Category: Technology

NDIS App Trial

The App makes it easier to claim and managing your budget. The trial App will allow NDIS to help them improve the App before it is released to the public. 

You need to be: 

  1. Self-manage your plan, 
  2. Use smart phone regularly, and
  3. Currently making claims on NDIA ‘myplace’ portal. 

If you are interested to test/ trial the App, please send email to NDIA at [email protected] with email subject as ‘Deaf Australia Mobile App Invitation’. NDIA will ask you a few questions before providing you a link to download the App. 

Copy paste this script in your email to NDIA. 


Subject:  Deaf Australia Mobile App Invitation

Good (morning / afternoon) 

I am responding to a social media post from Kyle Miers, Chief Executive of Deaf Australia, regarding trialling the NDIA App. 

I am interested in trialling the NDIA App, please email me with further instruction. 

With regards

(your name)

Good luck.


Huawei’s AI-powered app is now Auslan compatible, helping deaf and hard of hearing children
and their parents to enjoy story time together.

SYDNEY, Australia — March 7, 2019

Huawei, a leader in global technology, has today announced the launch of StorySign app in Australia, which uses the power of AI to enrich story time for deaf and hard of hearing children and their parents by creating an authentic reading experience. 

Officially announced last year and now available in Auslan, the sign language of Australia’s deaf community, Huawei’s StorySign app harnesses the power of AI to open the world of books to deaf children and their families. Featuring popular children’s book ‘Where’s Spot?’ and using the help of StorySign’s friendly avatar Star, the app uses AI to translate popular children’s books into perfect sign language page by page, delivering a seamless user experience.  

To mark the Australian launch of Huawei’s StorySign app, Emma ‘Yellow Wiggle’ Watkins has partnered as an ambassador. As a passionate advocate for sign language and well recognised child entertainer, Emma is committed to supporting young children in the deaf community. 

“Empowering deaf children is a cause close to my heart and it’s wonderful to see the power of technology used to make such a positive impact. I have found signing is a compelling way to connect with our young audience, so I’m delighted to take this connection further and be an ambassador of Huawei’s app; helping young deaf children participate in story-time.”  

In Australia, around 400 children are born deaf each year*. With no written form for sign, children that are hard of hearing often struggle to connect sign language with the written word; posing reading challenges and ultimately impacting their literacy levels. The StorySign app, in conjunction with a smartphone and a physical book, delivers the best story time experience for both parent and child. 

 “With StorySign, Huawei is using the power of its AI and innovative technology in a meaningful way,” comments Lisa Connors, Huawei Australia Corporate Responsibility Manager. “We’re delighted to make this incredible StorySign app accessible to our local deaf community in Australia.”

Optimised for Huawei AI, features including Image Recognition and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) will create the best possible reading experience. The Image Recognition allows children to position the phone at an angle from the book and the app will still recognise the words perfectly, whilst the OCR permits the app to function with greater accuracy. The AI performance will also power the speed at which pages from the book can load in the app, meaning that children won’t be left waiting too long to find out what happens next in the story. 

To raise awareness of deaf literacy, Huawei Australia continues its partnership with national charity organisation, Deaf Australia, to encourage support and donation for those affected with hard of hearing. 

“The deaf community often struggles with content to address children’s literacy development needs. With the StorySign app now compatible with Auslan, Huawei is making digital tools accessible to Australian children. We are proud to continue our work with Huawei on the StorySign project as it unfolds in Australia.” said Kyle Miers, CEO of Deaf Australia. 

As a sign of ongoing commitment to the StorySign initiative, Huawei is investing in local research to support a wider conversation about ensuring equality in every aspect of their lives for people in the deaf community.  

StorySign is available on Android smartphones can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store. To watch the film and learn how you can help, visit Donations can be made via the StorySign campaign hub on the Huawei website, as well as through the ‘about’ section on the StorySign app. All money raised will support deaf child literacy projects in Australia, including more books for StorySign.


– ENDS – 

Stay connected with us:


In addition to the above spokespeople, select case studies are available for interview. For more information, please contact:

Francesca Di Stefano

BCW Global

E: [email protected]


Huawei’s products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world’s population. Fifteen R&D centers have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. Huawei Consumer BG is one of Huawei’s three business units and covers smartphones, PC and tablets, wearables and cloud services, etc. Huawei’s global network is built on almost 30 years of expertise in the telecom industry and is dedicated to delivering the latest technological advances to consumers around the world.


