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

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland