AFTRS & RCS break new ground for studio accessibility


The Australian Film Television and Radio School have moved to ensure that visual impairment is no barrier to those wanting to pursue radio as a career.

To that end, it’s worked closely with RCS to improve accessibility to radio studios. The latest breakthrough is voice annotations in Zetta.

It allows the visually impaired to know when a song is 10 or 15 seconds from the end marker with the annotations playing out through the studio’s preview channel.

The functionality is still in initial trials and was recently tested during AFTRS FM that aired nationally on iHeartRadio.

Graduate Diploma Radio student Nathan ‘Lettsy’ Letts is one of the driving forces behind the development. Born vision impaired, Nathan lost all his sight when he was twelve.

“It’s fantastic to have the freedom to be able to panel my own show and it’s great to both AFTRS and RCS have been as accommodating as they have.

“Time calls have never been something I have had with any playout system. Though there is still a way to go, it’s an amazing start.”

Head of radio Fyona Smith says it’s a bit of a game-changer for the industry and is a big rap for Lettsy.

“This work is ground-breaking as it allows the vision-impaired to work almost autonomously in the studio.

“Lettsy is incredibly talented. He is passionate about radio, has advanced ProTool skills and aspires to work as a commercial radio regional breakfast announcer.”

Nathan got a taste for radio at community station Noosa FM on the Sunshine Coast and recently completed an 8-week internship at Nova’s Star 1045 Central Coast.

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