Telecommunication services play a vital role in the lives of all Australians. Telco services facilitate business, employment, community participation and social interaction. However, some people with disability find it difficult to make effective use of telecommunications services. To improve this situation, the National Relay Service (NRS) plays a significant role in assisting people who are deaf, hearing or speech impaired to communicate using the telephone. The terms of reference for this review were released in July 2011. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (the Department) received 66 submissions and directly engaged with a range of individuals and stakeholders.
This review identified technologies that may improve the NRS user experience. These include two-way internet relay, captioned telephony and mobile text-based access to emergency services. Video relay can also improve the communications experience for people who use Auslan as their primary language.