New Zealand Captioning Award Winners Announced for 2013

Press Release – Joint Media Statement

Friday, 29th November 2013

New Zealand Captioning Award Winners Announced for 2013

The Captioning Working Group, with membership from Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand, The Hearing Association New Zealand and The National Foundation for the Deaf have announced the winners of the New Zealand Captioning Awards 2013 today at a special ceremony held at the Langham Hotel in Auckland.

The New Zealand Captioning Awards acknowledge those who have significantly contributed to the profile of captioning in New Zealand through advertising, broadcasting and television throughout the year.

Hon. Craig Foss Minister for Broadcasting awarded the 2013 Supreme Captioning Award to Robyn Carter. This Award recognises an individual or organisation that has made a positive impact on access for the deaf and hearing-impaired sector, through captioning.

Robyn Carter is a person whose exemplary effort has made her a leading national contributor to improving captioning services in New Zealand. As co-founder of the Captioning Working Group, she has done significant voluntary work to support people in the community seeking advice and information through the Group’s media channels.

CEO of New Zealand On Air, Jane Wrightson presented the 2013 Individual Captioning Award to Kris Johnson who has been dedicated to the provision of Captions. With a very supportive approach to the Captioning Working Group, Kris Johnson has gone well above and beyond the call of duty when TV3 moved to digital. This change resulted in him assisting numerous people with advice on equipment when they found they couldn’t get captions on TV3.

The recipient of the 2013 Telecommunications and Internet Award is Sprint International for their CapTel (captioned telephony) and was awarded by Hon. Craig Foss. As project manager for the CapTel project, Liz D’Anna travelled from the USA to receive the Award. Sprint International introduced CapTel (captioned telephony) into New Zealand on 1 March 2013.

This life-changing service has bought communication and connectivity, significantly reducing social isolation amongst those who are Deaf and hearing impaired in New Zealand. The reactions of Deaf and hearing impaired people to regaining the ability to use the telephone have been moving. Some have been in tears as they made their first telephone call in many years.

Director Mike Ellis of Sprint International says, “Sprint has been a long-standing leader in relay services for the deaf and hard of hearing as well as individuals with speech disabilities. We are honored to accept this award for the work we’ve done to assist and expand access for the deaf and hard of hearing.”

Lastly, Jane Wrightson presented the 2013 Broadcasting Captioning Award to Tony Eaton of Captioned Movies/NZ. This organisation has led the way, ensuring there is a significantly increased rate of captioning available to movie goers. There are now 14 accessible cinemas nationwide, with 5 in Auckland and 2 in Wellington.


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