People with disability need to have access to information about their everyday lives. This is important as a basic human right, and for privacy, safety and protection from discrimination. They also need the opportunity to have a say about decisions that affect their lives. To make sure this happens, they might need both accessible technology and the opportunity to have a conversation with the right person.
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released its Human Rights and Technology Final Report 2021 (the Final Report). The key messages from the report are that:
- Australians want fair and safe technology
- Stronger laws and policies are needed to protect our human rights
- Australia can lead the way globally in responsible innovation
Edward Santow, the AHRC Commissioner, led a three-year project to put together the recommendations for the Final Report. It focuses on upholding human rights with:
- a national strategy on new and emerging technology
- the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in decision making
- an AIF Safety Commissioner
- accessible technology for people with disability
To make sure Australia’s laws, funding, policies and education on technology uphold human rights, the Final Report includes 38 recommendations. They are informed by:
- 291 written submissions
- 725 consultation participants
- 2,149 national survey participants.
Recommendation 25 from the Final Report looks at digital communication technology and advises that all Australian governments:
- make sure more of their communications are available in an Easy English (Easy Read) format
- support people with disability by making it possible for them to talk with a person about their needs and the services they are accessing
We hope that the recommendations from the Final Report support more Australians to use technology and access information.
You can find out more about the report and the recommendations on the AHRC website.