a TV program, movie, DVD, performance or other media, giving access for the Deaf and hearing impaired. Unlike subtitles, captions include song lyrics, descriptions of sound effects and music, and are often positioned and coloured so as to make it easier for the viewer to identify who is speaking. Captions may be divided into:

  • Open captions: Captions which are ‘burnt onto’ a video or digital image and will be seen by anyone who looks at it, and

  • Closed captions: Captions which a viewer chooses to see (e.g. by accessing teletext captions on TV, or activating the captions on a DVD).

Signing: Access to a TV program, movie, DVD, performance or other media via a signer using one of the various Deaf sign languages, e.g. Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Some TV programs in the US and UK have a signer occupying a space on the screen.

Stenocaptioner: A highly trained captioner who captions live programs using a stenographic keyboard.

Subtitles: This generally refers to English translations of foreign language TV programs or movies, presented as text at the bottom of the screen. It can also be a straight transcription of the dialogue of an English language program (this is a common feature on DVDs). Note however that captions are often called subtitles in the UK.

Teletext: The broadcast data delivery system used in Australia to transmit captions on television.

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