Day 1: Tuesday, 30 October 2012 Session Session 4C: Venues: Access Technology

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Day 1: Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Session
4C: Venues: Access Technology



Day 1: Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Session

Session 4C: Venues: Access Technology


CHRISSIE TUCKER: Thank you, everyone, and for your patience for a little bit of a
later start. We have two fabulous speakers today and they'll speak for about 25
minutes each
and we probably won't have time for questions because they have a lot
to get through, but you can catch up with them throughout the conference.


The first person is Alex French from South Australia from The Captioning Studio,
which was the winner of the 2
011 Australian Human Rights Award. It has developed
a range of new technologies that help venues and production companies to make
live theatre performances accessible to millions of Australians who are deaf or hard
of hearing or who are blind or low vision
. The presentation will look at these
technologies, including The Captioning Studio's world
-
leading GoTheatrical™
technology, which uses inexpensive plasma or LCD screens for caption display. So
that's what Alex is going to cover.


Just a little descripti
on of Alex himself. He's the Co
-
Founder of The Captioning
Studio, a graduate of Loughborough University in the UK, and he has worked in the
broadcast and captioning industries for over 20 years. He is an experienced software
architect, system integrator pr
oject manager. Alex has a passion for creating
innovative technology which has mass appeal while at the same time offers
unprecedented access for people with disability.


Alex has led the development of the multi
-
award
-
winning GoTheatrical™ theatre
captio
ning technology and app, and now the world
-
first audio description app.
Thanks very much, Alex.


ALEX FRENCH: It's funny how when someone says “He’s been doing this for 20
years”, as opposed to reading those words, it sounds like a very long time and I sta
rt
to feel very old! Better get used to it!


So we started The Captioning Studio over eight years ago now. Myself and my
partner started the company, and we've got an amazing team working with us,
developing software and providing the service, which hopef
ully you've seen over the
course of the morning.


This you are seeing is actually a different service that we provide, which a lot of
venues and festivals will actually use for live Q&A or for writers’ presentations and
things like that.


So here is myse
lf and my family. I actually married my business partner a few years
ago.



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NEW SPEAKER: Is that because it's cheaper?! (Laughter)


ALEX FRENCH: This is a picture of us and our little boy. Nari is my partner. She
comes from a deaf family. So, on her mother
's side, some of her older siblings were
deaf, and they were profoundly deaf from birth, and their family was advised, “Don't
teach them sign language. Bring them up as hearing children”. I can only begin to
imagine how difficult that would have been for t
hem.


This is Nari's mum here in this photo. There's a considerable age difference between
her and her older siblings, as you can see, so I can imagine she was a bit of a shock
for mum and dad. So Nari's mum was born with hearing, but as she grew up, her
hearing deteriorated more and more, and as Nari was actually growing up, that was
when her mum actually became profoundly deaf. Now, her hearing loss was such
that she actually found it quite painful with certain noises, so the television volume
was turned

down and there was no music in the house. So from that point of view I
guess Nari kind of experienced somewhat what it was like to be deaf when she was
growing up. And it was those kind of experiences that led us to where we are now
with the company.


Wh
en she was 15 years of age, her mum's only hearing sister took Nari to see ‘La
Boheme’ in Brisbane. Nari describes that to me


and really you have to hear her
say it
-

as the most amazing experience, hearing the singing and the music and
hearing the theat
re, and that is what started her with a lifelong passion for the theatre
but also a real passion, that I share very much with her, for actually bringing the
theatre to as many people as possible. So that's why we started doing theatre
captioning.


A lot o
f venues have hearing loop systems, so the question we get asked continually
is: “Why do we need captioning? We’ve got a hearing loop”. Well, 17% roughly of the
population of Australia has a hearing loss, and that number is going up. It is thought
that tha
t number is going to rise to around 25% over a short number of years not just
because of the ageing population but also because of people playing music on their
MP3 players too loudly, so prolonged exposure to noise.


This is a really interesting statisti
c. It is believed that 55% of hearing aids are
incompatible with hearing loops. So if you want the first answer to the question “Why
do we need captioning?”, well, 55% of people who have a hearing aid actually can't
make any use of the hearing loop anyway.



