Blind activist launches petition for accessible inflight entertainment

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 11:15am

Philip Chalker has launched a petition on Change.org, asking that Virgin Australia provide audio description for people who are blind or vision impaired on its inflight entertainment systems.

Little boy wearing headphones inflight

“As someone who is blind, while my fellow jet lagged travellers get through the hours watching movies - I'm often left calling for help or not knowing what's happening on screen,” writes Chalker on his petition web page.

In 2014, Emirates airline introduced audio description on its inflight entertainment system. 16 Disney movies were initially provided on all Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. Qantas has also improved its inflight accessibility for people who are blind by allowing passengers to activate the access features on the iPads it uses to deliver entertainment on 17 domestic routes.

Earlier this year, blind activist Stephen Jolley launched another petition on Change.org calling on the Minister for Communications to change the laws so that TV channels are required to provide audio description. His petition is now close to reaching its goal of 1,500 supporters.

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