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Connect Me! Technology for seniors and people with intellectual disability

This exciting project funded by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Office for Suburban Development will help Inclusion Melbourne break down the barriers of digital access for people with disabilities and seniors.

The project provides Google Nest Hub Max devices, training, internet connection and IT support to thirty-five of Inclusion Melbourne service users and volunteer recipients and aims to reduce social isolation using technology. ​​​​​​​

Inclusion Melbourne is working in partnership with Innogreen Technologies an innovative organisation based in Perth that has specialist experience working with people with disabilities and the elderly.

The project formally commenced in December and is due for completion at the end of May. ​​​​​​​

Volunteer recipient, seventy nine year old Maree Bean has recently received a device and is making exceptional progress in learning the many features of the device.

Maree a qualified primary school teacher has a particular interest in music and arts and crafts. These interests have underpinned a diverse professional life that has included working with children with disabilities and teaching English in Japan.

Callum Price from Innogreen Technologies has been conducting weekly training sessions with Maree via Google Duo. The first training session included voice commands to activate device functions and the development of personal goals.

Subsequent training sessions are working towards developing the skills to achieve goals set.

“I was quite frightened of technology and had no confidence at all,” says Maree.

Now Maree watches favourite YouTube clips, checks on the weather at home and elsewhere and listens to her favourite music. She also enjoys finding out new information and brushing up on her Japanese by checking on translations.

Maree says further, “I’m always thinking of something to ask, and the device is very polite! When I say thank you for finding out information, it says ‘You’re welcome – we’re here to help!’ ”

Maree, Callum Price and Glenda Williamson from Inclusion Melbourne catching up for a training session on Wednesday 17th March, 2021.