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Comms Alliance, AMTA say industry can solve accessibility

Adam Bender | Aug. 19, 2013
Telco industy association open to "conversation" about legislation.

The groups announced a new Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative website, located at, to help seniors and people with disabilities to find accessible mobile devices. Users can search for devices that run specific accessibility apps and more than 110 other features.

"For example, a person with vision impairment can now use the GARI website to search for a new smartphone or tablet that works with their favourite text-to-speech app that can read out emails and text messages along with other features they might be searching for like voice recognition software or a high contrast display," said MMF secretary general, Michael Milligan.

The service is part of an effort by the mobile industry to break down barriers to people with disabilities, said AMTA's Althaus.

"Originally developed in response to requests from disability groups for improved information on accessibility features, the latest evolution of the GARI project shows the industry's commitment to improve access to mobile phone technology for the people who can benefit from it the most," he said.

However, a report released yesterday by Media Access Australia (MAA) concluded that Australia has fallen behind on another area of accessibility -- captioning for video on demand.

"Consumers are increasingly watching TV programs and movies online, on a variety of devices," said MAA TV project manager, Chris Mikul.

"In Australia, the only networks which provide captioning on their catch up services are the ABC and SBS. The only Australian video on demand service to offer captioning on some content is iTunes."


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