Research & policy

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US bill introduced to update Communications Act accessibility

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US Senators Mark Pryor and John Kerry have introduced the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act (S. 3304). The measure is a major step forward in ensuring accessible technology for people with disabilities. Also co-sponsoring are Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad.

The purpose of S. 3304 is to update existing requirements to make television and telephone services accessible in light of the convergence of these with the Internet, digital and broadband technologies. Basically, it is to ensure that captioning and audio description (known as video description in the USA) would remain with the content, whatever the delivery mechanism (i.e. television, streaming video, mobile content). 


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Human Rights Commission releases submissions to the subscription television exemption application

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The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released submissions to the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association’s (ASTRA) application on minimum captioning requirements. The application, if accepted, would make ASTRA exempt from complaints under section 55 of the Disability Discrimination Act (Cth) (DDA) in exchange for undertaking to increase the level of captioning on subscription television.

The AHRC has released submissions from Media Access Australia, the Deafness Council of Western Australia (DCWA), Vision Australia, the Deafness Forum of Australia, the Disability Discrimination Legal Service (Victoria) (DDLS), Deaf Australia and Accessible Arts NSW.  To read the submission, go to the AHRC website.

To read summaries of these submissions, visit our enquiries and consultations section.


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