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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Local organisation wins award for disability work

    Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Local organisation wins award for disability work

    Brisbane based non-profit organisation NV Access’ work towards helping vision-impaired people access technology has been acknowledged with a major Queensland Disability Action Week Award.

    Disability Services Minister Curtis Pitt presented NV Access’ James Teh with the Community Organisation – Disability Organisation Award – recognising their dedication to the ideal that access to technology should not incur an extra cost for blind and vision-impaired users.

    Mr Pitt said NV Access developed Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) a free, open source screen reader for Microsoft Windows.

    “Providing feedback via synthetic speech and Braille, NVDA enables vision impaired people to browse the web, access email, work with documents and much more,” he said.

    “It can work on both desktop and laptop computers.

    “This award is well-earned recognition of NV Access’ positive contribution to people’s lives.”

    Mr Teh said it was extremely important that technology was made accessible to everyone in the community, regardless of their abilities.

    “We believe that accessibility to technology is essential and we are dedicated to the ideal that access to technology should not incur an extra cost for blind and visually impaired users,” he said.

    “We have also translated the program into 34 languages, meaning the program is an open source screen for everyone to learn from and play with.

    “It is really great to receive recognition for NVDA through these awards because the more people who know about our cause, the more we can help other blind or visually impaired people.”

    Disability Action Week from 18 to 24 September celebrates the achievements and contributions of people with a disability and raises community awareness about barriers to equal access and social inclusion.

    This year’s awards have again recognised those individuals and organisations whose work is directly related to disability, as well as individuals and community organisations that have chosen to include a disability focus within their wider role.

    Mr Pitt said the awards complemented the many local activities and events being held across the state during the week.

    “Disability touches the lives of tens of thousands of Queenslanders, which is why Disability Action Week is such an important and well-supported campaign,” he said.

    “This year’s celebrations are focused on the theme “empower, enable, everybody”.

    The award ceremony was held at the Cairns Convention Centre which is hosting the Queensland Disability Conference.

    Information for people with a disability, their families or carers is available at www.qld.gov.au/disability

    Media Contact: 0417 140 779