2010 Conference: Are Print Disability Consumers connected and heard locally & globally? by Di Francis and Tony Starkey

This paper was presented at the 2010 conference of the Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities. You can read listen to an audio recording of the presentation below.

Download this presentation

Audio recording of Di and Tony’s presentation (MP3, 53.1 MB)

Presenter’s bios

Tony Starkey currently manages the Royal Society for the Blind of South Australia (RSB)’s Future Solutions Project. This role involves systematic advocacy on behalf of people who are blind or vision-impaired to remove barriers to independent access in the community. Tony managed the early development of the RSB’s Books in the Sky (BITS) project, which now forms part of the RSB’s digital library service. As a consumer, Tony has participated in many review of print disability services, and is passionate about information access.

Di Francis is the coordinator of the Print Alternative Services of the RSB. This encompasses all transcription services, audio description, talking newspaper services and library services. Supporting this are programmes of community awareness which assist people and businesses in gaining insight into their role in accessible information. Through advocacy, understanding through legislation, awareness and supporting consumers in speaking up for what they would like in their daily lives.


This presentation will cover the links between consultation within the Print Disability Sector in relation to matters of accessible information, preferred end product (device), the real application of Universal Design in the real world, and the role of “Social Inclusion”.

It will provide details of what is currently happening locally and globally in addressing accessible information requirements. Identification of the consultation processes and how they impact on the current methods of service delivery will also explored. This will include the use or ignoring of both Universal Design and Social Inclusion in providing access to information.

In undertaking this, the following points will be covered.

1. Do Print Disability consumers know what they want, are they being heard and is the blindness sector the sector which appears to have the loudest voice?

2. As a provider of print disability services, who guides our direction?

3. Does the print disability sector pro-actively contribute to commercial standards, if not why not? Does it have, or should it even need to have, the capacity or resources?

4. Does the “Social Inclusion Revolution” principally driven by governments include the commercial world, if not, why not?

5. Have Social Inclusion initiatives included Universal Design and do these focus on technology instead of the people?


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