I’m very interested by Hazel Phillips’ post over at the NBR. The social media aspect of it is a distraction, but the underlying question is interesting. I’m really keen to help out, and think we can do amazing things with the tech community, sponsorship, and fundraising. BUT! I have a bunch of questions first. If you can add any information to the comments below, or over on Facebook, please do.
Is it the case that deaf people in New Zealand have little or no access to modern technology to help them out? Or is it more the case that “standard” technology like iPads and Android devices simply aren’t usable by the people that would need to use them? What are accessibility standards like on these devices, from a real user point of view – not just someone like me who might just play with the “high-contrast” option to see what it looks like?
Is someone already doing this somewhere? I’m more than happy to help this happen from scratch, but are we wasting effort if we could be helping out an existing organisation doing similar work? Or are existing organisations not doing it “right”?
Nic Steenhout pointed out in a comment that ACC only covers adaptive technology for disabilities that come from injury. Even in this case, do they cover the choice of the user, or provide some standard technology from a catalogue, a-la Pharmac?
So many questions, and this is just scraping the surface.
Basically I’d love to know: would a fund to provide new, touchscreen and/or tablet-style devices to New Zealanders with disabilities be a useful thing?
Consider this a clearinghouse – lets just braindump all ideas, issues, and questions here and then work out the next step in a few days.