But the thing people will often say to us is “The captioning gives us clarity”. So, for a
lot of people who use the hearing loop, they also use the captioning to fill in what
they're missing through the hearing loop. I'm going to get someone else to exp
lain.


(Video is played)



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SUE DAW ON VIDEO: People say, “Well, you’ve got hearing aids. Why don’t you
turn them up?”. But it doesn’t work like that because my hearing aids are tuned for
the speaking. When I turn them up, actually things become a bit blurr
ed and too
noisy. What I need is clarity, and that’s what these captions give to me. I don’t have
to turn up my hearing aids. I have clarity of what I’m hearing. I also need to see
people’s faces to really hear properly, and you’ll often find in a play, th
ey’ll often start
off with someone being offstage, which is really hard for me, or there may be one up
the back of the theatre and maybe not looking at me. Again, normally for me, that’s
hard, but with the captions I can capture every one of those words.


ALEX FRENCH: So Sue told us that she started going to the theatre in the West End
in London and absolutely loved it. Then, as her hearing loss developed, she stopped
going along and she made excuses for not going because she just simply couldn't
understan
d everything and didn't enjoy it anymore. So when she started going to
theatre with captioning, after 23 years of not going at all, she is now a subscriber and
goes to every performance in the subscription season, as does her husband, and
she takes her fri
ends as well. So it's a really great experience for everyone


a social
experience.


So we started this in 2004. We looked at technology that existed and decided we
didn't really like it, that it didn't provide the best access. And we spent 18 months
deve
loping our own technology for theatre captioning. So 18 months full
-
time. So, as
you can imagine, that was an expensive thing to do.


We started by using plasma screens or LCD TVs. You can see an example here.
And that's worked really well. It's a really
great system. But we started to realise as
well that for a lot of people, they didn't necessarily want to sit in the seats near the
plasma screens where the captions were visible.


So we looked at doing something a little bit more high
-
tech. And this yea
r what we
did was actually launch a mobile captioning application.


Now, what does this do and why is it good? Well, it actually gives people a choice
about where they're going to sit. Typically, the plasma screen sections are in the
areas with the most e
xpensive seats. So the mobile application gives people the
choice to sit in the balcony, up the back, or to sit anywhere with their friends and still
be able to access the captions.


What you're seeing on the screen here is an example of being able to mou
nt an iPad
on the back of a seat. So, in that case, you have the captions right in front of you as
well.


Our app is really easy to use. You select the show, having downloaded the
application, and off you go.



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So we took a lot of time to develop this. We

actually were very conscious that the
immediate objection we would have from venues was “This is going to distract other
patrons”. So we took a long time to develop it to make sure that that wouldn't
happen. So it's carefully designed for theatre lighting

conditions and so that the
person next to you isn't going to get annoyed by it. We actually have Tim from
Frankston Art Centre here who did a trial with our App a few months ago and invited
a lot of people to come and see a captioned performance. He’s got

the application
on his iPhone. And we had some really great feedback from them. So that really just
showed that the distraction element simply wasn't there. We also had some really
great comments. I remember one person at the trial saying, “This is really

great. For
the first time in my life, I’m sitting here and I get the captions. I can go to the theatre
and I'm not being fenced into a particular area where I can read the captioning”. So
that was a really awesome thing to be told.


There's also been som
e great research done recently by Arts Tasmania. They
started trialling our captioning this year in some venues in Tassie. And they've found
from their surveys of the audiences at captioned performances that over 80% of the
people, the general audience tha
t were there at the show, said that they actually
found the captioning useful.


And similar stats have come out of the USA, where they surveyed audiences over
1,000 captioned performances


and this was the whole audience, not just the
people using the ca
ptioning. The same figures came up there, where about 80% of
people said they found the captioning useful. It's great for encouraging people to go
do it because it isn’t just for a specific portion of the population; everyone gets
something out of it.


