Telstra launches communications initiatives for disabled Australians

Telco unveils portal for specialised smartphone selection, removes CAPTCHAs, pursue open captioning

The header of Telstra portal for people with disability.

The header of Telstra portal for people with disability.

As part of its sixth, three-year Disability Action Plan, Telstra has unveiled three new initiatives aimed at supporting persons with disability in accessing communications services.

The services were revealed today (September 16) by Telstra consumer group managing director, Karsten Wildberger, at the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) ‘Connecting Today’s Consumer’ conference in Sydney.

The telecommunications provider has created a portal accessible via the front page of its web site (at Telstra.com) which enables criteria-based selection of mobile devices. This is based on the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative.

The 20 filters are segmented into ‘vision’, ‘dexterity’, ‘hearing’, ‘hardware’, and ‘cognition’, giving users the ability to select certain features in order to find the most appropriate device from the 16 listed products (from Apple, HTC, LG, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Telstra itself).

Telstra claims to be first carrier globally to provide customers with direct access to this information, and expects to simplify purchasing for the four million Australians living with disabilities, as well as seniors.

“We want all our customers to have a brilliant experience with us, and helping them find the devices and apps that best meet their needs is fundamental to that,” Wildberger said.

In addition to the portal, Telstra has confirmed it has completely removed the use of CAPTCHAs from its web site. Its intent to do so was announced last year, and received support from the ACCAN on December 3.

CAPTCHAs require users to fill out a box with obscurely-animated letters and numbers (and even images) to prove they are human.

While the intent of CAPTCHAs is to minimise spam, ACCAN disability policy advisor, Wayne Hawkins, said at the time, “CAPTCHA tests fundamentally fail to recognise people with disability as human.”

The final piece of this Telstra announcement is that it has also added open captions to 14 BigPond movie titles, and promised to increase that number “over time, until the technical capacity that will enable closed captions to be offered across all platforms is completed.”

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags lgtelecomsaccanDisability Action PlanTelcocaptchasonydisabilityTelstraTelecommunicationsApplesamsunghtcNokia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Nermin Bajric
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?