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From this page, you can access our current Disability Action Plan as well as our past plans and independent review reports.

You can also review information on our key achievements over the past 34+ years for Australians with disability.

Disability Action Plan

People living with disability benefit from technology

Our First Accessibility & Inclusion Plan 2017-2019

We're proud to be a corporate leader in serving customers with disability and addressing barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

In 1996 we formalised commitments to ensure Australians with disability have access to communications, including to the latest technological advances, by becoming one of the first major Australian corporations to lodge a Disability Action Plan with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Now, after six Disability Action Plans, Telstra has launched its first Accessibility and Inclusion Plan. Accessibility is about opportunity. It is about creating an inclusive society where the barriers to equal participation are removed. It is about everyone having equal access – to all elements of the physical and digital world.

Our Plan reflects our commitment as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and forms a key part our customer, sustainability and people strategies.

Our Plan is the result of ongoing consultation with key disability consumer bodies and organisations, as well as extensive engagement with business areas and individuals with across the company.

The pillars of our first Accessibility & Inclusion Plan are to:

  1. Improve Customer Experience: We want to make sure that our premises¸ products, services and information are accessible and easy to use and meet the needs of a diverse customer base. This is about intimately understanding the needs of our customers.
  2. Create a Fully Inclusive Workplace: At its heart, this is about culture. We know our people are our most powerful tool in building inclusion. To deliver brilliant customer experiences for everyone, we need a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusion. So our focus here is on raising awareness, building empathy and accessibility knowhow, and employing people with diverse abilities.
  3. Innovate for the Future: This is about using our skills and capabilities as a leading innovator to create accessible new technology, products and services that empower everyone to fully participate. We will do this by pushing the boundaries of technology to shape solutions for the future, drawing on universal design and partnering with others to innovate.

With technology driving such rapid change, there has never been a better time to focus on accessibility and inclusion and our vision remains to ensure we create a brilliant connected future for everyone.

Our First Accessibility & Inclusion Plan

Telstra's Sixth Disability Action Plan 2013 – 2016 (PDF)

Telstra's Sixth Disability Action Plan 2013 – 2016 (DOC)

You can also view past Disability Action Plans and Review reports on our reports page.

We've been a leader for many years in addressing disability issues and in ensuring our products, services and information are accessible to customers.

Ensuring people with a disability have access to the standard telephone service and new telecommunication innovations are ongoing challenges. The historical timeline below tracks our major achievements from the introduction of disability equipment in 1981 to the present.


