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Parnell-based strategic marketing comms agency The Business has won the National Foundation for the Deaf account and immediately started work on tackling the issue that will affect hundreds of thousands of Kiwis during the Rugby World Cup.

Approximately one in six Kiwis are hard of hearing and by 2050 it will be one in four of us. Despite that, the RWC have just announced that the competition won’t be captioned In New Zealand, denying enjoyment to all who cannot hear broadcast television.

The RWC’s decision can be seen as a definite step back – particularly as they did caption the quarter, semi and finals at the RWC 2011.

” Imagine if you will, what it would be like if you cannot hear the voice on the television telling you how the game is progressing and have to wait for someone sitting beside you to tell you what is happening in the game,” says foundation ceo Louise Carroll. “This is what will be happening.”

The Business director Ben Cochrane said: “Chances are we know someone who is hard of hearing. It’s not just older people either, it affects a lot of us and the Government should legislate for captioning.

In the UK everything is captioned, and the hard of hearing in Britain will be able to watch the same RWC with full captions because it’s legislated for.

“This isn’t a problem that is going to go away.”

The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand are both calling on Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams to address this matter.

Meanwhile, The Business and The National Foundation for the Deaf are developing plans to engage New Zealanders in a campaign to end the injustice.

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