ACCAN anounces Apps For All Challenge shortlist

The shortlist for the inaugural Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Apps For All Challenge 2014 Telstra Prize has today been announced. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony during the ACCAN National Conference on Tuesday 16 September, from 5:00pm.

iPhone Apps

Launched earlier this year, this is Australia’s first and only competition for accessible mobile apps which aims to raise awareness of issues faced by people with disability and older Australians with inaccessible apps.

“We’re excited to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Apps For All Challenge and Telstra Prize and will be looking forward to announcing the winners at the 2014 ACCAN National Conference,” said ACCAN disability policy advisor Wayne Hawkins. “The competition will help to raise awareness and reward developers who have excelled at making their apps accessible for everyone.”

The competition will award four apps from across four categories: mainstream apps, innovative apps for people with disability or older Australians, Children’s apps and gaming apps. The shortlist includes a range of apps that help people with disability and older Australians perform activities such as measuring the running cost of household appliances, search bus routes and take self-guided tours at museums. The children’s category features an app, Positive Penguins, which was created by a Melbourne student and aims to help children understand their emotions and challenge the negative stories they tell themselves.

With mobile phone usage continuing to grow, it’s important that people with disability and older Australians aren’t left behind and are included in the digital world. About one in five Australians have some form of permanent disability. Locking this demographic out from access to apps is bad ethics and bad business.

“Congratulations to all the short listed candidates. That these designers have all maximized the accessibility of their apps, shows the excellence of their design,” said Acting Disability Commissioner Susan Ryan. “Each of these products is available to the broad spectrum of the community, who may choose to use them, in areas such as shopping, transportation, technology and tourism. Well done.”

The inaugural Apps For All Challenge was first announced at the M-Enabling Australasia 2013 conference and will be held annually from 2014. Prizes for the winners include the Telstra Prize of $1500 in cash, promotion through Telstra’s social media and a one-off opportunity to participate in a mini-incubator experience with the telco’s in-house app developers and technology specialists.

For more information, please contact Luke Sutton on 0409 966 931 or

Image credit: Daniel Go (CC)