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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has welcomed action by the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) against Telstra, Optus and Vodafone who neglected their responsibility to provide people with disability with information about products and services that may meet their needs.

The ACMA’s formal warning comes five years after ACCAN first identified that these telcos were failing to provide appropriate information to people with disability during a mystery shopping research project. The consumer group engaged with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to discuss the poor outcomes from this research and suggest possible pathways to improve. However, in 2016 a second round of mystery shopping proved that little had been done to implement these improvements.

 

“We’re pleased to see that the ACMA has conducted an investigated and taken enforcement action as a result. This demonstrates that the ACMA understands the significance of ensuring that people with disability have access to information about telecommunications products and services which suit their needs,” said ACCAN Director of Inclusion, Wayne Hawkins.

In an effort to provide an independent and up-to-date source of information about telecommunications products suitable for people with disability, ACCAN recently launched Accessible Telecoms. Available online and over the phone, this free nationwide service also provides information on where people can get training and support in order to confidently use the equipment.

“We have been in discussion with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone about Accessible Telecoms, and we’re pleased that all three telcos now have information about this important service available for consumers through their websites,” said Mr Hawkins.

ACCAN welcomes responses from the telcos that they will improve their accessibility options. We look forward to continuing to assist the telcos to fulfil these important obligations to people with disability moving forward.

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