I recently read a great example of how technology is helping to change the lives of people living with disability. It was a heart-warming story about how technology has been used to produce a three-dimensional ultrasound to help a blind mother to “see” her unborn child.

At Telstra, we’re committed to making a difference for the customers and communities we serve and the people we employ. Our sixth Disability Action Plan (2013 – 2016) recognises the benefits that modern communications technologies bring to people with disability and the important leadership role that Telstra can play.

As part of our commitment to enhance the accessibility of our products and services for customers with disability, in the past year we’ve launched an accessibility portal on telstra.com to assist people with disability to identify the mobile devices in the Telstra post-paid range that best suit their needs.

We’ve released selected BigPond movies with open captioning for people with hearing impairment and we removed CAPTCHA – where users are asked to enter letters or numbers to prove they are a real user – from all online Telstra consumer platforms, improving the accessibility of our information for customers who are vision impaired.

Our staff complete mandatory disability awareness training and we’ve recently issued a training update to help staff better assist customers with disability.

Through the Telstra Foundation we’re also investing in programs to develop solutions to help improve the lives of people living with disability, with ‘tech-for-good’ grants for Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the Independent Living Centre NSW and a Telstra Kids grant for a school in the Northern Territory to invest in eye gaze technology to support students with disability. The technology will enable students to communicate independently by tracking their pupils on a screen and generating speech from a computer.

These initiatives build on our longstanding commitment to improving access to communications for customers with disability, including our Disability Enquiry Hotline that has been operating since 1988.