Friday, December 17, 2010

Captioned Cinema news

There's movement on the captioned-cinema front.
New cinemas from 30 December, audio description from 6 January 2011 and more sessions too.

Check the Your Local Cinema page for the complete details

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
Cinema Access Implementation Plan

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ABC Ramp Up

Like it or not Hearing Impairment exists. Some consider it a disability.

ABC TV/Radio/Media have a special Disability-oriented webpage located at

You can subscribe via RSS in your usual newsreaders too, for the latest.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Captioned theatre 2011

Here's the list from Theatre Captioned for the list of sessions for 2011 [as of 10 December 2010]
click here

Theatres include
  • Glen Street Theatre, Belrose, NSW 
  • Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong 
  • Sydney Opera House - Drama Theatre 
  • Sydney Theatre Company, Walsh Bay 
As usual check with the theatre beforehand to work out finer details, where to sit for the optimum benefit and to book tickets.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Access All Areas Film Festival

In Sydney the festival is on during the week of the 1st December. In Sydney there are sessions at Parramatta and Dendy Opera Quays.
Tickets are free but call to check facilities and to reserve a seat.

Check the website for details.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Members: Content required

As you may know Better Hearing Australia [Sydney branch] publishes several publications for the members.

The editors are always looking for content which might be of interest.
  • Have something to say?
  • An upcoming event which might be of interest - let us know
  • What about "How I went deaf"?
  • Write poetry, share it with the members
  • Jokes and amusing anecdotes
  • Handy hints you've picked up during your 'deafness journey'
Whispers is the quarterly plain paper magazine published in March, June, September and December
Wojjsay is the email bulletin for upcoming events, published in February, April, May, July, August, October and November, non–Whispers months.

Contact the Sydney office with your articles and get your name in print!
Better Hearing National
publishes the official journal 'Better Hearing' quarterly and deadline for copy is the first of the preceding month [1 November for the December issue]

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

US Senate passes massive improvement in Accessible Communications

When America sneezes we reach for the tissues!
On August 5 2010 the US Senate passed a bill
"Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010" in which vast improvements regarding provision of captions and accessibility of TV shows are enacted.

Check the item on the 
Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology [COAT] site

This will of course impact on TV, Video and Internet communications in Australia. The job's been done for channels 7, 9, 10. 

Annual General Meeting 2010

This year's Annual General Meeting for Better Hearing Australia [Sydney Branch] will be held on 30th October 2010.
Speaker: The Hon. Peter Primrose, MLC, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disablility Services, Minister for Volunteering and Minister for Youth.
Come along and hear what the Minister [NSW State] has to say!

More details as they come to hand

Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 Captioning Awards Announced

As part of Hearing Awareness Week the 2010 awards have been announced.


Of special interest to me - ABC iView. See it CAN be done!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

SCIC Seminar series

September 14

Populations in Focus: Elderly, ANSD, Otoxicity and Bilaterals

contact SCIC for more details [02] 9844 6800

SCIC Hearing Awareness Week Event

White Noise
a movie presentation

at SCIC Gladesville
Tuesday August 24 6pm to 8pm

contact SCIC for more details [02] 9844 6800

View Larger Map

Hearing Awareness Week Presentation

23 August 2010 at 6:30pm for 7:00pm

Professor Paul Mitchell
will present
"Risk factors and Impacts from Hearing Impairment in Older Australians:
Findings and Implications from a Large Population-Based Study"

$25 per person, refreshments served

The College of Nursing
14 Railway Parade
Burwood NSW 2134

View Larger Map

The presentation will be captioned live.
More information - contact Roma Wood at Better Hearing Australia, [02] 9744 0167

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some Links

Australian Tinnitus Association
Got the tinkling, or the buzzing or are those men talking in the next room? Me too!

Catholic Centre for Deaf and Hearing Impaired people

Checked the other sites recently?

