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New research by Market Clarity has found nearly 29% of small businesses owners are suffering the same customer service and complaint-handling problems experienced by general consumers, even though the vast majority are paying for business-grade services.

This collaborative report, prepared by Blind Citizens Australia, Vision Australia, ACCAN and Media Access Australia, aims to highlight the consumer experience of the audio description (AD) technical trial on ABC TV to help inform Government’s thinking regarding the introduction of a permanent AD service.

This document presents findings from a quantitative investigation into consumer experiences, perceptions and concerns in the communications market.

Government ICT Purchasing: What differences do accessibility criteria make for people with disabilities? is a project undertaken by Dr Will Tibben of the University of Wollongong and Gunela Astbrink of GSA Information Consultants that collected the latest available information about accessibility in ICT government purchasing in OECD countries and examined steps that need to be taken for ICT public procurement in Australia. The project was funded under the 2011 round of the ACCAN Grants Scheme.

The Australian Health Workforce Institute (AHWI) at The University of Melbourne conducted a study exploring how people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds living in one region within Melbourne’s North use telecommunications (telephones and the internet) to access health information. In particular the team wanted to know whether members of these communities use landline telephones, mobile phones and/or the internet to access information about health and well-being, and health services, and determine any particular needs or characteristics of this group in accessing health care providers and information.

Phones and Internet: Your Rights in Australia is a project by the Footscray Community Legal Centre (FCLC) that provides education materials designed for refugees and new migrants to help understand the telecommunications market in their first six months of residing in Australia. The project was funded under the 2011 round of the ACCAN Grants Scheme. 

Social media allows anyone with an internet connection to connect with other people and participate online, but for people with a hearing, sight or mobility impairment, social media websites and applications are not always easy to use. New research by Media Access Australia examines the accessibility of the most popular social media tools and shares practical advice from users on how to overcome inaccessible features.

The Mobile Matters report by project coordinator Leo Fieldgrass details the findings from a year-long youth participatory action research and advocacy program that involved over 100 Melbourne VCAL students. The student researchers documented the challenges faced by them and their peers and made recommendations to industry for changes to better support young consumers.

Students from the Youth Advocates Project by the Brotherhood of St Laurence have a clear message for telcos and regulators: "We want you to understand what it's like to be a young mobile consumer: we don't just use mobiles for mucking about. We use them for jobs and shifts, school, parents, and emergencies".

This research marks an exciting new phase in ACCAN’s advocacy for a fairer and more competitive communications market. Using qualitative and quantitative methodologies, the research goes to the heart of consumer relationships with their telecommunications providers and looks at why decisions in the market so often result in issues down the track. It helps us to gain insights into two broad areas:How are consumers navigating the telecommunications market, specifically in relation to experiences with confusion, information overload, and determining value and risk, and how can they fare better?

The Mind the Gap report, authored by Dr. Linda Leung from the University of Technology Sydney, explores the experiences of refugees as communications consumers in Australia, and describes a trial education program aimed at developing higher level communications literacies during the settlement process.

This short report details the development of the Newell Network website www.newell.org.au, a growing community-based space that empowers individuals with complex communication needs and support organisations to share information about telecommunciations products that work for them. The reflections on the project from Novita Children's Services and partners are a valuable record of the collaborative potential in a web 2.0 approach to empowering people with disabilities.

Only one household out of 30 in the Kwale Kwale, Mungalawuru, and Imangara communities in Central Australia is connected to the internet.  

The Home Internet for Remote Indigenous Communities provides a baseline study of communication use in these three remote communities. It includes an overview of existing policies, demonstrating the significance of the intersection between communications and social policy for indigenous consumers living in remote communities.