Digital services for people with a disability are a priority in a new report, Access and Inclusion: Digital communications for all, released by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.
The report considers disability and other priority issues across a variety of digital media and communications including television, radio, computing, the Internet, mobile and emergency services. It also discusses disability issues in customer services that support these communications services.
The report finds that people with disabilities are higher than average users of television and radio but lag in the take-up of broadband and mobile services. The report points to the availability and affordability of suitable equipment and services for broadband and mobile devices as a contributing factor in low take-up.
In the report, Ofcom points to a number of areas where it is making progress in accessibility of digital services:
Television access services, including closed captioning, audio description and signing on television;
Text relay services;
Usability and affordability of equipment;
Video On Demand;
Broadband access; and
Ofcom also reminds interested parties that the current consultation on Television Access Services is open until 12 November 2009 and the consultation on Video On Demand services is open until 26 October 2009. More information on Access and Inclusion: Digital communications for all and the full report are available at the Ofcom website.