2903.0.55.002 - How Australia Takes a Census, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2006  First Issue
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July 14, 2006
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
Improving Access To The Census

People with a print or language disability will have better access than ever before to the Census.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, working in cooperation with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, has announced initiatives which will make it easier for people with a disability to access information about the Census and to fill in Census forms.

"The ABS is committed to communicating effectively with householders with a disability," the Head of Census Paul Williams said.

The ABS will provide information on the Census in formats that meet the needs of individuals with a print, language or hearing disability/impairment. The Census will be held on 8 August this year.

The Australian Electoral Commission and the ABS Statistical Publishing Development Team have been consulted for advice to assist with the development of this strategy. Vision Australia helped deliver the strategy through advice and testing of the web forms.

Advice has also been received from Better Hearing Australia, the Victorian Deaf Society and the Australian Captions Centre to better understand the needs of the hearing impaired community.

The eCensus option will allow the Census form to be filled out online and independently by people with a print disability. It is usable with the screen readers JAWS and Windows Eyes. These screen readers verbally reproduce what appears on a computer screen.

This initiative has been developed in consultations with Vision Australia and Blind Citizens Australia. It has been extensively field tested. Supporting material is also available in formats such as Braille and large print.

In addition print alternative formats of the Census guide and Census form will be available on request.

The ABS is determined that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the Census of Population and Housing on 8 August.