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Finalists announced to find Australia's most accessible app Featured

Finalists for the Apps for All Challenge, a competition run by the Australian Humans Rights Commission in conjunction with Australia's telco consumer lobby organisation ACCAN were announced today. 

The competition, launched earlier this year, is described as Australia’s first and only competition for accessible mobile apps. The competition aims to raise awareness of issues faced by people with disability and older Australians who have to deal with inaccessible apps.

The awards will be handed out at a ceremony during the ACCAN National Conference on Tuesday 16 September, from 5pm.

“We’re excited to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Apps For All Challenge and Telstra Prize and will be looking forward to announcing the winners at the 2014 ACCAN National Conference,” said ACCAN disability policy advisor Wayne Hawkins.

“The competition will help to raise awareness and reward developers who have excelled at making their apps accessible for everyone.”

The competition will award four apps from across four categories: mainstream apps, innovative apps for people with disability or older Australians, Children’s apps and gaming apps.

The shortlist includes a range of apps that help people with disability and older Australians perform activities such as measuring the running cost of household appliances, search bus routes and take self-guided tours at museums, while the children’s category features an app, Positive Penguins, which was created by a Melbourne student and aims to help children understand their emotions and challenge the negative stories they tell themselves.

As we reported back in June 2013 the ABC altered its flagship apps after findings that visually impaired people found them unusable.

About one in five Australians have some form of permanent disability, and locking them out of using everyday apps is a move that ACCAN and the Australian Human Rights Commission described as being bad ethics and bad business.

“Congratulations to all the short listed candidates. That these designers have all maximized the accessibility of their apps, shows the excellence of their design,” said Acting Disability Commissioner Susan Ryan.

“Each of these products is available to the broad spectrum of the community, who may choose to use them, in areas such as shopping, transportation, technology and tourism. Well done.”

The inaugural Apps For All Challenge was first announced at the M-Enabling Australasia 2013 conference and will be held annually from 2014. Prizes for the winners include 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 the telco’s in-house app developers and technology specialists.

Apps For All Challenge Shortlist

1. Most accessible mainstream app
· Energy Rating
· ACCC Shopper
· My Bus (Canberra Transport)

2. Most innovative app designed for people with disability or older Australians
· Walsh Bay Sculpture Tour
· Open Me Tours
· Open Me Silent Tweets

3. Most accessible children’s app
· Positive penguins
· Row Row Your Boat
· Allen’s Adventure

4. Most accessible gaming app – shortlist not yet available

For more information see the Apps For All Challenge website.

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