Able’s captioning service for Olympic viewers on Prime 

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Auckland service provider Able are offering captioning for free-to-air TV coverage of the Rio Olympic Games. Able says the first time captioning on Prime TV will make the Games accessible for Kiwis who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. 

With funding from the National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD), Able will provide captioning of Prime’s Olympic coverage through to August 22.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the NFD have provided us with the funding to establish live captioning for the Olympics,” says Wendy Youens, Chief Executive of Able. “The Olympic Games are the world’s biggest sporting event and are ingrained in our national identity, so we’re thrilled to be able to make them accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing New Zealanders”.

New Zealand’s only captioning and audio description service, Able make TV content accessible for the deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind and vision impaired New Zealanders. Their services are available on content across TVNZ, MediaWorks and Prime, assisted by funding from NZ On Air.

Able says their team of captioners have spent hours over the past few weeks learning athlete names and sporting jargon that are likely to emerge in the commentary.

Captions are written transcriptions of a programme, and will convey both the commentary and the sound effects of the Games. Closed captions will be available for the daily coverage between 6am – 3pm, and for the 6pm highlights, all clearly identified by the CC logo on screen.

“SKY has a long working relationship with the deaf and hard of hearing community, launching captions for SKY channels back in 2012. We’ve continued to add to the number of channels that are captioned and that now sits at 23,” says SKY spokesperson Kirsty Way.

“While both SKY and captioning service ABLE have funded their components for the service, it would not have been possible without the National Foundation for the Deaf underwriting $200,000 to build the right infrastructure at ABLE for this fast-turnaround captioning,” she says.

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