Th
e great thing about it is, say, when you get an Irish accent, everyone is looking at
the caption screen! And the production that we captioned for the Frankston trial had
some Aboriginal language in it as well. So it's great to see that it in words and peop
le
getting more out of that than they would have done as well. I certainly enjoyed it. It
became very poetic at that point to be able to see it on the screen.


So what it adds up to for us is happy captioning patrons. It's a social event. These
guys get t
ogether to go and see a captioned performance.


There's some other stuff that we’ve been doing as well. This year we realised that
there are actually no captioned performances specifically aimed at children’s
productions, so we started a program where we
were providing free captioning of
certain performances around the country and there were a number of different shows
that were done in different venues, really encouraging schools to bring children to
come and see performances, and encourage people to brin
g kids to come and see
them


so Year 3 up.


How am I doing for time? I know we were really late starting. I'm going to skip over

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the other video and actually send you to our YouTube channel, which is
youtube.com/captioningstudio which has a bunch of vide
os on it. But I’m very
conscious that because we started late, I don't want to overrun.


So we started with theatre captioning, and we've been doing that now for around
eight years. We actually captioned about 100 performances this year, so we've gone
fro
m one venue in Canberra to about 100 performances.


Then we started to look around at other things we might be able to do. We had been
to some audio described performances. The first one we went to, we were listening
to the audio description with the head
-
sets and suddenly we found ourselves
listening to Jazz FM or the local radio station! That really isn't great if you're relying
on the audio description for your access. In fact, sitting in another audio described
performance, we observed that four blind
and vision impaired people around us were
using the audio description. Three of them actually had the equipment fail on them
while they were trying to listen to it, as did mine, and of course you can't get up part
-
way through the show and go off and get an
other head
-
set. It doesn’t work like that
when you're stuck in the middle of a row.


So we actually thought, “Can we do this in a better way?” and so we set about
developing an audio description app, again for iPhone and for Android, which will
give a much

better quality of audio but also it won't give us the interference that has
been coming across on the FM head
-
sets. So we're really excited and are looking at
trialling that in South Australia over the next few months and then rolling that out.


As with
everything we've done, we actually look for feedback from people who
actually would use the device. So we want to get that feedback and feed it back into
the technology and make sure the technology is as good as it possibly can be before
we get it into the

market fully. But that will be happening shortly. So that will take the
form of a kit for venues, so they can buy a kit which comprises a number of devices
but also patrons will be able to bring along their own iPhone or iPad and use that as
well.


So th
ere are lots of exciting things going on in access for us. Apps are becoming
trendy. So this is a great way to raise the profile with venues and people who might
offer the service to their patrons. We've already been providing live captioning, as
you're lo
oking at here on the screen, for things like Writer's Festivals, and again
that's something that can be put on an app as well.


The app gives everybody a really great choice about how they access the
performance.


With all of this technology, it's actual
ly become really easy to offer captioning access,
and hopefully it will do the same for AD. Really, we've made it as simple as we
possibly can for the venues now. A great person to talk to is Tim, who is over at the

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back there, who will tell you how easy i
t is to do once it's all set up.


And I guess the other thing is that the price of the technology is coming down. So
you can actually offer the service with a plasma screen, that is now $600 or $700,
and a PC for $400. So for $1,000, you’ve got a captioni
ng kit essentially there. And
that's certainly how some people have been doing it. And the same with the app, in
terms of if people can bring their own mobile device, then the price is really low.


I'm going to stop at that point. Hopefully that's given y
ou a good insight into what we
do and maybe some ideas as to how you might be able to create great access for
performances and for other things.


CHRISSIE TUCKER: Thank you very much, Alex, and for abbreviating your
presentation. It's very kind of you. An
d thank you for outlining all those incredible
products that your company has developed, in line with your partner. And the audio
description, the theatrical captioning, and those apps, it is fabulous technology for
people to take up.


Now, our second spe
aker is Hannah Bishop and she's from Queensland. Her
heading is: Smart Technology Revolutionising Museum and Arts Access.
Mainstream smart technology can now be leveraged to create incredible new access
options for arts and education which are inexpensive
to produce. An innovative
service using smartphones by not
-
for
-
profit Australian Communication Exchange
ensures museums and attractions are fully accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired
Australians and can also be adapted for the vision impaired. This pres
entation will
include a practical demonstration of Smart Auslan.


