This position statement has been issued by peak disability and consumer groups regarding the two proposed mobile emergency services for people who are Deaf, hearing-impaired or with speech impairment or complex communication needs (CCN). We stand together in calling for a simultaneous implementation of bothan SMS emergency service and an emergency service provided via a smartphone application.

Australia is a signatory to the United Nations’ human rights instrument, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Under Article 9, signatories shall “take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with information and communications... (including) ...emergency services.” Under Article 11 of the UNCPRD, signatories shall “take...all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk”. Access to emergency calls is a human rights issue.

This joint position statement, issued to the Minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy, is supported by:

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
Australian Deafblind Council
Australian Federation of Deaf Societies
Communication Rights Australia
Deaf Australia
Deafness Forum of Australia
Deaf NT
Deaf Society of NSW
Independent Living Centre of NSW
Technical Solutions

ACCAN congratulates the above organisations for showing their support for this important policy position.  To become a supporter please click the Act Now button on the right of the screen or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download:Access for people with disability to emergency calls [Word Document - 191 KB]
Download:Access for people with disability to emergency calls [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 174.79 KB]