Our website
Make contact, join, get information

The BHA blog
Upcoming events, announcements and campaigns you need to be aware of

Join us on Facebook!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wicked AUSLAN interpreted performance

Wicked will be AUSLAN interpreted at its performance on 18 August at 8PM.
The show closes on 26 September.
Show link

The Capitol theatre is in Campbell St Sydney [Haymarket area]
Location link is here

View Larger Map

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Draft National Disability Strategy released

The federal government has released its draft Disability Strategy
There isn't terribly much specifically about hearing-impaired people but mention is made regarding communication notably digital services, via the National Broadband Network [NBN] and inclusion generally.

Lets see how the Coalition responds [I'll post it when I see something]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Other Film Festival

It's on in Melbourne, starting August 25, a film festival which caters for disabled people, featuring films which are described, captioned, and about hearing and sight impaired people!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

New technology announced for Cinemas

Thats right and several of the chains have signed on meaning that captions may be available in up to 242 cinemas, a massive increase. The chains  Hoyts Corporation, Greater Union Organisation, Village Cinemas and Reading Cinemas agreed and should start the system by 2014

It's called the Doremi captiView

Arts Access Victoria announcement

The Age article

Saturday, July 10, 2010

YouTube resources

YouTube is great resource for the world, videos of every flavour and now I've found videos aimed at instructing hearing-impaired people on technology and its application.
There are signed and captioned videos available from the link below.
Click the 'CC' button for the captions [may not show for all videos]

Check out the video on YouTube: DeafTechTV

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Ai-Live™ on The New Inventors

Save the Date: Ai-Live on The New Inventors -- 8pm, Wednesday June 23, 2010
Ai-Live™ will be showcased in an upcoming episode of ABC1's The New Inventors.

The episode which airs at 8pm, Wednesday June 23, 2010, will feature Ai-Media's CEO, Tony Abrahams; Co-founder & Director, Alex Jones; and our Schools Captioning Manager, Victoria Clark in action and answering all the panel's questions. 

Make sure you tune in to see the Ai-Live™ solution beamed to a national audience, as host James O'Loghlin leads the way on the full analysis of our world-first "invention". It's set to be a ratings winner!

To learn more about the programme, and how it all works, go to:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Audioloops on CityRail

Recently I undertook to contact CityRail regarding the provision of audioloops on some trains. After a pathetic response from CityRail which amounted to "Have a look at the website" I then caught several trains, Burwood - Epping - Hornsby - Central
For more information about RailCorp fleet go to
The newer Oscar and Millennium [Waratah coming] trains are the audiolooped trainsets

The Epping - Hornsby train did indeed have the loop and it worked quite well. Announcements on the platform were well, hopeless. And I do understand that manned ticket offices may also be looped.

So further to all that I discovered that there is a booklet called "access, accessing CityRail, Your guide to accessible services", some of the contents of which are available on various webpages starting at
but the booklet has all the info in one little booklet. There will be a few copies available at BHA HQ from Monday May24


Comments anyone?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Article about stem cell research

Here's a link to an article about stem cell research which might one day help those who have lost the little tiny hairs in the inner ears. The little hairs are naturally part of the hearing mechanism. Losing them affects your ability to hear.

London Daily Mail

- iP

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hearing Health in Australia - Report released

As reported by the Deafness Forum
click here for the full item
"The Senate Community Affairs References Committee has tabled its report on the inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia"

for a copy of the report - I couldnt find it on the website, but will report the link if I can locate it

News just in [14 May]
The address of the full report is
Careful - it is 150 pages or so

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Decision re provision of captions

The Australian Human Rights Commission has handed-down its decision on
the application by cinema chains for a moratorium on complaints
regarding captions and audio description.

The Commission has not
released its complete report yet, but will do so "shortly".
HREOC website

Feel like getting involved in the campaign to
encourage cinemas to provide access? In Facebook, search "action cinema
access" and join the group, for the latest updates and campaigns.

Want to read some submissions? Have a look at the Arts Access Victoria website...

Monday, April 12, 2010

CICADA at SCIC, with Deafness Forum

Nicole Lawder and Alex Jones from Deafness Forum were introduced.

They gave a presentation about the Deafness Forum and the many issues in which they advocate deaf and hearing-impaired rights.
There are so many issues - captions on TV, in cinemas, accessibility for hearing impaired people in airports and aeroplanes, to name just a very few.