A little bit about Hannah herself, for those who don't know her. She's Marketing
Manager and External Communications Manager for the Australian Communication
Exchange. She's responsible for

introducing Smart Auslan into cultural attractions
throughout Australia. She is passionate about improving access to culture through
technology and is involved in a number of community events for the Deaf and
hearing impaired communities.


Hannah has a d
ual degree in Business
-
Arts from the University of Queensland and
worked for the cultural attache at the Australian Embassy in Paris. She has assisted
companies in creative industries to grow and to export, working for the Queensland
Government in Brisbane

and London. Hannah has also delivered business and
marketing workshops to over 100 companies. Thank you very much.


HANNAH BISHOP: Hi, folks. I always get nervous when they do those bios. Oh,
dear. Thank you for coming along today, and thank you, Alex, f
or that great
presentation. I actually hadn't met Alex until now and I'm keen to have a chat with
you afterwards. I loved the personal insight, which really demonstrates the need for
this sort of technology in mainstream life, whether it's the cultural spa
ce, theatres,

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museums, galleries or what have you.


Now, before I really kick off
-

and I am conscious that we want to run to schedule; I'll
do my best
-

but I would just like to do a little bit of an exercise with you all, not a
physical one, though. I a
m a yoga teacher, but I won't get you doing any of that stuff
today.


But if you could turn to the person next to you, or if you're not next to someone right
now if you could just shuffle over, and introduce yourself and tell them what you
hope to get out

of this session and your experience with using accessible technology
in the disability arts space. If we can just dedicate a couple of minutes now so you
can get to know your neighbour, introduce your name, what you hope to get out of
this.


(Discussion
amongst delegates)


HANNAH BISHOP: Okay, folks. Thanks very much. Don't you love that? Everyone
walks in here and you’re all strangers and everyone is really reluctant to start to talk
to their neighbour. But once you say “go”, everyone is talking. Isn't t
hat worthwhile, to
be exchanging these conversations around access, accessible technology and
access in this space? So, did you all find that quite valuable? You get to know your
neighbour and maybe create some networks.


So I would like to get a bit of a
n understanding of who we have here. So I was talking
to Glenn and I understand he's here from government and he wants to know about
what sort of technology is available that they can implement in government which is
affordable, easy to maintain, hassle fr
ee, and I recognise a couple of people here
from some arts organisations, at least three of you.


Are there other people working in a government capacity? Yes? I heard from you in
the last presentation. Who else am I missing here? There’s disability group
s here?
Yes. And do you work much with people who are Deaf or hearing impaired? Yes?
We have some. Is there any other group that I've missed out?


NEW SPEAKER: Sydney Festival.


HANNAH BISHOP: Yes, great. I know a couple of people from that as well.


NE
W SPEAKER: We are consultants for access.


HANNAH BISHOP: Okay, good.


NEW SPEAKER: I’m from Glen Street Theatre. We were one of the first people to
put captioning in, with Alex. I haven’t actually met Alex but I pioneered a project
upgrade in 2007 and tha
t’s when we put the captioning in.


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HANNAH BISHOP: Okay, wonderful. A lot of you have probably been exposed to
some of what Alex and I are talking about
-

the value of access, the value of
captioning, and what I also bring to the conversation is the Auslan

translations. So I'll
kick off my formal presentation.


As Chrissie previously mentioned, my name is Hannah Bishop and I'm the Marketing
and Development Manager. I have been working for ACE, Australian Communication
Exchange, for about a year. It's a ver
y rewarding role because, as a national not
-
for
-
profit, we are really trying to do what's best for the community and we are working
very closely with our board, which has hearing impaired, speech impaired
-

our
speech impaired board member is actually here

at this conference today, which is
great
-

and Deaf. We also have a consumer advisory group who also represent our
constituents, who guide us and give us that feedback about what's important to
them.