Deaf Australia is the deaf-led peak organisation representing deaf people in Australia. We promote the advancement of human rights and equality for deaf people by collaborating with our members and stakeholders in implementing the United Nations Conventions and the National Disability Strategy. Deaf Australia is for all deaf, hard of hearing and non-deaf people and organisations (not-for-profit, for profit or government) that use and/or accept and respect Auslan (Australian Sign Language). 

Public announcement: Communication Accessibility — 2016 and beyond

(Consultation paper of National Relay Service)

Auslan Video courtesy of Conexu Foundation

The National Relay Service (NRS) has been an integral part of deaf/ hard of hearing people and people who have speech difficulties in providing communication access through telecommunication since it was established in 1995, lobbied by then Australian Association of the Deaf.

The NRS is funded through a levy that is collected from telecommunication providers each year.
There is a growing demand with the NRS in the last 3 years due to improved and better access to the NRS using various technologies and the Commonwealth Government is looking for ways to keep the NRS sustainable in current contract and beyond 2016.
The Commonwealth Government is providing the community the opportunity to discuss various options to sustain the NRS. If there are other options, we would be pleased to hear from you.
There are eight (8) options that is on the table for considerations:

  1. Increase the funding allocation available for the NRS to enable more people to sue the service with telecommunication providers covering the extra cost;
  2. Introduce measures to manage demand for NRS services;
  3. Introduce more specific requirements to support access to the NRS, including greater enforcement of fair use policies such as a registration process;
  4. Refocus the existing NRS outreach program to those people who have difficulty accessing the NRS;
  5. Review range of mainstream service options and technologies available to help sustain the delivery of the NRS in the future;
  6. Remove or change specific telecommunication regulations in place for disability equipment program due to communication technology changes (eg; reduced use of TTY);
  7. Encourage development of more equitable and affordable data-rich plans by retail service providers; and
  8. Encourage initiatives to enable people NRS users to learn about digital literacy and the availability of mainstreamed text- and video-based communication options.

Questions such as:

  • Should any part of NRS be capped? E.g. limiting the calls to set minutes or reducing the operating hours.
  • Phasing out TTY? What should be replaced?
  • Should NRS require registration process to determine use of the NRS?
  • Should the NRS Outreach program be refocused?
  • Can more affordable data-rich plans be developed to allow use of NRS with mobile phone/ smart phones?
  • Are there other innovation that can be used that will be better than current NRS?

More questions are available on page 20 of the Consultation Papers.
Deaf Australia clearly do not support (option 2). It means that some services may be limited or measures introduced (or ‘capping’) on how many calls can be made.  If demand to use a capped service was greater than allowed for, there may be an impact on quality of service delivery over the course of each day. There is also limiting the hours of the service. Video Relay Service (VRS) is an example of a limited service as the service is only available between 7am – 6pm AEST – Monday to Friday.
Department of Communications and the Arts is currently developing Auslan translation of the consultation and should be available on Friday 15 April at the earliest.
This is an important process for the community to have a say in the future of the National Relay Service. We would be pleased if you can email Deaf Australia your concerns, ideas or thoughts at [email protected], or email directly to [email protected] or write to The Manager, Communication Accessibility, PO Box 13310, Law Court, Melbourne VIC 8010.
Submission closes 6 May 2016. Deaf Australia is seeking extension of time to allow us to collect your views.

Aussie First: Deaf Friendly Mobile Phone Plans Available Now!

Many Deaf people have felt frustrated in the past because mobile phone plans always include a charge for voice calls, which deaf people don’t need or use.