Got a complaint? Lodge a complaint! Tell the deafness forum.

Check the website, Join.

- iP

Monday, March 29, 2010

iView gets Captions

It's been a long time coming but ABC-TV has announced that all prime-time programs will be captioned from 30 March 2010 (as reported in the Guide, Sydney Morning Herald 29 March 2010)

This is something I have written letters, sent email, basically made myself annoying for. I'll check it out and report back...

Good one ABC!

- iP

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Why risk upper respiratory tract infection?
I have heard that the 2010 Flu vaccine is now available and I expect it will include the swine flu component too.

Especially important for elderly and the infirm. And those susceptible to ear infections.

Fact sheet available here

More details as they come to hand.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seniors Week 21 - 28 March

The program for the week's events is located on the webpage [link]

Check the entire site at this address

The Ambassadors this year has a long list of interesting personalities too! Have a look

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CICADA dates on the Calendar

CICADA dates
Future picnics in 2010
13 June, 15 August, 4 October
Committee meetings in 2010
31 March, 11 June, 13 August, 24 October

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ensemble theatre access

The Ensemble theatre offers a hearing loop covering 90% of the audience and Audio description.
The York theatre at the Seymour Centre provides hearing-impaired access via the Sennheiser Sound Aid system
Contact the Box Office when you make your booking, let them know your requirements.
Main site
Program - you can see which performances provide audio-description

Access links
Ensemble Theatre
York Theatre, Seymour Centre

Have you visited either of these venues? Comment below about the facilities.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2010 French Film Festival

Tired of not getting movies with English captions?
How about trying movies with a french flavour - they are always captioned in English.

The French Film Festival runs from 2 to 21 March so get in quick.
In Sydney, sessions at Palace Norton Street, Leichhardt and Academy Twin and Palace Verona, Paddington

for the full program and ticket details.

Get there a little early...
Don't forget to mention that you are hearing-impaired [if you are] and ask where to sit for the best audio loop reception.

Palace Norton Street

View Larger Map

Academy Twin and Verona Paddington

View Larger Map

Monday, March 8, 2010

Website Accessibility Review March 2010

Got something to say about news websites?
In March 2010 you can review the news sites of 

The Australian
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Age

AWARe website

So come on have your say, nothing changes by itself in media.

It's an easy online questionnaire, 2 mins from start to finish. You'll need to register first.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More theatrical caption sessions

Here's a list of captioned theatre sessions in NSW
This one is GoTheatrical [link] and includes several sessions in Sydney, Canberra, Illawarra and interstate

There's a newsletter you can subscribe to as well on the home page.
They're also on Facebook. Check them out!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Access Action on Wet Saturday

On Saturday 13 February a group of about fifty from all walks of life gathered to protest the lack of accessible cinema sessions in Australia.
We gathered at the cinema complex in George St 'Events', formerly Hoyts.
Our protest was joined in other cities across the country. There were similar protests in Melbourne Brisbane and Adelaide.

Here are some pics from the Sydney group [clicking the image will take you to the album to see larger versions]

And here's the ABCTV news item from YouTube

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Transport in Sydney

You may know that the Premier has announced a new transport plan for Sydney.
There is a page set up for comments [need to sign up]

Have your say
Here’s the transport page link

I haven't seen anything on there about hearing-impaired facilities but here's hoping

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Captioned Cinema Screenings

OK WE've all sent the postcards and letters, but where are the existing cinema captioned session times?

Right here, on the Media Access website


Unfortunately not blogged so you have to check back for changes and updates

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More captions action

Facebook members, check this link

There are a couple of draft letters to The Federal Attorney-General, Robert McLelland and Bill Shorten, MP in which our objection is raised to the suggested exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act for two and a half years. Why should that be?
Who else should the letters be sent to?

Fill in the letter and let your disquiet be heard in Canberra. We want to go to the movies too!!

Send them an email or copy then print the letter so they have to reply on paper. Well one of the minions anyway...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogs from deaf people

You're not alone
The internet is buzzing with people telling their story. It's blogging and it's the information revolution.

