Anne McGrath

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I work part time as Education Manager at Media Access Australia (MAA). MAA is an independent not-for-profit, public benevolent institution and Australia’s primary media access organisation. The organisation's primary role is to provide information about media access and to support the development and application of technological solutions to media access issues.

My role requires me to develop solutions to the media access barriers that exist for students with sensory impairments in Australian schools. The appropriate format for those who are deaf or have hearing impairment is captioning and for students who are blind or have low vision is audio description. An important focus of my role involves liaison with educational bodies and sectors around the country to facilitate further understanding of the issues involved and to assist in finding workable solutions applicable to all. The main emphasis being to identify access gaps specifically, and finding effective ways to attempt to bridge the divide for students with sensory impairments.

I also work for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children as a Teacher / Consultant in Hearing Impairment. I work directly in mainstream schools in Sydney, Australia, with students who are deaf and those who have hearing impairment. I see first hand the difficulties that these students have in accessing curriculum support materials delivered by electronic means.

Additionally I am hearing impaired and use hearing aids and other assistive listening devices in my daily life. I have first hand experience of the issues relating to electronic media that is not accessible.