NDIS Criterion
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

QLD Emergency Warning Systems Disadvantage Those With Disabilities.


Thursday, 17th March 2011 at 11:48 am
Staff Reporter
The Queensland flood disaster has demonstrated strengths and weaknesses of Australia’s emergency services and warnings systems, especially in terms of access for people with a disability, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)

Thursday, 17th March 2011
at 11:48 am
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
QLD Emergency Warning Systems Disadvantage Those With Disabilities.
Thursday, 17th March 2011 at 11:48 am

The Queensland flood disaster has demonstrated strengths and weaknesses of Australia’s emergency services and warnings systems, especially in terms of access for people with a disability, according to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)

ACCAN has released a report it says explores an important dimension of Australia’s emergency management framework – access to emergency services and emergency information by people who have a disability, particularly those who are deaf or have a speech or hearing impairment.

ACCAN is the peak body that represents all consumers on communications issues including telecommunications, broadband and emerging new services.

ACCAN says it was delighted to see Auslan/English interpreters working at Premier Bligh’s emergency related media conferences.

However, it says it was disappointed to learn that these interpreters were working as volunteers, coordinated pro bono by Deaf Services Queensland, itself a Not for Profit organisation severely affected by the floods.

It says the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires that governments take “all necessary measures” to protect the safety of persons with disability and that this information should be provided in accessible formats, including sign language.

Compliance with the Convention demands that governments take responsibility for the provision of emergency information in accessible formats.

The report says that in the case of the Queensland floods, for example, the State Government should have included the hiring, briefing and coordination of NAATI-accredited professional Auslan/English interpreters for televised emergency information.

One critical consequence of the inundation in Brisbane was that the National Relay Service (NRS), an essential phone service for this sector of the community, was disrupted throughout Australia for a period of almost 24 hours from 12 January 2011.

The report says that during this period emergency service calls remained available to some, but not all, NRS users.

During the natural disaster in Queensland – and indeed in other states – consumers were advised to contact the SES for assistance.

The report says all NRS and ACE customers were unable to do so, thus putting both safety and property at risk. Some consumers in Queensland were unable to even send text messages via SMS to family and friends via mobile phone, due to disruptions to networks and electricity services.

ACCAN says the inability to contact the SES created an even greater threat and sense of isolation for disaster-affected people with a disability.

ACCAN believes that it is imperative that the issue of emergency call-back capacity – including to consumers who make emergency calls via mobile phones (voice or SMS), VOIP, TTY-based relay services, Speak and Listen relay service, internet relay, and even captioned telephony and video relay – be specifically addressed by the ACMA as part of the issue of enhanced mobile location information.

ACCAN says the ability of emergency services to call back a consumer in the event that the consumer is disconnected is absolutely essential to ensure consumer safety.

ACCAN says it hopes that some good can, however, come out of the disaster, with improved access to emergency call services and information for people with disability.

The report includes recommendations for a number of agencies, to improve access to emergency call services and information for people with disability.

The report can be downloaded at:
http://www.accan.org.au/uploads/Queensland%20Flood%20Disaster_Access%20for%20PWD%20report.pdf
 



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

...


More Suppliers


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Underemployment Negatively Affecting Mental Health of People with Disabilities

Luke Michael

Friday, 13th October 2017 at 11:46 am

The Top 5 Things I Learned When Launching My Social Enterprise

Rachel Golding

Wednesday, 4th October 2017 at 8:56 am

NDIS Pricing – New Research Confirms Risks to Service Users

David Gilchrist

Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 8:42 am

POPULAR

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

Donors Looking for a Personalised Experience to Give More – Study

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 8th November 2017 at 1:43 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


NDIS Criterion
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!