Policy & Legislation

US air travel access rules will affect Australian airlines

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In a ruling issued last week by the US Department of Transportation, airlines servicing the US will need to improve access to core travel information and services on their websites and airport kiosks.

The new rule is part of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 and will come into effect on 12 December 2013. Airline website pages for booking and changing reservations will need to be accessible. Within two years, these pages must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA, with entire website compliance required within three years.


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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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