So they are well engrained in what we do. Evidence
-
ba
sed needs driven by our
stakeholders.


We were established in '94. That's when we got funding. We are very well known
within the Deaf and hearing impaired community because we deliver the National
Relay Service. Does everyone know about that? Arms up. Oka
y, great. So access to
telecommunications. And we have a competency in working in IT, which is how
we've come about doing accessible audio guides and being in the space of the arts.


We do deliver a number of services, but are focusing now on the smartpho
ne apps
and Open Mi Tours, which is formerly known as Smart Auslan. It was rebranded last
week with the National Week of Deaf People. We were very busy and we had two
major events which I'll tell you a bit more about shortly.


So this guide will cover off

on terminology. Some people get really nervous about me
saying “Deaf”, and especially if you work in government and you want to say “hard of
hearing” or “hearing impaired”


but, yes, capital D “Deaf” signifies that that’s your
community, that’s your cult
ure, you sign, you’re not oral, whereas “hearing impaired”
or “hard of hearing” is when you might have a cochlear implant; however, your
primary communication mode is oral. So that is a whirlwind tour of being politically
correct. So now you can take that
and talk about it with your new friends that you
make at the conference.


So does anyone know of people who have a hearing loss, or do any of you have a
hearing loss? That's not surprising. Alex has got better stats for you but the well
-
known stats in our

sector is it's one in six. So we work with the national peak body,
Deaf Australia, and Deafness Forum of Australia, to do the advocacy work. And with
us as a service provider, we try to step away from that and just simply provide the
services.


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But one i
n six people these days have some form of hearing loss. So, as you can
imagine, that's quite substantial. And when you think about the space that a lot of
you might be in
-

museums, galleries, walking trails, cultural venues, theatres
-

think
about that po
rtion of visitors who actually have a hearing loss.


And it's a big behavioural mindset shift that we need to engage in. Because it’s not
visible sometimes


hearing aids, cochlear implants, are not always visible

people
go “But why do you want that?”. S
o not only has it been difficult for the person to
come to the desk at the museum or gallery to ask for a ticket, then they need to
explain their disability and it should just be quite an easy interaction for the visitor.


As some of you might know throug
h personal experiences or the people around you
that might have a hearing loss, there are some consequences and some negative
things that arise out of having a hearing loss, a disability, a disadvantage, and that
starts from when you're born.


In educatio
n, you can't note
-
take at the same time as listening because, as Alex was
saying, you need to be watching the person speaking, so you miss out. Whenever
you look down to write, you're missing out on important information. And that
disadvantage leads throug
h from education to employment. It's harder to get
equivalent jobs or as good a jobs as people who have their hearing. And people with
a hearing loss also tend to be culturally excluded, socially excluded. So these are
terms that you would have heard a lot

about in this conference


social inclusion and
access. And, as people are excluded, they have more mental health problems and
depression.


So the work that we're doing in this space of museums and galleries, cultural
venues, is about providing access, a
nd our buzz word is “functional equivalence”,
which means that if you have an audio guide, you should be captioning the audio. If
you have AV material, it needs to be captioned and it needs to be in Auslan as well.


So this is just a personal account of S
tephanie, who is hearing impaired. You
wouldn't know. It just happened when she was in her 20s. I'll just give you a second
to read that.


And, as I mentioned before, the stats are around one in six of your visitors have a
hearing loss. It's important to
provide the information in Auslan and with captions
because audio guides are obviously not accessible even if you have hearing loops,
as Alex mentioned. And for people who are Deaf, their first communication mode,
their first language, is Auslan, Australia
n Sign Language. So it makes it that much
more difficult if they're reading text. Some people go, “But we don’t have audio so
that's fine; we're still accessible”. But if you're providing lots of documents with lots of
text in English, that's not accessibl
e. And even if you have hearing, you can imagine
that that's not a very accessible way of communicating a lot of information. So it

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needs to be in their first language.


Another thing which isn't accessible or functionally equivalent
-

but it's a good sta
rt
-

is some museums and galleries will have once a month on a Sunday an Auslan
guided tour for people who are Deaf. This is obviously not accessible because what
if they're not available every Sunday at the end of every month?


