© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Deaf Foundation campaigns for captioning

Brooke Hunter

The National Foundation for the Deaf is wanting to draw awareness to the lack of accessibility for the hearing impaired.

The National Foundation for the Deaf is campaigning for more captioning on televisions to aid those who are hearing impaired. 

Chief Executive Natasha Gallardo says captioning is incredibly important for the hard of hearing community as they rely on captions to enjoy the same content as people with normal hearing.

She says over 800,000 New Zealanders who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on funding for New Zealand on Air.

Traditional broadcasters and streaming services were called out with Gallardo criticising Lightbox for the lack of captioning provided.

A spokesperson for Lightbox says the service currently offers captioning for five of their television shows but are working on developing more. 

The National Foundation for the Deaf says having only 31% of New Zealand television with captioning is simply not good enough, with countries like Australia and the United Kingdom making captioning mandatory for their content.

The Foundation intends to approach the Minister of Broadcasting, Kris Faafoi, later this month with a petition for more captioning. The petition currently has over 1,700 signatures.