Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Audio cues opening the world of DVDs to more Australians

People who are blind or visually impaired will now have better access to blockbuster movies on DVDs such as Million Dollar Baby and Hotel Rwanda, due to an innovative pilot project supported by the Howard Government.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today officially launched the Australian Caption Centre (ACC) of Audio Description for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

“The ACC received $50,000 as part of a 12 month contract to produce ten audio described latest release titles on DVDs,” Senator Patterson said.

“This partnership, involving the Howard Government, Australian Caption Centre and Blind Citizens Australia, will pave the way for more latest releases for people with a visual impairment.

“Audio description ensures people with a visual impairment can now actively participate in social activities, which they may have previously been unable to enjoy.

“It will allow these people to gain greater satisfaction from the movie experience as scenes, landscapes and the visual appearance are described in detail for the audience.

“I wish to thank the blind and vision impaired organisations, and the industry for their support and assistance in making audio description on DVDs a reality.

“The Howard Government is committed to supporting people with a visual impairment and by providing access to these services we are ensuring these people can more fully participate in all aspects of the community,” Senator Patterson said.