Research & policy

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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Americans seek accessible flight entertainment

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The Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR) has sent a letter to the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking an extension of the Department’s ruling that all airline safety and information video material must be captioned to include entertainment videos. 

The letter, which is coordinated and co-signed by members of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT), argues that disabled passengers pay the same fare as everybody else, but are denied access to the entertainment systems. Furthermore, they say that many of the video programs shown have already been captioned and audio described in other formats and releases and therefore providing access would not be difficult. The airline entertainment system providers have said that they can display captions and provide audio description if it is included.


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FCC releases broadband plan for the US

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the US communications regulator, has released its National Broadband Plan for the US. The plan revolves around expanding access to broadband through promoting competition in the industry, supporting universal service requirements, and reforming policy and legislation to maximise the benefits which broadband can provide.

The broadband plan notes that, in the US, people with disabilities were much less likely to use broadband than others. Indeed, whilst the national average adoption rate is approximately 65%, the adoption rate for people with disabilities is only 42%. This puts Americans with disabilities in a broadband adoption range similar to Americans with low incomes (40%) and those over the age of 65 (35%). Americans with disabilities make up 39% of all those who do not use broadband.


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DBCDE releases submissions to the Media Access Review Discussion Report

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The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has released submissions to the Media Access Review Discussion Report.

A large number of submissions were made from Deaf and hearing impaired representative groups, blind and vision impaired representative groups, industry, media access groups, and individuals. Issues discussed included the captioning and audio description (AD) of televised and online content, multichannels, and emergency and advertising information. You can read the submissions at the DBCDE website. Below are summaries of submissions by representative and industry groups.


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