Monday, November 23, 2009

Google and automatic captioning

YouTube, part of Google have introduced a technology which enables automatic speech recognition [ASR] which was developed jointly by the University of New South Wales.

What this means is that captions can be added to existing videos on YouTube, the online video website.
You could even have a script in a text file, to accompany the video footage and the system would synchronise the two.

BlogMeister says...
I can see how this would be a boon for captioners, TV stations [I'm looking in the direction of the commercial TV channels here], anyone who produces video and needs to provide captions for those of us in the deaf world. I'm sure the technology is easily transferable.
Oh yeah, thats the same world as your world.


Also - you'll need a broadband connection to view youTube, captioned or not

Friday, November 20, 2009

BHA is on the 'Net

And here are all the addresses
Email: - Not activated to reduce spam - replace those four characters with '@'

Who is the Blogmeister?

It's me, John Couani

You may know me from your lip-reading classes. You may never have heard of me before.

I have been completely deaf since 31 July 2008 - I woke up without hearing. It had been going downhill  for a year or two but finally fell off the cliff that fateful day. I had used hearing aids for a year or so.  Luckily I was able to get into the cochlear implant program and received my first one in October 2008. Switch-on was in November 2008. I'm in the lead-up to implant #2 in January 2010.

I also run a few other blogs - one about my deafness 'journey' called "Curse of Silence" which you may be interested in.

My 'thing' is about helping people who may be isolated because of their hearing deficit. Communication is the name of the game. I heard a story via BHA of a man who is deaf and lives in Dubbo where I expect facilities are light on the ground. How can this fellow communicate? How can he function as a member of society? It falls to organisations such as BHA to support people like this fellow.

My expertise and use of the Internet is the thing that has helped me immeasurably and I intend to try to spread that notion as far and as wide as I can to help those behind the curtain of deafness. Thats why I suggested this blog and Facebook page.

Feel like lending a hand?
I'm always on the lookout for content, be it an article from the news, a new facility which deaf people might find useful [let alone usable]. So if you have something let me have it - send a web address, or type something up. If it's something we can benefit from then it will be posted!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Links Page

Here are some webpage links you may find useful
[no particular order]
Cicada -
Cochlear Awareness Network -
Deafness Forum -
Australian Hearing -

Got a link, not here but which may be useful to the members?
Comment now!
Remember - web-links and email addresses do not contain spaces. There is no space on the end and no '.' on the end...

Now we have comments

Got something to say? Say it!

Need something covered on the blog? - articles, items of interest to members, upcoming events. Almost anything can be posted. Leave a comment and we can work out how to get your content on - you can leave your email address, the moderator is the only one who will see it and it will be removed before posting to maintain your privacy.

Comments are primarily a response to the previous article, but can contain any info.
Articles should have a positive aspect for BHA members. You don't need to be a BHA member, but all comments will be moderated for relevance to members.


Your email address will never be divulged to anyone and never sold to mailing lists. Your identity won't be divulged by default - I may just use your initials to give you credit for an article. Or if you want to be contactable, say so.

A couple of provisos

  • I do expect a certain amount of posting spam - these will be discarded and spammers details reported to Google.
  • We won't be endorsing this firm or that company, but if you have a product of interest, review it and we can post it.

More ideas
  • Movie reviews
  • Where to get cheap hearing aid batteries
  • What to do about recycling [I'm looking for info, if anyone has any sources...]
  • Your latest holiday snap masterpiece

How to Subscribe

You don't need to keep coming back here to check if there's anything new. Let your computer do the walking...

RSS stands for a number of acronyms, but think of it as the headline gatherer. You can use a specialised program to read the headlines, or use your existing web browser [Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox]

Here's how to subscribe
Subscribe to the RSS feed [or Atom]
Mac OSX10.5 and later
Mail [click]
OSX 10.4 users - use Safari

Macs and PCs
Firefox [click]
Safari [click] - see "Using RSS Feeds"

PCs only
Internet Explorer [click]
Outlook pre-2007 [click]
Outlook 2007 [click]

icons - Use these icons to subscribe in your web-browser

On the Mozilla group you can also install RSS plugins - mini add-ons which enhance the functionality and allow you to subscribe and view the feeds in your browser. Too many to go into here. They all work the same way. Locate the feed address, bookmark it and then the computer checks for updates on a regular basis. I've tried a couple an Sage works pretty well, if you think you need to something other than the built-in options.
Plug-ins for Firefox are available [here]. Follow the instructions to install.

Still Looking?
Search Google for "RSS reader" sites for the lists of RSS aggregators. Take your pick!
Good thing about the Mozilla based ones - they're ranked by popularity and other factors.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sydney Theatre Company captioned performances for 2010

[updated and more complete information]
Captioned Performances by the Sydney Theatre Company
Captioning allows those with hearing limitations to follow the on-stage dialogue in real-time. Sydney Theatre Company uses plasma screens for this purpose.

