The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is writing to federal, state and territory disability ministers today along with state and territory premiers and chief ministers urging them to adopt six key actions from its report Communications for All: the Role of the National Disability Strategy.

The peak consumer communications body says the ten-year, whole-of-government National Disability Strategy must include comprehensive communications provisions for the nearly four million Australians living with a disability if it is to achieve its aims of economic participation and social inclusion.

“Communications are a vital part of all our lives and will only grow more so as we move further into the digital age,” said ACCAN Chief Executive Allan Asher.

“The NDS will only achieve its aims if it includes measures that will lead to an increase in the proportion of people with a disability using the internet, improve access to the right telephony equipment at home and at work, and if people with disability are offered the chance to enjoy TV, movies and DVDs through the increase of captioned and audio description services.”

ACCAN represents 140 individuals and member organisations, including peak disability groups, who are lobbying to have the following actions form part of the NDS:

    1. Provide equipment that will enable all telecommunications to be available, accessible and affordable;

    2. Improve available, affordable and accessible communications services (including emergency services) for people who are Deaf or have a speech or hearing impairment;

    3. Ensure all levels of government and publicly funded service providers deliver best practice in the accessibility of electronic, print, web and audio-visual communications;

    4. Ensure all government purchases and contracts meet fully accessible product and service standards; encourage the universal design of mainstream products and services;

    5. Ensure that the services offered through the NBN are affordable for all Australians living with disability;

    6. Implement a progressive captioning and audio description timeline calling for total accessibility for all television and online broadcasts, cinema and DVDs.

Find out more about the campaign and take action

Download: Media Release.pdf [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 39.7 KB]
Download:Media Release.doc [Word Document - 105 KB]