The Rudd Government has asked the public to give their input on ways to improve access to television, cinema and other electronic media for people with a hearing or vision impairment.
Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said, “Electronic media is an important source of information and entertainment for the entire community and it is important that we work to ensure people with a hearing or vision impairment can access the services they require.”
“I encourage the media industry, people with a vision and hearing impairment, and representative groups, to continue to actively participate in this investigation about improving access to media services,” added Conroy.
In line with this, Senator Conroy and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten MP, today published a discussion report, Access to Electronic Media for the Hearing and Vision Impaired: Approaches for Consideration. The report identifies approaches aimed at improved audio description and captioning levels in Australia on free-to-air and subscription television, films in cinemas, DVDs and audio-visual content on the internet.
“Society has a responsibility to support the social inclusion of people with disabilities and senior Australians. If people with disability are to be full participants in society it is crucial that they have the same access to television, the internet and other forms of communication as the rest of the community. I would urge all people with disability to make their opinions heard and contribute to this review,” Mr Shorten said.
“This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille, whose invention of the first writing system that could be used by the blind. We live in an information age, and we need to continue Louis Braille’s work to make as much information as possible available to people with a hearing or vision impairment,” added Shorten.
The paper is now available from the Department in print and audio file, and via printed ink and Braille copies as requested. Submissions close on January 29.
Further details about the investigation, and how to make submissions, are online: www.dbcde.gov.au/mediaaccessdiscussionreport