Australia Pushes for Digital Accessibility

August 20, 2013

Australia's online presence still needs improvement to be accessible to those with disabilities, so says The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). The organization called for new legislation that would mandate minimum standards around accessibility for content and communications services so as to ensure digital equality for all Australians.

ACCAN's CEO, Ms. Theresa Corbin wants to ensure no one is excluded from what is rolled out by the National Broadband Network (NBN) and has called for an Australian Communications and Video Accessibility Act to help the country implement and achieve a National Disability Strategy. She stated that ""A roadmap without signposts for accessibility leads nowhere for Australians with disability and the growing number of older Australians."

An Australian Communications and Video Accessibility Act would:

  • Ensure Audio Descriptions and Closed Captioning on television and the Internet
  • Ensure Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers meet basic benchmarks, such as being compatible with hearing aids.
  • Provide access to telecommunications equipment for deaf and blind Australians
  • Guarantee that broadcasters responsible for transmitting emergency warnings ensure these messages are accessible with AUSLAN interpreters and captioning.

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