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Welcome to the latest current affairs that impact communications consumers. 

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In establishing ACCAN in 2009, the government committed to conduct a review of ACCAN's performance after two years of operation. Having now reached that point, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) is keen to hear your views.

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Use social media? Have a disability?

If you do, then ACCAN and Media Access Australia (MAA) would like to hear from you.

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Congratulations to ACCAN's own Wayne Hawkins, who won a prestigious award at the 2011 Deafness Forum Captioning Awards held in Sydney last night.

Wayne was awarded the Roma Wood OAM Community Award for his contribution to changes that will see captioning quality standards enshrined in legislation. This is a great win, not only for ACCAN, but for all Australians who are Deaf or hearing-impaired, people who use captions in noisy environments, to learn English, or for any of the many reasons that captioning is in demand.

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The global organisation representing consumer groups, Consumers International, is asking Australians to be part of their project aimed at holding internet service providers to account. You can help by taking part in the 10-minute online survey so we can see how Australia compares to the rest of the world for broadband services.

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Senator Stephen Conroy has today released the details of the Federal Government’s Review of Access to Telecommunications Services by People with Disability, Older Australians and People Experiencing Illness.

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New research published today examines the challenges faced by not-for-profit organisations in the Northern Rivers of NSW and their clients in relation to accessing information communications technology. The report, Another Barrier?, provides a snapshot of those living in regional areas who continue to struggle with the basics of availability, affordability, and accessibility of communications services.

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Able Australia, who received an ACCAN Grant in 2010, have produced a report calling for better support for deafblind Australians to access the customised telecommunications solutions that are vital to their day-to-day lives. The report, Telecommunications and Deafblind Australians provides the results of a survey of 71 respondents, and is the first of its kind to focus specifically on telecommunications access and usage by people experiencing deafblindness.

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ACCAN has appointed its Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) members for the next two years until June 2013. ACCAN’s Standing Advisory Committees provide guidance and direction as we work towards available, accessible and affordable communications that enhance the lives of all consumers.

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People with complex communication needs, their carers and their friends, can find advice about telecommunications solutions that might work for them from the growing community at the Newell Network. Join the discussion at www.newell.org.au

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