Local SA company's innovation nationally recognised

Date posted: 
7 November 2012

World-first technology that enables people who are deaf or hearing impaired to enjoy live theatre is one of the innovative products developed by an Adelaide company that has earned them a nomination for the 2012 National Disability Awards.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas and Federal Member for Adelaide, Kate Ellis today visited The Captioning Studio in Adelaide to congratulate them on being named a finalist in the National Disability Awards which will be announced later this month.

A finalist for the Excellence in Improving Social Participation Award, Ms Ellis said she was proud to meet with and congratulate the Co-Founders of The Captioning Studio, Ms Nari Jennings and Mr Alex French and their team whose efforts were making a real difference in the lives of people with disability every day.

"The Captioning Studio has worked tirelessly to promote and provide access in a wide variety of areas for people with hearing impairment, including through the development of innovative, accessible technologies such as its GoTheatrical! theatre captioning and its interactive 3D Speech live captioning application for use in education, the workplace and at events," Ms Ellis said.

"People with disability should have the same opportunities as all Australians and the ongoing and dedicated commitment of The Captioning Studio to creating an inclusive and accessible society for all is helping make this a reality.

"The Captioning Studio was chosen from more than 200 nominations across the nine categories. I give my warmest congratulations to The Captioning Studio and wish them all the best for this month's awards."

Senator McLucas said increasing recognition for those individuals and organisations who help to overcome the barriers and challenges faced by people with disability is vital.

"The annual National Disability Awards, now in their sixth year, provide an important opportunity to celebrate the remarkable contributions that organisations like The Captioning Studio make to our community and to the disability sector," Senator McLucas said.

"We are highly impressed by The Captioning Studio's innovative technology, which continues to enable greater opportunities and accessibility for so many people with disability."

The Co-Founder and Director of The Captioning Studio, Nari Jennings said, "Access to education is something that is incredibly important to me, both professionally and personal."

"Having grown up in a deaf family, I am very aware of the struggles faced by deaf and hard of hearing students in the classroom. My dream is that every child with a hearing loss across Australia will have the opportunity to try 3D Speech for themselves and experience the difference it can make for them."

Senator McLucas said the 2012 National Disability Awards follow what has been a historic year for the disability sector.

"The Australian Government is laying the groundwork for the largest disability reform ever undertaken in Australia-a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)," Senator McLucas said.

"We are investing $1 billion for the first stage of an NDIS, which will begin next year in five launch sites across Australia.

"From the middle of next year, thousands of Australians with disability, their families and carers will start to benefit from the first stage of an NDIS."

In South Australia, an NDIS will support children with disabilities up to age 14. By 2015, nearly 5,000 children in South Australia with significant and permanent disability will be benefiting from an NDIS.

The National Disability Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday 28 November 2012.

The Awards are part of the Australian Government's celebration of International Day of People with Disability, which occurs on 3 December each year and is in its 20th anniversary this year. 

Ms Ellis is encouraging local organisations, including councils to organise an event to celebrate IDPwD.

Organisations and individuals planning a celebration for International Day of People with Disability can register their event on www.idpwd.com.au which contains a toolkit to help organisations in preparing and organising their event.

For more information, visit the International Day of People with Disability website atwww.idpwd.com.au or call 1800 440 385.