Top 12 of 2012 #10 – helping seniors get online

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Friday, 14 December 2012 10:04am

An important part of life for many older Australians is keeping in touch with family and friends, researching hobbies and interests and staying up-to-date with news.  In July, we launched a project to help older people get online and stay online as they begin to experience age-related disabilities.

In partnership with the Council on the Ageing Western Australia (COTA WA) and funded by the nib Foundation, we produced resources which will enable COTA WA member organisations to help individual members and train workshop coordinators on computer accessibility, assistive technology and social media.

The main resource is a practical, step-by-step guide showing how to enable accessibility features or work around accessibility problems in popular computer programs and social media websites. This was distributed to over 150 COTA WA member organisations across the State.  Each location received both electronic and print copies of the guide.  Media Access Australia’s WA Manager and author of the guide, Dr Scott Hollier, also conducted a series of briefings for COTA WA to help them get the most out of the guides.

Ken Marston, Executive Director of COTA WA, said, “Disability is unfortunately a part of life for many seniors, so this project has been very important for COTA WA.”

“We know that, for example, 40% of those aged between 65 and 69 and 88% of those aged 90 years and over are affected by a disability , compared to 3.4% of children aged 4 and under.”

Helping seniors with disabilities get online is also available as an audio book which can be downloaded for free from the Geoff Gallop Digital Library.

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