Main content

Alert message

This short report details the development of the Newell Network website www.newell.org.au, a growing community-based space that empowers individuals with complex communication needs and support organisations to share information about telecommunciations products that work for them. The reflections on the project from Novita Children's Services and partners are a valuable record of the collaborative potential in a web 2.0 approach to empowering people with disabilities.

The term 'complex communication needs' (CCN) describes people with little or no speech, who often rely on telecommunications solutions to participate fully in society. Access to information has been identified as the first priority in enabling people with CCN to access telecommunications that would enhance their lives.

The project received funding and in-kind support from the ACCAN Grants Scheme, the Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) and Telstra. The engine behind the project has been a passionate reference group of organisations and individuals, including those with complex communication needs. The very fact that those with complex communication needs were involved in the process required new methods of communication to be explored and tested, particularly given that the communication needed to occur between members who were located in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The report also details the process of developing the interactive structure of the online forum, including the website specifications.

The project has demonstrated that there are important solutions available to assist those with complex communication needs and that there are community minded individuals who are prepared to share their experience and knowledge. Recommendations are made for the further development and ongoing moderation of the site, as well as the need for ongoing funding. 

 

Find and share information at www.newell.org.au

Download The Newell Network: Telecommunication solutions for people with complex communication needs [Word Doc - 819 KB]

Download The Newell Network: Telecommunication solutions for people with complex communication needs [Adobe PDF - 2.25MB]