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Video Transcript

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Lights, Camera, Caption!

'Where the Wild Things Are'.

The wild things cried,

"Oh, please don't go! We'll eat you up. We love you so."

NARRATOR: John Byrne's grandchildren understand Grandad's deaf.

They've found a way to communicate and share stories.

JOHN: And that's really important to me and important to the grandchildren also.

I can be part of their lives. And they can be part of mine.

John became deaf at 12 and spends his life trying to be the best he can both at home and at work.

People with disabilities, deaf people, they'll have to adapt.

And they'll have to adapt their environment to succeed.

It is a pretty severe disability anyway, just an invisible one.

John's director of corporate services for a company in Perth.

He manages a budget of $400 million.

Total assets of about $4 billion.

I look after the people function - 2,000-odd employees.

I had a doctorate at 24, so that would show some ability there, I think.

At the end of his day, John loves to escape into a good film.

When watching a movie in the cinema, you forget about everyday problems.

It's really a form of escape from the pressures of life.

You can relax and enjoy it.

Or be frightened, or be terrified!

John had long been frustrated that there were no captions in cinema or on television.

Because there was a cost involved, it had never happened.

All my friends and siblings were there enjoying it.

But for me, I just couldn't follow it adequately, so it wasn't much fun.

When the Disability Discrimination Act came in,

John knew they'd be forced to act.

He lodged complaints demanding captions on television, in theatres and cinemas.

It's everybody's right to do everything they want in society.

Want to go to the cinema with my family and see it with captions? That's my right.

I'm a citizen, like everybody else.

That is my right.

The Human Rights Commission called a round table with movie distributors and exhibitors to collaborate on an industry solution.

There's a need in all of us to hear the stories of the group that we're in, the race that we're in, the humanity with whom we share so much.

Whether those stories are stories that are read to us when we're little kids, whether they're stories we read ourselves, whether they're stories shared with us by friends, or shared in a broader way by watching a movie, going to the cinema, whatever the process.

It's just a critical part of our communication and bonding and one of the things, I suppose, that distinguishes us from other forms of life on the planet.

As a result of John's complaint, progressive change is happening in cinemas across Australia.

New technology like CaptiView is here.

Soon, 230 screens will provide cinemagoers with a small armchair screen providing captions and audio descriptions.