Media Access Australia

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Media Access Australia (MAA) strives for accessibility and inclusion through technology and is Australia's only independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to increasing access to websites and digital media for people with disabilities. This includes those who are Deaf, hearing impaired, blind or vision impaired, or have a cognitive disability, as well as older Australians, those from non-English-speaking backgrounds, and people with varying levels of education and literacy.[1]

In addition to MAA’s advocacy efforts, the organisation provides clients with digital accessibility services from a team of skilled specialists that work with local, state and federal governments, corporations, educational institutions, and charities to maximise engagement and inclusion for the broadest possible audience.

MAA works alongside organisations to audit, review and implement accessibility, along with providing training for staff in best-practice digital access. The organisation also runs a university accredited online course – the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility (PCWA) – that is run in six-week modules, with three to four intakes each year.

MAA is also focussed on audio-visual media, including streaming services, TV, cinema, DVDs and new media, by providing information about technological solutions that make audio-visual media accessible to people with disabilities. These solutions include audio description, captioning and mainstream new media technologies. MAA supports improvements in media access in Australia towards international best practice by identifying mainstream technological solutions and cost-effective ways to promote and implement them.

To this end, MAA works collaboratively with consumer organisations, Government and industry in Australia and internationally.

Background[edit]

Media Access Australia was formerly the Australian Caption Centre (ACC),[2] co-founded by Adam Salzer and Alexandra Hynes in 1982. In 2005, ACC sold its commercial operations including captioning services to Red Bee Media,[3] and became Media Access Australia (MAA). MAA is an independent not-for-profit organisation that now mainly relies on its web and digital accessibility consulting services to fund its activities and advocacy.

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