Research & policy

Americans push for accessible in-flight entertainment

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Following on from the March 2013 introduction of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act in the USA, a recent Senate hearing has heard statements that push for improvements to in-flight entertainment for Deaf and hearing impaired passengers.

As reported in USA Today, National Association of the Deaf’s policy counsel, Andrew Phillips, believes that American domestic airlines provide an inferior service to international counterparts.


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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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UK broadcasters exceed access requirements

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The bi-annual report into the provision of captioning, audio description and sign language on British TV has been released by the media regulator Ofcom. The January to June 2013 report shows that most broadcasters are exceeding their access targets.

The UK system splits the broadcasters into three levels, all based on their audience share.  The biggest category is Level 1 broadcasters, which includes the main free-to-air channels such BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5 and the main subscription channels from Sky.


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eReader producers continue fight to avoid accessibility

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eReader manufacturers Amazon, Kobo and Sony have petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to seek  exemption from laws requiring products to be accessible to users with disabilities.

The issue for the companies centres around the 21st Century Video and Communications and Video Accessibility Act requiring any product offering ‘advanced communication services’ to be “accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities”.  However, the companies argue that their budget eReaders, including the Amazon Kindle, are used primarily just for reading, and therefore the Act should not apply. The companies argue that adding accessibility features would lead to products being more expensive, heavier and with shorter battery life.

Digital media and technology: 

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