Screen grab of the Affordable Access website showing 7 people using devices
‘Affordable Access’ was launched at ACCAN’s annual conference on 14 September 2016. It’s an online resource where people with hearing, sight, mobility or cognitive disabilities and impairments can find information and make educated choices on low-cost software and devices that support their everyday needs.
The initiative was put together by Media Access Australia (MAA) with funding support provided by ACCAN, and MAA’s Deputy CEO Natalie Collins believes that it will be an invaluable go-to destination for the one in five Australians with some form of disability, along with those acting in support roles.
“Access to the internet and being able to interact with websites, social media and consume media is an integral part of being engaged in society. Affordable Access provides consumers irrespective of age, ability or computer proficiency with practical real-world information to make informed choices, particularly on affordability,” she said.
The content-rich website contains freely-downloadable resources on options priced up to $250, specifically created for different audiences including: students, carers and parents, seniors, and those in the workforce. The options presented include everyday commonly-used products plus additional options for those who are more tech savvy. To help people find what they are after quickly, the site is divided into four categories: What’s accessible, What’s available, What’s suitable, and What’s possible.
“We congratulate Media Access Australia on developing this useful resource that will help consumers with a disability access technology that works for them,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “Technology and the internet are essential tools that give access to entertainment, employment opportunities and services. For these reasons it’s imperative that consumers of all abilities can access technology and the online world.”
Research for the content featured on the site was conducted by Dr Scott Hollier, Specialist Advisor on Digital Accessibility at Media Access Australia, along with a research team from VisAbility. The people interviewed for the project had a variety of different needs and abilities, ensuring that the content can provide assistance based on type of product, type of disability, and common life scenarios.
The website features information on the specific accessibility features included in popular devices such as tablets, smartphones, desktop computers, TV media players, and telco plans that provide the best deals for the average user on a budget.
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