News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Telecom's Cellular Network less useful for blind


From Association Of Blind Citizens Of New Zealand Inc

Telecom's Cellular Network To Become Less Useful To The Blind

The announcement by Telecom that it is to close its Wordup service at the end of this month has caused concern among blind cell phone users.

At its Annual Conference in Christchurch last weekend, the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand passed a resolution expressing concern about the Wordup closure, seeking an urgent meeting with Telecom to urge it to reconsider.

Association of Blind Citizens President, Vaughan Dodd, says he is personally aware of some blind people who chose Telecom as their cellular network specifically because of Wordup.

"The cell phone is increasingly becoming a visual tool. It is not just a means of speaking with someone. Sighted people are using their phones for text messaging, WAP browsing, locating nearby amenities, and even reading e-mail. But if you can't see the screen, you are shut out of all these services. Wordup at least gave us some access, and now Telecom is removing it with apparently no consideration for the impact this will have on blind cell phone users".

The Telecom Wordup service allows Telecom Mobile customers to access news, weather, sports, lotto results, and a range of other information by saying simple words and hearing the information spoken by human readers. Wordup users can hear their e-mail read by a synthetic voice, and even reply to their e-mail by voice. It also contains a phone book feature completely controllable by voice and the web, which is of use to those who have phones whose memory functions are difficult for a blind person to use.

Mr Dodd says he has been made aware of blind professionals who, while they may be able to afford a WAP and e-mail capable phone, can't use it, and instead have used Wordup to check e-mail on the road. Those professionals are now going to struggle to remain competitive.

He says the Association is calling on Telecom to put the closure on hold pending a proper study of the impact of Wordup on the blind and other people with disabilities.

"After the very clear message telecommunications companies have been sent regarding the relay service for the deaf, telecommunications providers surely must understand that they should consider all their customers, and provide a range of services that meet various special access requirements," Mr Dodd concluded.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news