Telecommunications and Deafblind Australians provides the results of a survey of 71 respondents experiencing deafblindness and is the first research of its kind in Australia to focus specifically on telecommunications access and usage. The research, conducted by Able Australia and supported by a grant from ACCAN, calls for better support for deafblind Australians to access the customised telecommunications solutions that are vital to their day-to-day lives.

 The report identifies the following broad challenges deafblind people face in accessing telecommunications:

  • Insufficient funding assistance to purchase required specialised equipment
  • Lack of training or support for deafblind people to learn how to use telecommunication equipment
  • Insufficient funding for support staff and Interpreters who can facilitate this training

Currently in Australia it is estimated that there are 332,000 deafblind people (Access Economics 2010). People who are deafblind face a range of challenges in communicating with others. A person who is deafblind uses residual vision and/or hearing, and they may use a combination of Auslan, tactile Auslan, speech, and assistive technologies. Flexible telecommunications options need to be available to people who are deafblind along with support in customising solutions to their individual needs.

The report contains information on telecommunications solutions for deafblind people that will form part of a website developed for the deafblind community, by someone who is deafblind himself. The site is now accessible in beta

Download Telecommunications and Deafblind Australians [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 470.17 KB]

Download Telecommunications and Deafblind Australians [Word Document -439 KB]