ACCAN has made two submissions to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission). In these submissions we highlighted the importance of communications accessibility for consumers with disability.

Overarching submission

In ACCAN’s first submission to the Disability Royal Commission, we alerted the Commissioners to the work we have undertaken in relation to the Ideal Accessible Communications Roadmap. We provided information about the process of developing the Roadmap and highlighted some of the barriers to equitable communications access that people with disability in Australia continue to experience. These barriers include, for instance:

  • Inaccessible information, plans, and contracts;

  • Inaccessible communications technologies and devices;

  • Unaffordable communications technologies (hardware and software); and

  • Inaccessible websites, online content, audio-visual content and services.

ACCAN explained how we are planning to use the Ideal Accessible Communications Roadmap in our future work. We outlined that access to accessible and affordable communications technologies can lead to increased opportunities for people with disability, greater inclusion within society and more equal enjoyment of human rights. More work must be done to ensure a more inclusive society for all people with disability, and ACCAN believes it is important that communications accessibility form part of the Disability Royal Commission’s work.

Download: docxACCAN submission to Disability Royal Commission89.81 KB
Download: pdfACCAN submission to Disability Royal Commission213.34 KB

Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper

In ACCAN’s submission to the Disability Royal Commission’s Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper we offered insights into the accessibility of information and communications services during emergency situations, such as the 2019-2020 bushfires or the COVID-19 pandemic. We made a range of recommendations, including that:

  • Accessible information must be provided to people with disability about preparing for or responding to an emergency or disaster situation, in a range of formats and community languages.

  • The ACMA must monitor live captions to ensure greater comprehensibility of live captioned emergency broadcasts for people who rely on captions.

  • The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 must be updated to place stricter obligations on broadcasters to provide captioning and Auslan interpretation of all emergency warnings and broadcasts.

  • Apps used during emergency situations must be developed according to inclusive design principles to ensure that they are accessible for people with disability.

  • Equal access to the emergency call service must be ensured for all, including NRS users.

  • Funding and supports must be provided to ensure people with disability have access to resilient communications connections and technologies in emergency situations.

ACCAN believes that more can be done to improve the accessibility of information, communications technologies, emergency services and supports available to people with disability in Australia. We are pleased that the Disability Royal Commission is looking into this important area, and hope that it will lead to improvements for people with disability before, during and after emergency situations.

Download: docxACCAN submission - Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper800.79 KB
Download: pdfACCAN submission - Emergency Planning and Response Issues Paper309.28 KB