Telstra prize again highlights the benefits of modern communications for people with disability

Media Release, 23 May 2012

Telstra and the Telecommunications Journal of Australia (TJA) today announced the 2012 winners of the Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Prize for Telecommunications and Disability. Four papers have been awarded prizes and accepted for publication. The 2012 award winners are:

  1. Rob Garrett and Toan Nguyen, Novita Children’s Services, SA, for their paper “Together We Can Find Telecommunication Solutions For People With Complex Communication Needs”.
  2. Floris Müller, Marlies Klijn and Liesbet Van Zoonen, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, “Disability, prejudice and reality TV: Challenging disablism through media representations”.
  3. Katie Ellis, Murdoch University, WA, for her paper “It means inclusion: a creative approach to disability and telecommunications policy in Australia”.
  4. Darryl Sellwood, Denise Wood, University of SA, Parimala Raghavendra, Flinders University, SA, for their paper “Perspectives on Telecommunications Access Methods of People with Complex Communication Needs”.

The $15 000 Prize is awarded for the best original papers offered for publication by the TJA that demonstrate the tangible benefits an innovative use of telecommunications technology can deliver in assisting individuals with disabilities. The prize recognises and commemorates the ground-breaking work the late Revd Canon Dr Christopher Newell AM undertook within the telecommunications industry 1990-2008 representing the needs of people with disability.

Mr Robert Morsillo, Group Manager, Consumer Affairs, said that Telstra is pleased the award has again attracted a high level of interest, which is continuing evidence of the benefits of modern communications technologies for people with disability.

“Improving access to information and communications technologies, combined with exceptional customer service, is fundamentally important for us and our industry – priorities that Christopher taught so much about, in particular for people with disability. New devices such as connected tablets and smartphones, and internet technologies such as Web 2.0 are creating new means of engagement, particularly for people with disability. With four important papers being published this year, I am sure Christopher would also be pleased with this contribution to the literature on disability and telecommunications,” Mr Morsillo said.

The 2012 winning papers can be accessed in the May 2012 edition of the TJA by visiting . These are made publicly available through Telstra’s sponsorship, which is being made available for the prize in 2013. Details for entry can be obtained by visiting . The TJA is published by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).