Good 360
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Leadership

Blind Woman Sues ABC for Discrimination


Tuesday, 7th July 2015 at 10:59 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
A blind woman in NSW is suing the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for failing to provide audio description as part of its regular TV programming.

Tuesday, 7th July 2015
at 10:59 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Blind Woman Sues ABC for Discrimination
Tuesday, 7th July 2015 at 10:59 am

A blind woman in NSW is suing the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for failing to provide audio description as part of its regular TV programming.

Suzanne Hudson from coastal NSW has launched a case of unlawful discrimination against the ABC for its failure to provide the audio description service – a service her lawyers say that would make ABC TV accessible for the 350,000 Australians who are blind or have low vision.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) is representing Hudson in her case, which will be heard in the Federal Circuit Court.

Audio description is a second audio track that can be turned on and off and describes the visual elements of a television program – such as actions, scene changes, gestures and facial expressions – that a person who is blind or has low vision can’t see.

Fifty-seven-year-old Hudson, who began to lose her vision when she was a child, believes that by failing to make its television broadcasting service accessible for people who are blind or have low vision, the ABC has engaged in indirect discrimination.

“Australia lags behind the rest of the world in providing audio description. Many countries, including the UK, US, Ireland, Germany and Spain, already provide the service on free-to-air or subscription services,” PIAC’s CEO, Edward Santow said.

“By comparison, 20 per cent of the UK Channel 4’s programs offer audio description, which works out at more than 33 hours per week.

“In fact, people who are blind or have low vision can watch Home and Away with audio description in the UK but not in Australia.

“While the ABC’s decision earlier this year to trial audio-described content via iview has been welcomed by the blind community, there remain significant barriers to people accessing the online service, especially for those who rely on screen-reading software.

“Audio description has already been successfully trialled by the ABC in 2012, and the technology and accessible content exists, so we are urging the ABC to take this important, permanent step towards equality,” Santow said.

The case follows the lodgement of discrimination complaints against Channels Seven, Nine, Ten SBS and Foxtel in the Australian Human Rights Commission in February.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


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

NGO Recruitment

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

...


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

Brennan IT

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Fears of Discrimination Stopping LGBTQ People Accessing Homeless Services

Wendy Williams

Friday, 8th September 2017 at 1:35 pm

Report Calls for Government to Defend Democracy

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 8th June 2017 at 8:50 am

Five Legal Steps to Remunerating Not for Profit Directors

Contributor

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017 at 8:23 am

Wake Up Call For Australia As Young People Show Concern For Mental Health

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 6th December 2016 at 8:27 am

POPULAR

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

Concerns Raised Over New ACNC Board Appointments

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th November 2017 at 2:28 pm

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

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

Adelaide at the Vanguard of Ending Street Homelessness Globally

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 21st November 2017 at 8:43 am

Write a Reply or Comment

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


Good 360
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!