All Sky customers now have access to TVNZ audio description information when viewing TV One (high definition) and TV2 (standard and high definition).
The audio descriptions greatly enhance TV for vision impaired New Zealanders by providing details about what is happening on screen, eg: “John looks shocked as he sees them embrace and kiss passionately”.
Sky spokeswoman Kirsty Way said Sky had been working on the launch for several months,
“We have invested around $50,000 to enable all Sky customers’ access to TVNZ audio descriptions which have been created with NZ On Air funding.”
Clive Lansink, National President from the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand Inc said: “This is fantastic news for all blind and vision impaired New Zealanders. Telling us what we need to know between dialogues in order to keep up with the storyline improves the television experience hugely. We are grateful Sky has made this service available and, for some, it really will be life-changing.”
The audio descriptions (ADs) are available on the programmes TVNZ offers them for including Coronation Street and Shortland Street, plus a range of other programmes. To enable ADs on Sky customers need to select the Italian language option, access details can be found on the Sky website www.sky.co.nz.
Way said: “This is another step towards greater access for all Sky customers and we are sure audio descriptions will make a positive difference for many.”
This year Sky increased the number of channels offering programmes with closed captions for the deaf and hearing impaired to 17.