National communications consumer organisation ACCAN is pleased to announce the recipients of the first round of funding through its Grants Scheme.

The projects funded in Round One are:

- “Internet Scams: how to protect yourself”, a consumer education initiative by the WA Deaf Society;
- A study of privacy complaint paths and outcomes by the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales;
- An international literature review on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communications consumers by the National Ethnic Disability Alliance.

The ACCAN Grants Scheme is administered as part of its funding agreement with the Commonwealth to support consumer research and representation in communications. The applications are assessed by an Independent Grants Panel.

“Cyber-security, privacy and understanding the needs of vulnerable consumers are highly important areas in the communications sector”, said ACCAN CEO Allan Asher. “Projects funded through our Grants Scheme will help ACCAN work towards our goals of available, accessible and affordable communications.”

The WA Deaf Society’s consumer representation project “Internet Scams: How to protect yourself” will target Deaf consumers across all life stages in culturally appropriate ways. The project will pull upon relationships with experts in the field to produce fully accessible workshops and video resources that will be disseminated widely.

The Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre’s consumer research project will use complaints data, case studies and interviews to examine common privacy complaint paths in the communications sector. It will produce a report aimed to provide a platform for advocacy, and practical consumer tools to aid in making complaints.

The National Ethnic Disability Alliance’s consumer research project will involve a literature review on the experiences of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse consumers and consumers from Non English Speaking Backgrounds with communications services. It will produce a report aimed to raise awareness and responsiveness with government, providers, regulators and consumer representatives.

The Grants Scheme budget for the financial year ending 2010 was $101,600. For subsequent financial years the budget will be $250,000. Round Two applications closed March 18 with recipients to be announced in June. The next open round will be held in early 2011. See the Grants page for further details, including how to apply. 

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