Accessibility

grandma looks at an ipad with her grandchildren 

The principle of accessibility - a benchmark for industry-based dispute customer resolution services - requires us to promote our services, be easy to use and have no cost barriers. We raise awareness about our service to make it easier for consumers to know what to do if they have a problem with their telco services. We regularly publish information about our statistics and issues that affect consumers and providers. 

Publications

We moved our TIO Talks newsletter from a quarterly hardcopy publication to a monthly online and email publication. This allows us to give the public and our stakeholders more timely, convenient and relevant information.
You can subscribe to TIO Talks, via an online form on our website.  

Looking ahead: social media

We will be on Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn in 2015-16 to raise awareness about the TIO by sharing information about complaint trends, news and case studies.

Outreach activities

Our outreach activities took us to 64 events in all states of Australia in 2014-15. These ranged from discussions with small groups to presentations at national conferences. We mainly speak with intermediaries such as financial counsellors and social workers who are in contact with consumers who may find it difficult to access the TIO.

Indigenous consumers

We launched a suite of resources developed for intermediaries who work with Indigenous consumers in remote communities. 
The resources consist of: 
  • a flipchart that tells the stories of two Indigenous consumers who had complaints resolved by the TIO 
  • a poster, and 
  • a brochure. 
The posters have been translated into five Indigenous languages:
  • Kriol
  • Arrernte
  • Warlpiri
  • Yolngu Matha
  • Pitjantjatjara
We will distribute the kit of resources to federal government workers, financial counsellors, community lawyers and money management workers who work with or in remote Indigenous communities. 

People with disabilities

Some of our achievements under our Disability Action Plan in 2014-15 included:
  • visits by the Ombudsman to all state Deaf societies with the exception of Queensland
  • a videoconference with Deaf consumers in Toowoomba
  • our first Critical Friends Group meeting in October 2014, and
  • updated brochures in large format and audio versions.

Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

The focus of our engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities was distributing our updated multilingual brochure to migrant resource centres throughout Australia. The brochure includes six new languages to provide information about the TIO to new and emerging communities. The new  languages are:
  • French
  • Tamil
  • Swahili
  • Assyrian, and
  • Chin Hakha.

Sponsorships

Each year we sponsor a small number of events that will improve our accessibility to disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers. In 2014-15, these events were:

Event 2014-15
National Association of Community Legal Centres $3,000
Money Workers Association of the NT conference $2,200
Financial Counsellors Association NSW Conference $2,200
Financial and Consumer Rights Council conference $2,200
Financial Counsellors Association of WA conference $2,200
Financial Counselling Australia Conference $22,500