the NEWELL network

One of the pre-conference  workshops I attended at AGOSCI 2011 was all about telecommunications.  I was interested in this topic as I would love Mac to be able to ring his Grandparents and thank them if they have looked after him, or tell them something cool he did at school.  I would love to be able to have more meaningful conversations with him when I am away (I am sure his Dad is the same).  Among many of the great ideas and options including the National Relay Service, Skype, large button phones, switch adapted phones there was one VERY new concept we were introduced to.

The launch of the following website…

Fresh out of the box is a new website for people with complex communication needs (CCN) (& supporters/helpers) who find it hard to use the phone independently.

So what is it?



The Newell Network will help you:

  • find out about telecommunications resources.
  • ask questions, and talk with others who can help you.
  • share your experience and knowledge.
  • discuss and try to solve problems.

As with all these information sharing websites they are much better if populated with lots of questions, ideas and ‘big picture dreams’ so try to use it  – you never know what solution someone might find.

If you had one telecommunications idea you thought was ‘too crazy’ to ever be invented what would it be?


Filed under Technology - things that help

3 responses to “the NEWELL network

  1. That’s a really cool network!!

    One resource that I find invaluable is the SMS-email gateway (I use the one but I believe there are others). That means that without even owning a mobile phone I can text people and they can reply via texts and it turns up on my computer’s email. It only costs $0.25 per text (in or out – I pay for both I think) and I pay $25 in advance for 100 of them. The people who run it are really helpful when I forget to pay, too!

    It occurs to me that since Mac will always have a switch-adapted computer around this may be a good solution for communication with friends/family at least! If he had a laptop with a 3G (mobile-phone-type) modem then it would work when he was away from home too – I just have my desktop computer but since I’m mostly homebound that’s cool for me.

    [The only drawback for this service is that if people try to phone the number I text them from it won’t work and they won’t know why. But I just tell people I text with so that’s not a big issue.]

  2. Gina @

    Thanks Ricky
    Actually you reminded me that back in my previous life (before Mac) I used to use a service called NET2MOBILE which linked my own mobile to the computer to send text messages. It was much faster for me to type quick messages (I am a ‘granny texter’) than use my phone. It was really convenient for work and since I am talking 9 years ago here so it was my way of getting people used to having the information right there in front of them instead of having to listen to a voicemail and then write down the details. I think I still have some credits kicking around on that account as I have used it a couple of times since.

  3. I’ve had a few out-there technology ideas in the past and present.

    And someone in my circle recently received an Ipod through donations.

    It would be great to find some fundraising opportunities too, and n0- or low-cost technologies.

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