New Horizons program 353

This week on program 353 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Emma Bennison, Chief Executive Officer of Arts Access Australia, about leadership in the arts and cultural sector, of people with disabilities.

The direct link to listen is Listen to program 353 and to download is Download program 353

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Broadcast times and stations are at http://wp.me/P4cPvC-1K

New Horizons can also be heard over the Internet from the Blind Citizens Australia web site at http://www.bca.org.au

And on the Global Voice at http://theglobalvoice.info.

New Horizons is produced at the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Blind Citizens Australia thanks Vision Australia
for their technical Support and for the use of their resources. You can visit Vision Australia on the web at http://www.visionaustralia.org

HOYTS KIOSK IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY

HOYTS KIOSK IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY

Tuesday, 24 June 2014 Media Access Australia

Entertainment giant Hoyts has increased its number of DVD rental kiosks nationally, as well as improve the access information about the titles each kiosk holds.

Launched in 2009, Hoyts Kiosk offers new release movies to the general public via a vending machine (kiosk). Kiosks take payment via credit card and rentals can be kept for up to ten days. There is also the flexibility of reserving online through the Hoyts Kiosk website (link is external) to ensure your title is available, and returning rentals to any kiosk location.

When Media Access Australia first tested a kiosk in 2012, it was found that title accessibility information was not displayed on the kiosk screen. This meant that people requiring closed captioning or audio description to watch DVDs were unable to use the kiosks without prior knowledge of a title’s accessibility. This was reported to Hoyts at the time.

We are pleased to report that Hoyts Kiosk now includes audio description and closed caption information for each title, if available, on the title’s information screen.

DVD kiosks are a growing trend, often found in shopping centres and other central public gathering points. This trend is counteracting the closure of DVD rental stores but retaining disc rental as an option where streaming video may be too slow due to slow broadband.

Hoyts website:

www.hoytskiosk.com.au/

Media Access Australia Website:

www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/cinema/hoyts-kiosk-improve-accessibility

BCA Media Release: Australia shows commitment towards increasing access to published works for people with a print disability

BCA Media Release: Australia shows commitment towards increasing access to published works for people with a print disability

BLIND CITIZENS AUSTRALIA–

June 24

On behalf of Australians who are blind or vision impaired, Blind Citizens Australia wishes to commend the Government on the commitment shown to increasing access to printed materials for people with a print disability through the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Marrakesh Treaty is an international treaty on copyright which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Its purpose is to facilitate and increase access to published works for people who are blind or vision impaired, as well as people with other print disabilities. Although the Treaty was established in 2013, it will not come into effect until three months after it has been ratified by 20 countries.

While we greatly value the progress that has been made through the signing of the Treaty, we strongly urge the Attorney General to give ratification of the Treaty a high priority in the coming months.

At present, only around 5% of all published works are available to people who are blind or vision impaired in accessible formats such as audio, large print and Braille. The Marrakesh Treaty presents an opportunity to bridge this access gap by allowing organisations to share published works directly with people with disabilities, as well as allowing for cross-border sharing of content that has already been reproduced in accessible format.

For far too long, there has been a heavy duplication of resources amongst charitable organisations that are not only responsible for reproducing books in accessible formats, but also face significant financial constraints. Allowing cross-border sharing will address this problem and mean that people with a print disability around the world will ultimately have access to a far greater number of book titles.

“Access to information is crucial to many facets of life, including education and employment. The increased access to published works that the Treaty can offer is therefore critical in maximising the participation of Australians who are blind or vision impaired,” said BCA President, Greg Madson.

The ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty would align closely with the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which are reflected in the Government’s National Disability Strategy 2010‑20. Australia also has the opportunity to take the lead on this issue by being one of the first governments to ratify the Treaty worldwide.

“By ratifying the Marrakesh Treaty, the Federal Government can help to end the book famine for Australians who are blind or vision impaired once and for all,” said Mr Madson.

Media contact:

Greg Madson,
Blind Citizens Australia National President
Mobile: 0408 396 333
Email: greg.madson@bca.org.au

Lauren Henley
National Policy Officer
Blind Citizens Australia
Phone: (03) 9654 1400
Freecall: 1800 033 660
Mobile: 0437 355 985
Email: lauren.henley@bca.org.au

www.bca.org.au
ABN: 90 006 985 22

Media release – Victorian – Road safety audit tool

Media release – Victorian – Road safety audit tool

June 19, 2014

New study identifies problems on our roads for vision impaired walkers

An audit of intersections and footpaths at five Victorian locations has revealed that motorists’ failing to give way at traffic lights is the biggest problem for pedestrians who are blind or have low vision.

As part of the audit, 113 pedestrians with low vision were surveyed at Kew, Kooyong, Kensington, Geelong and Belmont. The overall findings concluded that 81 per cent of those surveyed said motorists’ failing to stop at traffic lights is their biggest concern.

“Driver behaviour is a big issue,” said Dr Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer at Victoria Walks. “The site audits revealed a whole raft of problems like poor intersection design, dangerous rail crossings and sub-standard shared paths, even in areas where people with vision impairment frequently walk.”

The tool used in the audit was developed by Victoria Walks – the State’s leading walking organisation– together with orientation and mobility specialists from Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Victoria, and road safety and engineering experts.

The audit tool, funded by the Victorian Community Road Safety Partnership Program run by VicRoads is a comprehensive checklist that can be completed online or in a downloadable format.

“VicRoads has to be commended for funding this work to look at the problems faced by pedestrians who have vision impairment,” said Dr Rossiter, Executive Officer at Victoria Walks.

The tool was also developed to build a better understanding of why 1 in 12 pedestrians with vision impairment have been hit by a vehicle or cyclist in the past five years.

Ron Hooton, Vision Australia Chief Executive Office, and Karen Hayes, CEO Guide Dogs Victoria said the findings are a reminder to the community to be mindful of those who rely on the good sense of drivers.

“Just like a mother with a pram, people who are blind or have low vision rely on sensible driving by motorists and need to be able to trust the safety standard of footpaths and intersections when they’re out and about.”

The organisations also sought advice from VicRoads and local councils when developing the tool. It, and the findings, have now been presented to road safety authorities and local councils to use so they can continue to capture relevant road safety and engineering issues that relate to pedestrians with vision impairment.

To find out more about the audit tool, go to www.visionaustralia.org/roadsafetyaudit – See more at: http://www.visionaustralia.org/about-us/news-and-media/latest-news/news/2014/06/19/new-study-identifies-problems-on-our-roads-for-vision-impaired-walkers#sthash.vHBtX19n.dpuf

– ENDS –

New Horizons program 352

This week on program 352 of New Horizons, Rikki Chaplin speaks with Lauren Henley, National Policy Officer of Blind Citizens
Australia, following her attendance at the Conference of State Parties in New York, regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The direct link to listen is Listen to Program 352 and to download is Download Program 352

New Horizons is Blind Citizens Australia’s weekly radio program. It can be heard on RPH and community radio stations throughout Australia. Broadcast times and stations are at http://wp.me/P4cPvC-1K

New Horizons can also be heard over the Internet from the Blind Citizens Australia web site at http://www.bca.org.au

And on the Global Voice at http://theglobalvoice.info.

New Horizons is produced at the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Blind Citizens Australia thanks Vision Australia
for their technical Support and for the use of their resources. You can visit Vision Australia on the web at http://www.visionaustralia.org