The screens are visible from selected seats in the Sydney Theatre and Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. When booking seats for captioned performances, please contact the box office and ensure that you request ‘Caption Seats’ which is suitable for best viewing of the caption screens.
Bookings (02) 9250 1777 or

In 2010, Sydney Theatre Company will be offering the following captioned performances:

Sydney Theatre company presents
by Tom Wright, after Voltaire
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Friday 29 January 2010, 8.00pm
Wednesday 3 February 2010, 1.00pm
Sydney Theatre company presents
by Joanna Murray-Smith
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Friday 7 May 2010, 8.00pm
Wednesday 12 May 2010, 1.00pm
Sydney Theatre company presents
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
by Eugene O’Neill
Sydney Theatre
Friday 16 July 2010, 7.30pm
Wednesday 21 July 2010, 1.00pm
Sydney Theatre company presents
August: Osage County
By Tracy Letts
Sydney Theatre
Friday 27 August 2010, 7.30pm
Wednesday 8 September 2010, 1.00pm
Sydney Theatre company presents
Our Town
by Thornton Wilder
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Friday 1 October 2010, 8.00pm
Wednesday 6 October 2010, 1.00pm
Sydney Theatre company presents
The Grenade
by Tony McNamara
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Wednesday 17 November 2010, 1.00pm
Friday 19 November 2010, 8.00pm
Sydney Theatre company presents
Uncle Vanya
by Anton Chekhov, in a new adaptation by Andrew Upton
Sydney Theatre
Friday 26 November 2010, 7.30pm
Wednesday 8 December 2010, 1.30pm

Bookings (02) 9250 1777 or

BHA Christmas Parties for members

Sydney Christmas Party
Come along to our 5th December 2009 Christmas Party. At the Concord Club Rooms, 29 Burwood Road, Concord. Pre-lunch drinks available at 12.00pm, Lunch at 12.30pm. There will be Salads, Nibbles, Drinks, Fruit and Christmas Cake prepared by Friends of BHA and a Tasty BBQ Sizzled by our chef, John. There are 6 Great Raffle Bags to be won! Musical entertainment. Only $15. RSVP to the Office by Mon. 2nd December.

Canberra Christmas Party
This will be held on Tuesday 24th November 2009. In the Aegean Room at the Hellenic Club from 6.30 – 10pm. The after dinner speaker is local audiologist Anne-Marie Crowe who will be talking about her life as an audiologist and her other life “Her love of travel”. Real Time Captioning will be used for all the speeches and there is a loop in the room. There will be lucky door prizes and raffle prizes. You can only buy the tickets at the party. The cost is $35. If you would like to attend contact Carol Taloni on 0410 463 761. It will be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sydney Theatre Company captioned performance program for 2009

From the Sydney Theatre Company website
[correct as at 17 November 2009]

2010 dates here

To book tickets please call the STC box office on 1300 087 348
Sydney Theatre Company website
Let them know you're coming, and need assistance

For patrons with hearing impairments

Hearing enhancement & headsets
Hearing enhancement systems are available in all theatres. Two types of hearing enhancement are available: Infrared (Wharf 2 and Drama Theatre) or Induction loop (Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre and Drama Theatre). The Infrared system caters for those without hearing aids by using a headset available from the theatre’s front of house. The Induction loop system caters for people who don’t use hearing aids (through a headset); for those with newer hearing aids or hearing aids with T switches. As some seats may be ‘out of range’ we ask that you let us know your needs when making your booking.

Captioned Performances
In 2009, we will be offering the following captioned performances:
When The Rain Stops Falling, Wednesday 27 May at 1pm & Friday 29 May at 8pm;
Poor Boy, Wednesday 29 July at 1pm & 31 July at 8pm;
A Streetcar Named Desire, Wednesday 30 September at 1pm & Friday 2 October at 8pm.

Captioning allows those with hearing limitations to follow the on-stage dialogue in real-time. Sydney Theatre Company uses plasma screens for this purpose.

Auslan interpreted Performances
A sign language interpreted performance will be offered for the following performances in 2009:
Poor Boy, Friday 24 July at 8pm;
A Streetcar Named Desire, Thursday 8 October at 8pm.
Auslan will be used, and a block of seats is reserved for deaf and hearing impaired people to ensure a good view of the signer and the stage. If you wish to be seated in this area for these productions, we ask that you let us know at the time of your booking.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Juanita Phillips from ABC-TV presented with the Clear Speech award

On October 27 2009 the annual Clear Speech Award was presented to Juanita Phillips from ABC-TV Sydney.

In her acceptance speech Ms Phillips, who has won the award twice before [2003 and 2006], recognised the importance of speaking clearly to her audience. She said that with the ageing community, many of whom make up her audience, communication is vital.

One in six Australians have a hearing impairment and the Award helps to illustrate the need that people need to have appropriate facilities available for their everyday communication.

Better Hearing Australia [Sydney Branch] runs courses in Hearing Loss Management, including lip-reading, and provides information for those with hearing impairments. Better Hearing also trains volunteer lip-reading teachers to cater for the growing deaf community.

More information

Welcome from the President

Hello, all visitors to BHA Sydney's Blog page. Make yourself at home and visit us as often as you like.  Maybe we can give you some info which will be useful to you.

Mary Silk President.


Our Aims

Better Hearing Australia’s purpose is to help people in Australia with hearing impairment to improve their quality of life.

Better Hearing Australia is the national voice of all people in Australia with hearing impairment, promoting good communication and life solutions by the provision of education, support and advocacy.

To equip the person with hearing impairment with necessary information and skills to permit successful management of their social, education and occupational environment.

To raise community awareness concerning issues of importance for people with hearing impairment.

To provide opportunities through advisory and support services for people with hearing impairment to deal with the effects of hearing loss and restore confidence and self-esteem.

To submit briefs and make representations to any private or governmental organisation to ensure the specific needs of people with hearing impairment are met.

To identify any discrimination with regard to hearing impairment and seek to enforce compliance with the requirements of any anti-discrimination legislation.

Core Values
Better Hearing Australia’s core values are Care, Respect, Understanding, Integrity and Commitment.

Where is Better Hearing Sydney?

This is the Sydney Office.

29 Burwood Rd, Concord NSW 2137
The class listings on the calendar have their own maps.

View Larger Map


Let me know if there's events which should be added
You can also view this on Google Calendar