Following National Week of Deaf People, the Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) has released its 2010-2011 Annual Report highlighting ACE's achievements over the past year and Vision for the year ahead.
'The annual report was translated into Auslan and made available in 3D, an Australian first for Auslan users. This is testament to ACE's Vision of inclusion and accessibility for all,' said ACE Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Gilliland.
The report is available on the ACE website to view in both 2D and 3D Auslan video translations with captions, ensuring content is accessible for people who are Deaf, hearing and speech impaired. This significant 3D technology milestone for ACE provides users greater clarity for sign language, particularly with finger spelling, and better perception of distance.
Past President of ASLIA (Australian Sign Language Interpreters' Association), Marcel Leneham, said he was impressed that ACE was making information accessible in this way.
'Hopefully this will set a new standard for businesses and organisations across Australia. This initiative provides an exciting advancement in the level of access to information for members of the Deaf community,' Mr Leneham said.
With emerging 3D technology opening new opportunities for web accessibility, ACE recognises the value of being an early adopter of this technology for Auslan, Australian Sign Language.
The past year demonstrated ACE's success in achieving broader access options for their communities, scouring the world for new technology to eliminate access barriers for their constituency and conducting extensive research.
ACE's Achievements from the Past Year:
'¢ Created a breakthrough in museum accessibility with the development of the Smart Auslan service (translates audio tours into Auslan)
'¢ Pioneered revolutionary technology set to be world's first Government-endorsed emergency smartphone app
'¢ Facilitated a total of 3,204,379 National Relay Service (NRS) calls as part of the Federal Government contract. That's an average of 2,500 calls per day.
'¢ Supported community projects, aligning with their vision, to the sum of AUD$93,000 in sponsorships and provided in-kind support to partners
'¢ Introduced two technology trials - Captioned Telephony and Video Relay Service
'¢ Established a Consumer Advisory Group to ensure constituents' needs are met (Deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired are each represented).
ACE's Year Ahead
ACE's Annual Report details the future vision and objectives for the year ahead, highlighting ACE's commitment to diversify available communication solutions, build key partnerships in the community and respond to the needs of their constituency.
The 2010-2011 Annual Report conveys ACE's goal of a 2020 landmark - to see the organisation positioned as the key enabler of new solutions for Deaf, hearing and speech impaired as they implement technology in education, workplaces and entertainment.
ACE's Plans for the Year Ahead:
'¢ Continue to meet demand for the National Relay Service and continue to seek ways to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency in its delivering of this vital service
'¢ Sustain the Video Relay Service trial for Deaf Australians
'¢ Sustain the Captioned Telephone trial for hearing impaired Australians
'¢ Expand the availability of Smart Auslan throughout Australia
'¢ Launch the indigenous communication project
'¢ Launch the next generation of innovative applications
'¢ Expand a mentoring program focused on building career confidence nationally.