A FREE centre giving people with disabilities better access to the digital world has been opened at the Old Boy’s School in Fremantle.
The centre has federal funding for 12 months and is a collaboration between not-for-profit arts organisation DADAA, Media on Mars and digital access specialist Doctor Scott Hollier.
“The digital world is a rapidly changing environment that all of us increasingly rely upon, but for people living with disability much of the internet remains inaccessible,” states DADAA’s website.
“Our hope is to actively connect those with disability who rely on digital access with the disability agencies who support them.”
DADAA executive director David Doyle says that organisations are often unaware of new developments in web technology.
“We are bringing web designer and geeks together.”
He hopes that the centre will encourage developers to build in more accessibility when they are designing websites and digital resources.
There is rapid development in the virtual world, including apps that convert text to voice and a phone app that scans supermarket items for the visually impaired.
Mr Doyle says it is vital that web designers are kept abreast of new technologies that could improve the lives of people with disabilities.
Since DADAA moved into the historic Fremantle Old Boy’s School on Princess May Park last year there’s been a lot of renovations, including making the old building fully accessible.
DADAA will open a cafe, Humble Pantry, early next year
“From the very start we had a dream of turning the old kitchen and courtyard into a great cafe that not only serves excellent coffee and healthy food, but also provides training and employment opportunities for people with a disability,” Mr Doyle says.
Mother-and-son team Clare and Kieran Cranny will run the cafe.
Mrs Cranny’s sister Jane Ryan is a DADAA artist and potential cafe trainee.
“Since she started working with DADAA, we have seen Jane develop from a shy woman into an outgoing and confident artist,” her sister says.
The cafe is named after the old school’s first headmaster, George Humble.
by JENNY D’ANGER