Media access regulation varies around the world, and may involve mandatory quotas for captioning and audio description, along with guidelines for acceptable levels of quality. Media Access Australia has put together a short summary of access regulation in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand for those interested in overseas regulations.
The United Nations
In 2008, Australia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its Optional Protocol. The UNCRPD is a powerful statement of what Australia and other United Nations members believe are the fundamental rights of people who have disabilities, and goes some way towards reducing discrimination.
Importantly, Article 21 (d) of the UNCRPD deals specifically with ensuring people with disabilities have access to media. The Article says that countries must work to reduce disability discrimination by:
‘Encouraging the mass media, including providers of information through the Internet, to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities’.
Because the Commonwealth Government signed and ratified the UNCRPD, it is required to put policies and law in place to make this happen.
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