Telstra support to create accessible app for blind children

Group Managing Director, Telstra Enterprise & Government, Paul Geason and RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn work on RIDBC apps.

The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) has been awarded $10,000 through Telstra’s Everyone Connected program to develop an iPad app which will help children who are blind or have vision loss.

The iPad app, My Playground Adventure, will teach young children who are blind or have vision loss how to use the built-in, VoiceOver screen reader to navigate and control the device.

“RIDBC is extremely grateful for this $10,000 grant. It will allow us to develop an iPad app to directly enhance the outcomes for children with vision loss,” said RIDBC Chief Executive, Chris Rehn.

“With built-in accessibility options such as the ability to navigate using voice controls or finger gestures connected to speech output, everyday technologies such as iPads are increasingly providing children who are blind or have vision loss access to the world around them.  The app will help children become proficient in using an iPad and this in turn will help to build their confidence.”

Telstra Area General Manager for Sydney South, Dom Galluccio, said the Telstra Foundation had been overwhelmed by the response from non-profit organisations across Australia.

“More than 1200 organisations applied for a $10,000 grant which was well above our expectations,” he said. “While all the applicants are making a significant contribution to their local community, the 100 successful recipients are delivering programs which focus on education, cyber safety, indigenous development through technology or connecting members of the community with a disability.

“As people increasingly go online for both business and social purposes, the consequences of not being connected become much more profound. Telstra’s view is that access is fundamental and as an organisation we are determined to help people develop the skills and capability to go online and stay safe and protected while they are doing so – that’s what these grants are all about.

RIDBC relies significantly on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives.  In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest provider of services for children with hearing or vision loss, assisting thousands of children a year across Australia.  As Australia’s premier provider of training and education for professionals in the field of sensory disability, RIDBC ensures that services delivered throughout government and non-government organisations remains cutting-edge.