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InternetNZ Partners With Talklink Trust

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
InternetNZ Partners With Talklink Trust

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc), the non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the Internet in New Zealand has formed a partnership with Talklink Trust. The Trust is the national non-profit organisation charged with providing assistive technology to those with a communication disability.

Aligned with InternetNZ's primary objective of the Internet's "high performance and unfettered access for all", InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says assistive information technologies, particularly those enabled by the Internet, have an important role to play in helping people with disabilities to communicate independently.

"The Internet opens up a myriad of possibilities for people with communication impairments; it can aid in learning and skills acquisition and enhance social interaction and virtual participation. The Internet is also a great way to establish networks and communities."

Next month, children with communication disabilities will gather in the Waikato township of Matamata for KiwiChat 2011. KiwiChat Camp is a residential camp for school-aged children who use speech generating devices, and their families and carers.

KiwiChat Camp is the brainchild of TalkLink Trust. The primary aim of the camp is for the children to improve their speech device use and become more competent communicators in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

The InternetNZ/Talklink partnership will see InternetNZ contribute $10,000 toward funding KiwiChat Camp. This funding is being used to bring children and their carers from around New Zealand to the camp. Without it, participation in the Camp would be confined to Auckland-based Talklink Trust clients.

"When we think of the Internet, let's not forget about the critical role it plays in enabling people with disabilities to live better, richer lives. In these cases, good quality Internet access at reasonable prices is literally a life changer. We are therefore delighted to support KiwiChat Camp," Kumar says.

TalkLink Trust General Manager, Ann Smaill, agrees. "Technology advances in recent times have provided the means for people with significant speech and often associated physical impairments the means to communicate. Imagine if Stephen Hawking did not have technology to help him communicate!

"Providing children the opportunity to learn from each other in a camp atmosphere is a great way to develop skills that they can take back to their everyday lives and enables them to create social networks wherever they are in the country. We are delighted that InternetNZ has chosen the Trust to support and that they have immediately recognised the benefits of such a camp as well as the benefits of quality Internet access for these children."

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