We have Open Mi Tours avai
lable on IOS or Android. We have recently rebranded
and we are just re
-
tweaking a few things with the IOS, the iPhone or iPad version.
So you can all download the app free of charge probably in a couple of days' time.
There's just a couple of bugs and glit
ches that we're working out. You can still use it.
It's just some enhancements which are going to be available in the next release.


We can incorporate audio descriptions and also foreign languages, and we do this
through accessible technology which is em
erging and widely available today. One in
two people have a smartphone these days, whether it's on something like this or an
iPad. This enables galleries, museums, governments with exhibitions in their foyers
to keep the cost down, so you don't have to mai
ntain audio equipment, the cost if
they become outdated. We can provide regular reporting stats which show how
many people are actually using the app, if they're going to certain exhibits. So it
gives you that real marketing metric that I think a lot of mu
seums and galleries are
interested in.


The impression we have is that organisations want to do this. They see access as
being important. However, it really needs to translate into new visitors. For them, we
need to speak in their language
-

as a not
-
for
-
profit going “But it’s good. You should
do this. What about this, the Disability Discrimination Act, the National Disability
Strategy on Arts”
-

that's all very well to apply or appeal to their sense of goodwill,
but we think we can also show that this wil
l allow them to tap into new markets.


As we know, Deaf and hearing impaired are socially excluded, and many people in
our consumer advisory group, in our community, say: “That's funny, I've been living
in Melbourne but never been to the National Gallery
of Victoria until now because I
didn't think it was for me. I didn't feel it was accessible”, whether they have audio or
not.


But now we're really seeing a lot more of our community members going to
museums and they love it. They say, “It's so great to b
e able to access this
information in my first language”.


We've recently launched a new location last week, and the feedback was “It's great.
It's better than having an interpreter there” because, as I mentioned before, the once
a month, which is a good s
tart, we don't believe it's the best solution.


If you want to stop and consider a painting or delve into more information, or perhaps

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you don't want to go into an exhibit or learn anything about it, you can decide. So
you're not reliant on the interprete
r taking around a whole group of people where,
you know, you lose that independence.


So this is a brief outline of how it works. Many of you might have come across the
quick response codes, the QR codes here in the form of a barcodes. We also can do
numb
ering systems. We did that for the National Gallery of Victoria. It's quite easy.
People download the app for free. We work with the venue to recoup the cost simply
of the translation. We have subsidised heavily the software development. Our first
and fore
most goal is to get it out there, make it affordable for the venues, and that's
why we've done that.


You download the app, you download the content on a wi
-
fi because they're pretty
heavy files. And then you simply open the app within the museum or galle
ry and you
scan the QR code on each exhibit, and it brings up something like this. So here we
see an interpreter or a native Deaf person. And they sign. They provide the Auslan
translations and it comes up with captions. There are many different defaults.
If you
are oral and you have a hearing loss, and you don't use Auslan, you can select the
captions and you can select audio, or we can incorporate video footage into the
smartphone. We can incorporate still images and foreign languages, which we're
doing a
t the moment with the Historic Houses Trust


incorporating foreign
languages, the audio and the captions. So it's really whatever you would like it to be
on a very affordable and readily available piece of technology.


So we've got now about seven venues

on board with us. We launched in 2011 with
the National Sports Museum at the MCG. We have had a great partnership with
them, in particular, Margaret Birtley. So that's down there, the National Sports
Museum, and then we had the Chaffey Trail come on board
. That’s in Mildura. Has
anyone heard of that before? Yes? They're the first pioneering irrigation colony
introduced by the Chaffey Brothers from Canada. It's a lovely, historic driving trail,
with nine different sites with interpretation boards. They did
n't have audio but they
had text. And we had a fabulous project officer who heard about the work we'd been
doing with the National Sports Museum and said, “How do we make it happen?”.
There we created another great partnership with them.


