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Able Australia

Grant round: 2014

Grant amount: $10,000

In 2005 it was estimated that 288,300 Australians are living with both a profound hearing and vision loss, and as Australia's ageing population increases this number can only grow. With the advent of better technology, including cheaper, user-friendly smartphones and tablets, the Deafblind community has readily joined the digital revolution and, like the rest of the community, needs to interact with telecommunications customer service.

Consumers who are deaf and blind frequently use an intermediary to communicate over the phone. The barriers to accessing customer service are twofold: the web interfaces of both the National Relay Service (NRS) and telecommunications service providers can be confusing or appear cluttered, and customer service representatives may not have the training or authorisation to accept calls through an intermediary.

Able Australia has documented their experiences of working with this group of consumers and examined current practices overseas. As a result, they have produced a report that will be used to engage with telecommunications providers in order to explore ways of adapting their processes to ensure equal access for all their customers.

Project Lead: Ben McAtamney

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