Australian policy and legislation

Our study into education for blind and vision impaired children

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Media Access Australia has today released a landmark study into how the access needs of blind and vision impaired students can be met in Australian schools. Launched at the Blind Citizens Australia convention yesterday, it is hoped that the study informs how new technologies and systems are adopted.

While there is no official statistic for the number of blind and vision impaired children in Australia, a reasonable estimate is 4,000. The vast majority of these school age children attend mainstream schools.

The study explores how the challenge of providing access to media and technology for blind and vision impaired students is met across the public, Catholic and independent sectors. The study draws on interviews with mainstream and specialist teachers and service providers.


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How inaccessible websites could affect your vote

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In the wake of Australia's Federal election, Dr Scott Hollier looks at how voters with disability were disadvantaged by the websites and systems on offer.

Here in Australia we’ve recently had a Federal election and I must admit, I really enjoy them, especially polling day. As voting is mandatory, it’s a big community event and I find it exciting to go to the local polling place to vote and enjoy a sausage sizzle cooked up by local kids, using the opportunity to raise some money for their primary school. 


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New access for a new century: we sit down with Karen Peltz Strauss

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At the recent M-Enabling Conference hosted by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network in Sydney, one of the keynote speakers was Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA.  Peltz Strauss has been involved in access to media and information by people with disabilities for many decades, working from both the consumer and regulatory sides. Media Access Australia’s CEO Alex Varley caught up with Peltz Strauss at M-Enabling to discuss the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). Peltz Strauss was a major player in the development of the CVAA and now has the task of implementing the provisions of the Act in her capacity as a regulator.

Genesis of the CVAAof


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ACCAN calls for new access legislation

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has called for new legislation to ensure the accessibility of online content and digital technology.

The new legislation would be based America’s 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was passed in 2010. The most comprehensive access legislation in the world, it makes it mandatory for programs captioned for television broadcast to be captioned when distributed over the internet. Digital television receivers, smartphones, tablets and other devices must also be able to receive captions and play audio description.

Digital media and technology: 

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