The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released their Human Rights and Technology Final Report, the results of a three-year project led by Commissioner Edward Santow that analyses how emerging technologies affect and interact with human rights and provides recommendations to the Australian government based on these trends.
The report is divided into two major sections:
- Artificial Intelligence (with subsections AI-informed decision making; AI Safety Commissioner; Facial recognition and biometric tech; and Algorithmic bias) and
- Accessible Technology.
The Commission’s focus on emerging and existing accessible technology highlighted the areas where that tech is lacking. This section of the report aims to improve “the accessibility of goods, services and facilities that use Digital Communication Technology for people with disability”.
The key messages identified by the report’s findings about accessible technology in Australia are:
- Access to technology is an enabling right for people with disability.
- Access to technology unlocks employment, education and other opportunities for people with disability.
- Accessible design of new technology benefits everyone—people with disability, business and the whole community.
From their findings, the AHRC put together 15 recommendations aimed at the Australian federal Government as well as state, territory and local governments, specifically the Attorney-General; the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; the Digital Transformation Agency; the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications; the Communications and Media Authority; Standards Australia; NBN Co; the National Disability Insurance Agency; and the Disability Reform Council.
The recommendations can be read at the AHRC’s website. Many of them include the need for these organisations to consult with people with disabilities.