Helping Seniors with Disabilities get Online: Accessibility features in popular computer and mobile devices

This manual has been created for member organisations of the Council of the Ageing Western Australia (COTA WA) to support seniors with disabilities in participating online through the use of computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Funding for the creation of this resource has been provided by the nib foundation and the manual itself has been created by Media Access Australia.

Accessibility, in this context, generally refers to the provision of a tool or method that makes it easier for people with disabilities to use computing devices and the Internet. Popular computing devices may include a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet computer or a mobile phone.

Traditionally it has been expensive for people with disabilities to get access to computers and the Internet. A few years ago it would have been necessary to purchase software programs generally called Assistive Technologies (AT), and these tools could cost several thousand dollars. Today, however, most popular computers and mobile devices have accessibility features and AT which are built-in or can be freely downloaded from the Internet.

Due to the improved affordability of accessibility, initiatives by the Australian government to improve website accessibility and the rapid increase of social media among seniors, it could be argued that there has never been a better time for seniors with disabilities to join in the popular community interaction that occurs online, including keeping in touch with grandchildren, participating in community events and finding information related to interests and hobbies.

This resource provides step-by-step guides to assist in enabling the accessibility features on your computer or mobile device so that seniors with disabilities are able to participate in the same online benefits as everyone else. In addition, the resource also provides guidance on overcoming potential barriers in using social media and other popular tasks.

To access your free copy of this manual click here .  To order your free copy of this manual email admin@cotawa.org.au or call 08 9472 0103 with your details.

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