I have photos th
ere. So that’s the National Sports Museum. This is Margaret Birtley,
our CEO Sandy Gilliland, and a Deaf community member who is quite prominent,
Brent Phillips. It was a great project. And then the Chaffey Trail which I was
mentioning, the interpretation
boards, what we did was simply put a QR code on the
corner of these boards so that people could listen to the audio or watch it in Auslan
or with captions, whatever their preference might be. Here we have Phil Harper, who
works for ACE out there. This guy
worked on the irrigation pumps.


So we just had the National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Napoleon’ exhibit finish. That was
accessible for the Deaf and hearing impaired. A great exhibition. Great to have an

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Session
4C: Venues: Access Technology


international temporary exhibition accessible, not ju
st the permanents. We organised
a community visit because they like to go out, a bit of a social occasion, get together
with their friends who they can use the same technology and discuss it afterwards.
They spent hours there. And we also organised a launc
h event where we got some
really good media coverage from it.


This slide was updated in the new presentation but, unfortunately, we couldn't
access that today.


But with the Queensland Art Gallery, or GoMA, we worked with them on their Prado
Portraits o
f Spain exhibition, another international one finishing in about a week. And
that's from the Museo Nacional del Prado, in Spanish. My French is better than my
Spanish! The Historic Houses Trust then came on board with us. The Hyde Park
Barracks, which is t
he first government
-
built Australian convict barracks, and we had
some Deaf convicts in those barracks. We recently had Breda Carty from the Royal
Institute for Deaf Blind Children take a group of students to the barracks and we had
really great feedback f
rom them.


We recently last week launched at the City of Sydney at their Town Hall. That was a
great spot to make accessible for the Deaf and hearing impaired. It is accessible for
the blind and vision impaired through audio and audio descriptions as well
. What's
interesting about the Town Hall is that underneath the Town Hall when it was
excavated in the late 1800s, I think it was, they found the tombstone of the first
record of Australian convict Elizabeth Steel. She wasn’t oral and we're not sure
whethe
r she signed or not. But that's a very special site for the Deaf community, so
it's great to have that there in its permanent collection, to bring that fabulous building
alive.


And then last week we also did the Werribee Open Range Zoo where we a slightl
y
new offering. It’s an excursion product and I’ve got some brochures here on it. I’ve
got some great photos. This was actually from the Museums Australia Victoria
publication which you might have received. That's the safari bus. And we've
developed a tour

guide app which links to the students’ app, which is also syncing
with the teacher app, and through Bluetooth it triggers the Auslan videos with
captions for the kids on the bus. And this is one of the smaller ones. They actually
now have these big beasts

of vehicles. They call them ‘people movers’ but,
informally, ‘beasts’. And the driver would do the audio. Obviously, it’s inaccessible to
a lot of people. And when I personally experienced the trip a week ago, there were
lots of international visitors on
the bus who didn't understand a word. So that's why
it's so important to have this visual with the captions and the audio, or your
communication preference.


So through Bluetooth, the tour guide app triggers the student app, and the student
app also has a

couple of extra features to the normal Open Mi Tours with quizzes,
interactive quizzes, so the teacher can check whether the students are watching all

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Session
4C: Venues: Access Technology


of the videos, whether they're answering the questions, or the answers come through
to the teacher app.


That was developed in partnership with the Victorian Deaf Education Institute, who
some of you might know. They are a really fabulous partner and obviously committed
to education and doing real work in this space of accessibility to improve learning
outc
omes for the Deaf and hearing impaired. It's a great tour to go on. There’s some
photos as well.


Anyway, I need to wrap up. As I said before, it's the right thing to do. We think it
provides an enhanced experience to all people, whether you have a hearing

loss or
not.


And that's about it. Thank you. (Applause)


CHRISSIE TUCKER: Thank you very much, Hannah, for that. We have just gone
over an extra five minutes, which is fine because we are in the tea break; we’ve got
25 minutes left. If Alex would like t
o come up so that we can just thank both of them
for demonstrating these latest pieces of technology which open up opportunities.
And I think that if we put our hands together, we can thank them very much for their
presentations today. Thank you.


(Applau
se)


(End of session)