Richard Hamon and his wife, Dorota (Image: Supplied)
Richard Hamon and his wife, Dorota (Image: Supplied)

Richard Hamon has hundreds of pages of documents to go through as part of his Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) case. Legally blind due to a degenerative genetic condition, he’s seeking more funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to allow him to travel for specialist vision assessments so that he can buy assistive technology. 

In the meantime, he needs the AAT documents in audio format. He’s been asking for this for the full 18 months the case has been with the tribunal. When he finally received them he found that instead of hiring professional readers, who note paragraph sections to allow listeners to stop, start and skim through the documents, Hamon says they have been read by National Disability Insurance Agency staff. The 17.5 hours of recordings feature popping from the reader being too close to the microphone, distortion, and no way to jump to page or paragraph sections. 

“It’s excruciating to listen to,” Hamon tells Crikey. He says the NDIA argued that professionally producing the audio files would cost too much. “I raised the concern from the outset that they would fail to meet accessibility standards.”