Here's a few choice blogs

Deaf Village
A collection from all over the world

Kate Locke
 [sadly discontinued]
A quite moving blog from a Sydney cochlear implant recipient

Another Sydney cochlear recipient

Curse of Silence
BHA's resident blogmeister tells the story of his implant and beyond

Have any to add to the list - Comment and they will be posted!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Audioloop at the Museum of Sydney

Last night I visited the Museum of Sydney (for a slideshow on Gardens of Spain)

The telecoil and audioloop setup in the AGL theatre worked perfectly - the best I've ever experienced!
The speaker was easily understandable, and not once did I feel the need for captions.

I wish all entertainment venues (and elsewhere) could follow their example.
Check the upcoming events below


Friday, February 5, 2010

New Personal Hospital Kit

Better Hearing Australia Canberra Group has developed a new Personal Hospital Kit for use by people with a hearing loss who have to go into hospital. The kit is designed to make you feel safer in hospital by providing signage to identify you as a person with special communication needs. It will also provide you with advice in preparing for a hospital visit, what to expect in hospital and gives you a trouble shooting guide for hearing aids that might be playing up.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Website Accessibility - Australia Web Access Review

Got something to say about news websites?
In February 2010 you can review the news sites of ABC, Seven and Nine

AWARe website

Nothing changes unless you say something. So, complain or give positive feedback if it's warranted.
It's an easy online questionnaire, 2 mins from start to finish. You'll need to register first.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


You may know that CICADA exists as a support group for Cochlear Implant users. Our very own Roma Wood OAM is on the Committee.

Webpage -
Their up-coming events are available on the Activities - Calendar link
Check the Membership link for those details

They have an event planned for February 14 2010 at SCIC, Gladesville, with guest speakers, and interesting discussion regarding latest cochlear equipment developments. Oh, and a sausage sizzle too!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Know someone who is hearing impaired?

Maybe they could benefit from not being isolated.

They could
• learn speech-reading at our classes
• participate in the BHA craft circle
• mix with a fun group of people, who happen to be hearing impaired
• join in our other activities

Support Better Hearing Australia [Sydney branch] - Join today.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grenfell Lipreading Classes

The introductory lipreading classes will re-commence in Grenfell on Tuesday 2nd February 2010.
The group meets in the group room at Grenfell Community Health, Camp Street Grenfell.
The classes are for an hour from 11am to 12 noon.
There were six starters when we began in November 2009.

Here's a map of the location

View Larger Map

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DBCDE Report - Access to Electronic Media

via the Deafness Forum
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy [Minister Stephen Conroy] has released the report "Access to Electronic Media for the Hearing and Vision Impaired: Approaches for Consideration".

The report is available for viewing at

Members of the public are encouraged to obtain a copy of this report and submit their comments on the issues raised. Submissions are due by 29 January 2010.

Download the
Guidelines for Submissions

Media Release about DVD accessibility

The Deafness Forum has circulated a media release from the Australian Visual Software Distributors Association (AVSDA) regarding their commitment to audio description and captioning on DVDs.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cochlear Handy hint - microphone

This may apply to some hearing aids as well - I don't know
With your Cochlear Implant, freedom style you may have received an extension lapel microphone.
Here's a technique I have found to be quite handy, when out in the backyard - against cicadas, birds aeroplanes, wind and background noise.
  • Connect the lapel microphone to your speech processor - get your audiologist to show you if you don't know how.
  • Using a piece of velcro or sticky tape attach the microphone body to a chopstick on bamboo skewer, say 30cm long.
  • Now you can 'interview' your guests - this puts the microphone closer to them by 0.5m. I find the 'noise reduction' setting to be the most effective.
  • Also - too much wind? In the TV/video industry they use a fluffy microphone called a 'dead cat'. They don't exist in the size we need - 1cm x 2cm.
  • I have used a spectacle soft drawstring bag to good effect and will try a finger from a children's glove. This will fit better and be less cumbersome.

More tips as they come to hand...