12 December 2011 – The Captioning Studio Wins 2011 Human Rights Award

The Captioning Studio has been awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2011 Human Rights Award for Business for its contribution to the inclusion of people with a hearing loss through its captioning services and its innovation in captioning technology.  The Awards were announced at a gala luncheon ceremony held in Sydney on Friday, 9 December, and were attended by over 400 people.

Ms Nari Jennings, co-founder of The Captioning Studio, gave a heartfelt and well-received speech about her own family history of genetic deafness and her passion for access for, and inclusion of, people with a hearing loss which led to the creation of her company 8 years ago.

The Captioning Studio, which provides quality captioning and subtitling services for the Deaf and hard of hearing, has patented and developed a range of advanced technology for captioning in many areas of life, including education, the arts and the workplace.  The company has also launched a series of initiatives to create awareness in Australia of the importance of captioning inclusion to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

World Federation of the Deaf President Colin Allen attended the Awards Luncheon on Friday.  “It was a pleasure to see The Captioning Studio awarded the Business Award for their dedication to the Australian Deaf Community and hard of hearing people in Australia,” said Mr Allen. “It’s great to see a successful business inspired by personal experience providing top quality captioning and giving back to the community.”

According to a recent report, some 4.5 million Australians have a hearing loss.  This number is predicted to rise to 1 in 4 Australians by 2050.

Many theatre venues across Australia are now offering their patrons captioned performances, including the Sydney Opera House and The Arts Centre in Melbourne, using the GoTheatrical!™ technology developed by The Captioning Studio.  GoTheatrical!™ assists Deaf and hard of hearing theatre patrons by displaying live subtitles on screens located on or near the stage, and in 2012 captions will also be available on Apple mobile devices in participating venues.   Recently the company also launched GoTheatrical!™ Kids, a national project to make live theatre accessible to children with a hearing loss.

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award as it will help to create awareness of the need for captioning”, said Nari, “Importantly, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to recognise, respect and celebrate those already making life accessible to people with a hearing loss, including many theatres, festivals, schools and universities, employers and website owners”.

This is the second National award received by The Captioning Studio in 2011.  In August, the company was awarded the 2011 Deafness Forum Australia National Captioning Award for the Best Event Captioning in Australia.

The annual Human Rights Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to protect and promote human rights in Australia.  The awards include the Human Rights Medal, Young People’s Human Rights Medal and eight award categories: Business, Law, Community (Organisation), Community (Individual), Literature (non-fiction), Print and Online Media, Television, and Radio.

President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Catherine Branson QC, said of the Human Rights Awards: “All winners and indeed all finalists should be treasured by all of us for the often selfless way in which they try to make Australia an even fairer and more equal society than it already is.”

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