• Join the conversation
    with OpenAccess Chat

Watch how to be part of the conversation. (captioned audio)

Developed specifically for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing, OpenAccess Chat helps you to be part of the conversation


- Have a conversation in a noisy environment
- Helps Deaf students learn English and the art of discussions
- Available on a mainstream device

OpenAccess Chat benefits

1.1 million

Australians

who are hard of hearing

20,000

Australians

who are Deaf

330,000

Australians who are Deaf and blind

About OpenAccess Chat

While there have been a lot of advances in the communication field, the truth is assistive technology can be expensive, cumbersome and obvious. Imagine you’re out and about you wanted to discreetly whisper a comment to a friend or enjoy a spontaneous conversation but it’s too noisy? Or if you are Deaf, and want to learn and be part of the conversation in English?

It's great to be able to use mainstream apps to communicate, but every time you try to do something like increase the font or change the screen contrast to make it easier to read, you’re reminded these apps weren’t created with accessibility in mind. 

Introducing OpenAccess Chat. An iPad and iPhone app that allows people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with people who are hearing through text based conversation — using minimal data.

Download from App Store


Rebecca
"It makes communication with everyone easy!"

"OpenAccess Chat is easy to use. I choose to use it over other apps because it doesn’t use much data once I’ve downloaded it.

I use it to have real-time conversations with people who I am having trouble understanding, particularly in loud environments.

Previously I used the notes app in my iPhone. OpenAccess Chat allows me to save my conversations for later so I can recall who said what. "

Rebecca, young professional who lost her hearing when she was two years old

Who we are

Conexu believes communication barriers should never stop people from reaching their potential.

We are a national non-profit organisation, and experts in both technology and communication access. It’s our whole focus.

Our purpose is to use technology to bridge the communication divide between hard of hearing, Deaf or speech impaired Australians and the broader community.

Since 2011, our award winning team has been developing accessible apps with our communities to overcome communication barriers using mainstream technology. 


Learn about Conexu's other OpenAccess apps:

Access to the arts (OpenAccess Tours)

Instant Auslan and English translations (OpenAccess Face to Face)   

Features

 

Typing indicator

so you can see if someone is still composing a message

Bubble conversation style

for smaller devices 

Group chat

via bluetooth technology pairing between mutiple devices

Available on iPhone and iPad

Share conversations

or store to review later

Personalised access options

change font size, colours and background colours (useful for vision impaired)

Quick phrases

so you can string together phrases in advance

Instant Speech to text

through built in or external microphone

Split screens

with spin function allows two-way conversations on a single device

Case Studies

  • Trialling the app in the classroom for enhanced learning and literacy outcomes

    In May 2016, we worked with Furlong Park School for Deaf Children to trial Open Access Chat in a learning environment, to overcome communication barriers and increase literacy skills.

    I wanted to be able to use the suite of apps to make real-life connections in the classroom that would make our students learning experiences with them fun, engaging, and meaningful. It allows for students to take turns, share each other’s ideas/answers/questions in a written format.Technology such as this provides opportunities for students to communicate what they learn to audiences beyond the classroom.

     – Marion Trieber, ICT & PE Teacher, Furlong Park School for Deaf Children  

    One of the functions I found really helpful on the Chat app, was looking at review of conversation... I see a huge improvement in students use of punctuation in the sentences. The skills that students have learned through the last two months using the Chat app is really going to help them in contacting friends and family via email, and text in future.

    - Lee Bullock, Teacher of the Deaf, Furlong Park School for Deaf Children  

How it works

Opening the app on an iPad

Simply open the app and tap to chat.

You can use a single iPad to chat back and forth, or connect to a nearby device using Bluetooth. As a group, Bluetooth works like a chain of people so person A connects to B and so on. Inbuilt Quick Scripts allow you to pre-type commonly used phrases and use them quickly.

You can also connect a Bluetooth (or braille) keyboard to the iPad, for easier access. And if one of you would prefer to use the microphone option, the app provides speech to text. That way people can communicate in their preference. You’re not asking people to type when they want to speak.

You can change things like text size and colour, and share conversations via email, all without using much data. Which means no nasty bill shock.

FAQs.

Answers to frequently asked questions.

In terms of compatability, OpenAccess Chat requires iOS 8.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  The app requires a device with Bluetooth 4+ which includes any iPhone model after the iPhone 4s and any iPad after the iPad 3.

You can get OpenAccess Chat for a one off payment of $2.99 AUD from the app store with no hidden in app purchases. 

Good news. Open Access Chat doesn’t use much data, which makes it more cost effective than other alternatives. The only time data is used on the app is when the speech to text function is activated. 

Getting started is easy. Once the app is installed, you can begin having conversations. Simply tap > start a conversation, set your personalized options and away you go – its that easy. 

Contact us

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