Deaf Australia and many members of the Deaf community have had to negotiate with telecommunications providers individually to get a tailored mobile plan that suits their needs. Sometimes this worked well and sometimes it didn’t, and many Deaf people ended up paying a monthly fee for voice calls that they didn’t use.
Deaf Australia is pleased to announce a partnership with not-for-profit phone and internet provider; Jeenee Mobile.
Jeenee Mobile launched a new Deaf-friendly mobile phone plan today that only includes SMS and internet data – it does not include voice calls. This saves money for Deaf people who don’t need a voice call service.
Jeenee have also launched a new system for Deaf people who need to contact the company about changes or problems with their service. Most phone companies require the Deaf person to try to speak on the phone, and won’t accept an interpreter or a friend speaking for the Deaf person. Jeenee Mobile can set up a password/pin number system so that Deaf people can identify themselves through a third party, such as an interpreter ringing on their behalf.
Both of these new initiatives have never been done in Australia before!
Jeenee Mobile is a not-for-profit disability social enterprise, using the Optus 4G network.
The plan from Jeenee Mobile offers unlimited text and MMS to any mobile phones on any carrier across Australia plus 100MB of data. There are also options to increase the monthly data limit.
“Deaf Australia congratulates Jeenee Mobile on both of these initiatives that are tailored to suit the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing people,” said Kyle Miers, Chief Executive of Deaf Australia. “This is a great win for the Deaf community and for Deaf Australia.”
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), is also glad to see text and data only plans on the market as well as the flexible customer support arrangements being launched by Jeenee Mobile.
“In the past, consumers who are Deaf or hard of hearing have had to pay for voice inclusions in their mobile phone plans that they don’t use. Tailored plans that suit the needs of these consumers are welcome,” said ACCAN Disability Policy Advisor, Wayne Hawkins.
Jeenee Mobile’s General Manager, Jeremy Way, said: “Jeenee Mobile aims to provide a complete service that makes mobile as accessible and inclusive as possible for EVERY Australian. As a not-for-profit Telco, we pride ourselves on doing the things that the other Telco’s either can’t, don’t or won’t do. We’re pleased to be able to offer a tailored solution that suits the needs of the Deaf community. We also welcome the opportunity for Jeenee Mobile to partner with Deaf Australia.”
As part of the partnership with Jeenee Mobile, Deaf Australia will receive a donation for any connection to Jeenee Mobile when ‘DeafAus’ is quoted in the application. Subscribers also receive free set up and postage of their SIM card.
This means you can support Deaf Australia and get a great value mobile plan at the same time.
[button url=”” class=”button” size=”jumbo” color=”green-2″ target=”_blank” lightbox_content=”” lightbox_description=””]CLICK HERE to sign up with Jeenee Mobile[/button]

Apps for all challenge 2014

Do you have a favourite app that you love or one that makes your life better or easier as a deaf person? Nominate it for an Apps For All Award! This new competition celebrates apps that are accessible for people with disabilities and raises awareness to make sure that when future apps are developed, they suit deaf and disabled people.

Registrations open for M-Enabling Australasia 2013

Deaf Australia are excited to announce that registrations are now open for the M-Enabling Australasia 2013 conference and showcase being held on 14-15 August in Sydney.

This is shaping up to be a fantastic event, with two days of discussion and practical demonstrations focused on how mobile technologies can benefit people with disability and older people.

Mobile technology is a potential game changer for people with disability and many older people; providing access and inclusion through usable, accessible and affordable mobile equipment and services.
This event is the first of its kind to be held in the southern hemisphere, and is an excellent opportunity to be part of discussions involving local and international experts on accessible technologies, mobile service providers, developers, manufacturers, retail and business groups, regulators, policymakers, and organisations representing people with disability and older people.
The keynote speakers will be Axel Leblois, President and Executive Director, Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communications Technology (G3ICT) and Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Chief, Consumer and Government Affairs, US Federal Communications Commission. Further speakers will be announced in the coming weeks but plan to register before June 14 to receive a discount (ACCAN members will receive an additional discount).
The themes for the conference include:

  • How mobile technology enables increased participation and productivity
  • Why M-Enabling matters to Australia – the Australian market and local demographics
  • Shaping future market technologies by collaborating on M-Enabling opportunities
  • International perspectives: with keynote speakers from the US
  • App developers and hardware manufacturers – what works for consumers and what’s technically possible
  • Service delivery – perspectives from health, tourism, transport, education, financial and emergency services

M-Enabling Australasia 2013 is a joint partnership between ACCAN and Telstra in cooperation with G3ict and EJ Krause & Associates.
Book your place
For a program, prices and to book your place at M-Enabling Australasia 2013 please visit the conference website

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