RPH protocols

1. Introduction

1.1 RPH (Radio for the Print Handicapped) provides a unique broadcast Service that meets the needs of people with a ‘Print Disability’; people who through age, disability or lack of literacy skills are unable to effectively access printed material.

1.2 On the basis of equity, people with a print disability have the same right to access to printed information as other members of the Australian Community.

2. RPH Programming

2.1 RPH Services are provided through:

2.1.1 Dedicated RPH Stations

2.1.2 RPH programming broadcast on general community or other radio stations in blocks of at least one hour. These may be produced by the local station, an independent program producer or a dedicated RPH Service - taking into account that Community Broadcasters are allowed up to five minutes of sponsorship announcements per hour.

2.2 RPH programming comprises:

2.2.1 Reading of news and feature articles from daily, and other general circulation newspapers;

2.2.2 Subject based programs that feature readings in an identified topic area - from newspapers, magazines, and other publications.

2.2.3 Serialised book readings; and

2.2.4 Interviews, presentations and other features that relate to subjects that are of particular relevance to an audience with a print disability.

2.3 The Authority for determination of programming as defined RPH material is RPH Australia.

3. RPH Broadcasting/Programming Criteria

3.1 For programming/broadcasting to be considered ‘RPH’, the following criteria must be adhered to:

3.1.1 The ‘Core RPH Programming Period’ is a 16-hour period between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and midnight. At least 75 per cent of material broadcast during the Core Period shall comprise defined RPH material considered across an average weekly broadcasting period.

3.1.2 Material such as sponsorship announcements, music (except program themes) and other items not specific to the needs of people with a print disability shall not be included when calculating ‘RPH time’.

3.1.3 All printed items utilised shall be read in full. Material shall be presented with appropriate identification of: the publication, edition, date of publication, page number, and Author’s name. In no circumstances shall the text be varied, or any editorial comment be offered in relation to an item.

3.1.4 RPHA provides the information below to assist RPH readers to apply the requirement of clause 3.1.3 all published items utilised shall be read in full and that in no circumstance shall the text be varied.

3.1.4 (1) The requirement that a published item is read in full and that the text is not varied is not infringed where a reader finds it necessary to vary the text of the item to deal with obvious printing or grammatical errors; or

3.1.4 (2) The reader is compelled to abbreviate an article when reading up to the end time of a program or program segment.

3.1.4 (3) Readers are expected to apply the requirements of clause 3.1.3 and the permissions to depart from those requirements in 3.1.4 using judgement and common sense and with consideration for the listeners who are dependent on them for access to the information they are providing. 

3.1.5 RPH program makers and broadcasters shall engage in a process of ongoing consultation, in relation to programming with: o Print-disabled listeners to the Service; o Organisations of people with a print disability; o Organisations that provide services to people with a print disability.

3.1.6 The Corporate Structures of dedicated RPH licensees shall ensure participation in the planning and delivery of the Service by people with a print disability, as appropriate, having regard to the spirit of the Broadcasting Services Act to involve the Community of Interest.

3.1.7 RPH program makers and broadcasters shall ensure that organisations of, or providing services to people with a print disability have adequate access to RPH program time. However, the licence holder shall retain the right to ensure that all material broadcast is in conformance with quality, legislative, and legal requirements.

3.1.8 RPH program makers and broadcasters shall commit themselves to the application of both the spirit and specific obligations expressed in the Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice.

4. Standards

4.1 Compliance with the Criteria for RPH Programming/Broadcasting will serve as a demonstration of the bona fides of a RPH program maker or broadcaster, for the purposes of funding, licensing, and membership of RPH Australia.

4.2 The Determining Authority for all matters of standards in relation to this Protocol shall be RPH Australia.

Adopted by the RPH Australia Board : 29 September 2016
Effective date of implementation : 31 October 2016
Ratified by RPH Australia Members: 27 October 2016