Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  | 

Blind Group Claims Foxtel IQ Service is “Discriminatory”


15 December 2011 at 10:10 am
Staff Reporter
Peak national consumer body, Blind Citizens Australia, says cable TV supplier Foxtel’s current subscribers who are blind or vision impaired are receiving a second class service which is discriminatory.

Staff Reporter | 15 December 2011 at 10:10 am


0 Comments


 Print
Blind Group Claims Foxtel IQ Service is “Discriminatory”
15 December 2011 at 10:10 am

Peak national consumer body, Blind Citizens Australia, says cable TV supplier Foxtel’s current subscribers who are blind or vision impaired are receiving a second class service which is discriminatory.

The peak body says it has been approached by seven individuals wanting to lodge complaints of disability discrimination against Foxtel. The complaints are expected to be lodged in early 2012.

BCA says Amanda Heal is one of a growing number of blind Foxtel subscribers expressing frustration at the inaccessibility of Foxtel's services – from Foxtel's IQ program guide, to the IQ's recording features, to the inaccessibility of television content for viewers who are blind or vision impaired.

Heal, who has been subscribed to Foxtel since 2009, says she has been left with no choice but to withdraw her original complaint of disability discrimination from the Australian Human Rights Commission due to Foxtel's resistance to increase the usability of a number of services for blind subscribers.

"Despite two years of negotiations, Foxtel still won't commit to the development of an accessible IQ set top box with audio features so that I can know what is showing next on TV or pre-record programs using the program planner.

“The program guide on their website is inaccessible and I have been told that I should record content from my iPhone – a process which is very time consuming. The irony is that I pay the same amount of money to subscribe to Foxtel as everyone else and yet I get half the service", Heal said.

"My choices are to continue to pay for a service that is only partly accessible to me or to miss out entirely. People should not be forced to take a matter to the Federal Court in order to access a basic service", said Heal.

Executive Officer of Blind Citizens Australia, Robyn Gaile says BskyB, Foxtel's counterpart in the United Kingdom, provides audio enabled set top boxes for blind and vision impaired subscribers. BskyB also provides audio described content on many of their TV channels; another sticking point for blind subscribers in the Australian market.

Audio description is a way to describe the visual elements seen on screen in a clear and private manner. It gives a person who is blind or vision impaired a true sense of what is happening on-screen with a description of scenery, costumes, facial expression and body language which is spoken between natural pauses in dialogue.

"Whilst we appreciate that Foxtel may be looking into these issues as part of their future development of their services, we are very much hoping that the new CEO of Foxtel, Richard Freudenstein will bring his expertise from BskyB to the Australian market to ensure a service that everyone can access", said Gaile.

BCA says it urges all subscribers to to voice their concerns to Foxtel directly about the lack of audio features for blind and vision impaired customers.



PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

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



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

New virtual festival is one of a KIND

Luke Michael

Saturday, 15th August 2020 at 8:00 am

Calls to get more people with disability on the NDIA board

Luke Michael

Friday, 14th August 2020 at 5:39 pm

Poor working Aussies feel uncomfortable seeking charity help

Luke Michael

Friday, 14th August 2020 at 5:27 pm

The six most common mistakes made by new NDIS providers

Faz Mohitian

Thursday, 13th August 2020 at 8:22 am

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

We need your help.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Pro Bono Australia has seen a devastating fall in advertising and less people posting on our job board, which is how we fund our free news service. You can show us that you value the work we do by making a contribution.

 Make a contribution 

You have Successfully Subscribed!