Policy & Legislation

Is access to the internet a human right?

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The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) held a public talk on Thursday which explored the issue of access to the internet and the web as a human right. Among the speakers was our deputy CEO Natalie Collins, who spoke on how people with disability rely on the internet.

The Rights Talk was well attended with approximately 50-60 people filling the room at the AHRC offices. Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes chaired the event and began by introducing the concept of human rights and how the internet and access to it is integral for society.

He asked Collins and other panel members if they perceived internet access as a human right.


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US adopts rules to make electronic devices more accessible

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a set of rules which will make a wide range of electronic devices more accessible for the Deaf or hearing impaired and blind or vision impaired.

The rules cover any device which is used to receive or play digital video, including televisions, set-top boxes, computers and smartphones. From now on, these will need to have on-screen text menus and program guides which are audibly accessible (i.e. the user can opt to hear them spoken), and a single button, key or icon to activate accessibility features such as closed captions.


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ABC report on audio description finally released

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After being delivered to the then Department of Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy at the end of 2012, the report from the ABC on the audio description trial has finally been released to the public.

The report gives the ABC’s feedback on the technical aspects of delivering audio description (AD) in Australia’s broadcast environment. A number of key findings emerged from the report which will impact on delivery of a service in the future.


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