ACCAN announces Apps For All Challenge winners

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:44pm

The winners of the inaugural competition to recognise the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, have been announced.

The challenge, announced earlier this year, was run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and sponsored by Telstra.

Prizes for the winners included the Telstra Prize of $1500 in cash, promotion through Telstra’s social media and a one-off opportunity to participate in a mini-incubator experience with Telstra’s own in-house app developers and technology specialists.

The results for the four categories, announced at the 2014 ACCAN National Conference, along with the judges’ comments were:

Most accessible mainstream app: ACCC Shopper

“The ACCC Shopper app provides useful consumer information to users and includes tools to keep copies of receipts. It can be used to set reminders for lay-bys, warranties and gift vouchers, write complaint letters to businesses or ask common shopping questions such as ‘when can I get a refund?’”

Most innovative app designed for people with disability or older Australians: OpenMi Tours

“OpenMi Tours provides information to users at museums, art galleries and cultural venues in a variety of inclusive formats. These include audio only, audio with captions, Auslan with captions, audio description as well as foreign languages.”

Most accessible children’s app: Row Row Your Boat and Positive Penguins

“The Row Row Your Boat app provides an interactive learning experience with educational ideas, games and sounds to encourage the development of listening and language skills in young children. The app is particularly useful to families of children who have reduced hearing or language problems.

“Positive Penguins was created as a tool to help children understand their emotions come from their thinking and teach them to challenge (or problem solve) the negative stories they tell themselves. The app was created by a Melbourne student with the idea initially being created in a PowerPoint presentation on healthy mind, healthy body.”

Most accessible gaming app: None. No nomination met our accessibility criteria

One of the judges of the Apps For All competition, Media Access Australia's accessibility expert Dr Scott Hollier, said he was encouraged by the quality of the entrants to the competition.

“The ACCC shopper app is a worthy winner with excellent information, well-structured and easy to use with the built-in accessibility features such as the Talkback screen reader on Android,” he said.

“The children’s category had many worthy entrants, and it’s encouraging to see that app developers in this space are increasingly considering accessibility in their development process.

“It is my hope that ACCAN and Telstra will continue to support this important area of accessibility so that the built-in accessibility features will work effectively for people with disabilities.”

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