AAA INNOVATE for a more Accessible and Equitable Australia
International Day of People with Disability, (IDPwD) occurs on the 3rd of December annually and internationally. The day aims to make positive changes for people with a disability and has been supported by the Australian Government since 1996.
The theme for IDPwD 2022 is ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’.
When Maxine Parker and Judy O’Connor launched Access Ability Australia (AAA) in 2014 it was because they knew firsthand what it was like to live in a world that was not accessible and equitable. And, they knew that they could make a big difference.
AAA has been highly successful in developing customised accessibility guides, Access Keys and Social Stories. Both tools help community members plan their visits to participating venues including parks, sporting grounds, recreational centres, events, theatres and more; resulting in stress free and informed visits.
Maxine and Judy go on to say:
We were so excited to see our hard work pay off. Access Keys let people know where accessible parking and toilets are located prior to leaving their home for the venue. They have access to accessible maps, safety features and sensory guides to help with planning and community participation.
Our Social stories are extremely popular. They provide information including descriptions of a social situation, giving insights into thoughts and feelings of others. They help people with autism spectrum disorder, specific language disorders, social communication difficulties or cognitive delays and disability, understand in advance what to expect and plan their visit accordingly.
Our clients are primarily local government organisations. We are so grateful to them because, together, we are making resources and improved information accessible to everyone in their communities.
However, we knew that in an accessible and equitable world, smaller businesses and enterprises would also need access to these tools so that they too can increase their clientele, educate their staff, and support their existing client base.
We know small businesses continue to be hit hard by COVID and would welcome new customers if opportunity presented. Very soon, they will be able to do this with the help of our newest tool.
On IDPwD 2022, it gives us great pleasure to announce the upcoming launch of our latest online platform and our new Scout+ app.
Our new Access Key Assist platform will enable business owners to build their own accessibility guides online. These guides will provide key information people need to know prior to a visit. Like our Access Keys but compact. This platform is quick and convenient as well as being a worthwhile training tool for staff. It will provide valuable information to raise awareness of disability and how businesses can economically become more inclusive.
Best of all, Access Key Assists will feature on our new Scout+ app.
Our Scout+ app will feature our full suite of Access Key Assists for businesses across a variety of industry type as well as our full suite of communication symbols.
Scout+ app will also feature our famed sensory guides that list the sights, sounds, smells and feelings a person might experience at the venue. Only this time, the sensory guides on the Scout+ app will be interactive which means users will be able to see the sights and hear the sounds before attending, providing the user with an authentic preplanning tool. This is invaluable information for people with sensory sensitivity, and their carers.
The ‘+’ in the app’s name symbolises the extra feature on the app – touch activated communication access symbols that speak for you. This symbol suite will help to reduce potential barriers to communication and enable people with communication difficulties, or people who do not speak English, communicate with venue staff. Symbols are currently available in English and Mandarin, with more languages being added shortly.
And the value won’t stop there as businesses will also receive a version of their very own Access Key Assist to upload to their website as well as each Access Key Assist being made available on our ever-popular website library page.
Working with us will ensure information reaches new target audiences and provides people with disability convenient access to improved information.
We already have significant interest from gymnasiums, medical clinics, accommodation providers, cafes and restaurants who are excited to be showcased in an Access Key Assist and feature on the new AAA Scout+ app so they too can welcome their new and loyal customers.
We are incredibly proud to announce the upcoming launch of our new Access Key Assist online platform and our Scout+ app for small to medium enterprises in Australia and to the members of their communities with disability on International Day of People with Disability in 2022.
Please get in touch for more information, we look forward to hearing from you!
To learn more about International Day of People with Disability, visit https://www.idpwd.com.au/about/