ACCAN administers an Independent Grants Scheme aimed to support consumer research and consumer representation that helps us achieve our strategic goals

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

Online Safety Codes require social media platforms to build safety features that empower users to protect themselves from technology-facilitated abuse. However, 42% of Australians agree that existing safety features are inadequate, leaving women and gender-diverse users most vulnerable. ACCAN’s submission to the Codes recommends involving end-consumers early on to produce consumer-centric outcomes.

This project investigates how women and gender-diverse users engage with safety features on social media, to identify their strengths/limitations. Following “Safety by Design” principles, the project will collaborate with users, designers and policymakers, to produce consumer-centric recommendations to proactively design online safety mechanisms that address vulnerable consumers’ safety expectations.

WorkVentures Ltd

Appropriate device access remains a pervasive challenge for many Australians, with First Nations Australians among the most digitally excluded. Meanwhile, annually the Australian public and corporate sector refreshes c.2 million devices, with most being sold on international markets or recycled. This project supports the establishment of a National Device Bank (‘NDB’) model through a targeted First Nations proof of concept. A NDB seeks to distribute refurbished technology, donated by companies and government agencies, for free to digitally excluded communities. A NDB was also recommended by the First Nations Digital Inclusion Alliance Group (‘FNDIAG’), supporting Target 17 of Closing the Gap.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

This project progresses research funded by ACCAN (2021) which analysed digital inequalities amongst public housing residents. That project revealed the pivotal role neighbourhood centres play in digital skill acquisition and troubleshooting for people who face barriers to being digitally included. This project analyses work and learning practices of neighbourhood centre staff and students and will create insights into 1) best practice in personalised digital skill training 2) barriers to digital access that inform need for skill acquisition and troubleshooting. Findings will assist neighbourhood centres to optimise their teaching and assist telecommunications companies to address barriers that impede access.

We strongly encourage prospective applicants to phone or email ACCAN's grants team to discuss your project idea. Remember, applications are assessed independently, so we are able to help you develop your idea and hone it appropriately for the ACCAN Program. We're also available for any other questions you might have about ACCAN Grants.

Phone: 02 9288 4000

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or via the National Relay Service

 

Deaf Australia

Since publication of the ‘What Standards?’ Auslan translation guidelines in 2015, the NDIS and pandemic have significantly reshaped Auslan user needs. This project will evaluate and update these guidelines by reviewing current usage and compliance across Australia, improving guidelines for Deafblind consumers, and incorporating emerging Auslan-first products, often viewed as a better alternative to translations. Ultimately, the findings will provide Auslan translation guidelines for current and foreseeable requirements, deeper consideration of Deafblind needs, and an understanding of when Auslan-first products should be produced instead of Auslan translations.

Center For Accessibility Australia

Consumers with disability have reported to the CFAA that there is a lack of adequate mobile plan cancellation options with support limited to text-based AI chatbots and no alternative phone, email, or TTY support. This project will evaluate the support and cancellation process of all Australian companies providing a mobile SIM and create consumer resources for disability groups. Telcos will be provided guidance to improve their support offerings and accessibility to consumers with disability.

The Center For Accessibility Australia did a similar project Telcos for all: Addressing Key Accessibility Issues Faced by Consumers on Telco Carrier Websites in 2020.

Griffith University

While cybersecurity self-help advice is readily available to consumers, most resources are focused on preventing unintended sharing of devices, passwords, accounts, and personal information. This advice is ill-suited to intimate relationship contexts where sharing is common. A lack of baseline knowledge about smartphone-sharing practices and the reasons behind them has hampered Australian efforts to strengthen consumer cybersecurity. This project will create a new evidence base to understand everyday consumer smartphone sharing in intimate relationships using a survey and interviews with diverse consumers, to improve privacy protections and cybersecurity for all Australians.

Western Sydney University

Indigenous people in Western Sydney are experiencing digital divide. This interdisciplinary project will co-design with an Indigenous scholar and will be overseen by an Indigenous Research Governance Committee. By building on established relationships with Indigenous residents in Western Sydney, the project will provide needed data on Indigenous digital exclusion in Western Sydney and will provide Indigenous co-designed recommendations for closing the digital gap.

Deakin University

This project will explore how communication is defined and implications for reforms to the laws of information privacy, telecommunications surveillance, and digital markets. The team will conduct focus groups with diverse communities to enhance consumer advocacy and representation in submissions to proposed reforms and improve consumer protections.

Digital Literacy Foundation

Working towards universal digital inclusion is critical. In partnership with local Council and community organisations, this project will operate locally-based, face-to-face digital mentoring services for people in the Hawkesbury region. Workshops will build on a successful pilot program focused on increasing consumers’ access to online information, communications products, and services.

With many services digitised, older Hawkesbury residents are increasingly isolated, as the region’s rivers, bushland, unsealed roads, and devastation following fires (2019) and multiple floods (2022) has reduced access to physical services. The Hawkesbury region has a higher proportion of 50 to 84-year-olds than Greater Sydney (Census 2021), a group which, according to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index, are more likely to experience digital exclusion. The program aims to improve access to communication channels with community, family and government, including telehealth, and provide opportunities for increased social connectedness, and participation in online social and economic activities.

South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability

People with intellectual disability are at greater risk to the dangers of the online environment. However, there is limited educational information presented in formats accessible to people with intellectual disability. This project will build on an existing co-designed introductory online safety workshop to develop a series of accessible training resources focused on online safety. A co-design approach will be used to develop, test and refine the products, and gather information about communications related barriers to inform future advocacy. 

Visit SACID's website.

University of Technology Sydney

The project will map out policy options for developing a complaint-handling framework for digital platforms, addressing a critical need for the satisfactory resolution of complaints from consumers. The features of effective and accountable internal dispute resolution schemes and the options for an external complaint-handling scheme will be assessed.