Temporary exemption application under DDA section 55: Broadcast television captioning

Exemption application

see also: submissions in response and see now decision .

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has received an application on behalf of broadcast television providers - ABC and SBS Television and networks Seven, Nine and Ten - for temporary exemption under section 55 of the Disability Discrimination Act regarding provision of captioning.

The exemption is requested for a five year period, during which the providers will implement proposals for substantial increases in captioning.

The application and proposal are attached (in MS Word format as submitted). In summary they provide for

  • Captioning of all programs (other than sport) which commence in prime-time until their conclusion
  • Staged increase in hours to reach minimum goals - 55% by end 2005 and 70% by end 2007 (6am to midnight programming)
  • Priority to be given to captioning of pre-school and children's programming - by end 2007, over 1400 hours of pre-school, children's and schools' programs will be captioned each year.

Call for submissions

In accordance with its policy on exemption applications, the Commission seeks to give interested parties an opportunity to participate in the process of considering this application.

As noted in the application, this application and the associated proposal have already been the subject of extensive discussions with disability representative organisations through a forum convened by the Commission.

Accordingly, in this instance a shortened period of four weeks is being provided for comments. Submissions are requested by 9 May 2003, preferably by email to disability@humanrights.gov.au . Submissions may also be addressed by mail to Disability Rights Unit, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, GPO Box 5218, Sydney 1042. Where submissions are made by mail, a copy on disc should be included if possible.

To promote open public discussion and exchange of views, the Commission intends to make submissions publicly available by posting submissions made electronically on its Internet site. Requests for material to be treated as confidential should be clearly indicated.

Graeme Innes
Deputy Disability Discrimination Commissioner
11 April 2003