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1993 | 1989 | 1988 | 1981
 

Major achievements
2014
  • Telstra launched an Accessibility Portal for customers to search for the accessibility features of Telstra mobiles to help them choose a device to suit their specific needs.
  • An Open Captions Genre was implemented on the BigPond movies website.
  • CAPTCHAs were removed from all pages on Telstra.com.
  • More than 400 people with disability or who are otherwise disadvantaged were employed through Telstra’s Supported Workforce Program.
2013
  • An independent review of Telstra’s 5th Disability Action Plan, 2010-12 found that of 80 Telstra DAP actions: 75 (94%) were either Completed or Ongoing; 3 were In Progress; and, 2 had yet to be actioned.
  • Telstra and ACCAN co-hosted M-Enabling Australasia in Sydney, bringing together over 300 stakeholders to explore and improve access to mobiles for Australians with disability and older Australians.
  • Telstra launched its 6th Disability Action Plan 2013-2016 on 3 December, International Day of People with Disability. The Plan comprises 15 commitments and over 40 specific actions.
2012
  • Telstra’s Supported Workforce Program, a diversity in procurement initiative that employs over 200 people with disability nationwide in partnership with Australian Disability Enterprises won the Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities Award to celebrate International Day of People with Disability on 3 December. The Awards recognise individuals and organisations whose contributions improve the lives of people with disability.
  • Telstra partnered with Able Australia to develop a digital literacy program for deafblind Australians.
  • Telstra supported the National Disability Insurance Scheme: Telstra was the major sponsor of the Every Australian Counts, NDIS - Make it Real 2012 Campaign rallies held around Australia in 2012.
2011
  • Telstra launched the third generation of Telstra’s Next G™ EasyTouch® Discovery postpaid and second generation of Telstra’s EasyCall prepaid mobile phones, both providing a wide range of accessible features for people with disability.
  • Telstra made two submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Disability Care and Support, in support of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, including recommendations to ‘include telecommunications’.
  • Telstra was major sponsor of the National Disability & Carer Congress in May 2011.
2010
  • Telstra lodged its 5th Disability Action Plan 2010-2012 with the Australian Human Rights Commission to co-incide with International Day of People With Disability 2010. The focus of this Plan includes: Customers - to provide affordable, innovative and accessible products and services which improve the quality of life for Telstra customers with a disability and their carers; Communities - to support and create opportunities for people with a disability and their carers to participate within our community, particularly through the use of our information, communication and technology capabilities; and People - to improve Telstra's attraction, recruitment, engagement and retention of people with a disability and their carers.
  • An independent review of Telstra's 4th Disability Action plan 2007-2009 found that 33 of 42 items in the Plan were complete or on-going with high achievement; there was extensive progress on 4 items; with 5 items still in progress.
  • Telstra EasyCall mobile phone launched -a very low cost, prepaid mobile phone with a host of accessible features.
  • Dr Denise Wood, from the University of SA, was awarded the 2010 Christopher Newell Prize for Telecommunications and Disability for her paper, “Communicating in Virtual Worlds through an Accessible Web 2.0 Solution". Telstra announced it will once again sponsor the prize in 2011.
2009
  • Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Prize for Telecommunications and Disability announced ($20,000), to be awarded for the best original paper offered for publication by the Telecommunications Journal of Australia that demonstrates the tangible benefits that an innovative use of telecommunications technology can deliver in assisting individuals with disabilities.
  • Telstra launches Next G™ network EasyTouch® Discovery II mobile handset, developed for and with input from older people and people with disability.
2008
  • 20th meeting of Telstra Disability Forum and Disability Equipment Program Consumer Advisory Group held.
  • Telstra launches Next G™ network EasyTouch® Discovery mobile handset, developed for and with input from older people and people with disability.
2007
  • Telstra launches its Fourth Disability Action Plan - 2007-09.
  • The application process for most Telstra Disability Equipment Program products improved so most eligible customers no longer need to complete an application form, leading to faster delivery of products and an improved customer experience.
  • Testing of Telstra Next G™ mobile phones by National Acoustics Laboratories and customers finds that people with hearing aids and cochlear implants can successfully use 3G mobile phones without an assistive device in almost all situations.
2006
  • Disability Services included into Telstra Compliance and Corporate Ethics Framework
  • Telstra Diversity Council Taskforce for Disability established
2005
  • An independent review of Telstra's Third Disability Action Plan 2002-04 found that 92 per cent of the actions were complete and eight per cent rated extensive progress
  • Telstra was principal sponsor of the 20th Deaflympic games, held in Melbourne
  • A Big Button Multipurpose phone, developed in consultation with the Telstra Disability Equipment Program Consumer Advisory Group, was added to the Telstra Disability Equipment Program
  • Telstra Disability Forum Payphones Working Group develops a draft Payphones Industry Code
2004
  • Disability Awareness online training made mandatory for Telstra employees with customer contact
  • Telstra takes up first year of three year major sponsorship of NSW "Don't DIS My ABILITY" campaign held on 3 December, centred around International Day of People with a Disability
  • Cordless phone added to Telstra Disability Equipment Program
2003
  • Telstra wins PM Employer of the Year Award for Leadership in Disability
  • Telstra Wholesale Disability Equipment Program launched
  • Telstra establishes 47 Telstra Country Wide offices and specialised community agencies to display Telstra disability equipment
  • Telstra launches a new standard rental phone (T1000S), incorporating a number of accessible features for people with disability, including volume control
  • Braille teletypewriter (TTY) and Large Visual Display TTY introduced into Telstra's Disability Equipment Program
  • Fault reporting procedure introduced specifically for TTYs
  • TTY Payphone locations and catalogue of products and services for older people and people with a disability published online
2002
  • Telstra launches its third Disability Action Plan 2002 - 2004
  • Telstra makes commitments to people with Intellectual Disability
2001
  • Launch of online Disability Awareness leaning program for Telstra staff
  • Launch of Telstra's Centre for Accessibility
2000
  • Catalogue of products and services for older people and people with a disability released
  • Telstra Disability Equipment Program Consumer Advisory Group established
  • Telstra Paralympic Employment Program established
  • Telstra wins the Supertext "Advertiser of the Year" award
1999
  • Release of second Telstra Disability Action Plan 1999-2001
  • Telstra Disability Forum established
  • 100th TTY Payphone installed
  • Captioned video in AUSLAN on Telstra's Disability Equipment Program released
1998
  • Telstra's Disability Equipment Program expanded to include Teletypewriters (TTYs)
  • Introduction of the Telstra Braille Bill
1997
  • Centralised Disability Enquiry Hotline established
  • Staff Disability Awareness program established
1996
  • Release of Telstra's first Disability Action Plan 1996-98, a landmark for the business community in Australia.
1993
  • Introduction of Payphone Access Policy to improve accessibility to Telstra payphones
1989
  • Telstra Consumer Consultative Councils established
1988
  • Disabilities Program Unit established
  • Telstra Aged and Disability Centres established in each state capital city
  • Telstra Credit Management Working Group established
1981
  • Specialised products to assist people with a disability to use the standard telephone introduced