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Blind Foundation forges tech partnership with 2degrees

Blind Foundation forges tech partnership with 2degrees

2degrees has zero-rated all data used by Blind Foundation clients who access its BookLink app on 2degrees’ mobile network, making it effectively free to use.

Clients of the Blind Foundation who are on the 2degrees mobile network can now download their favourite magazines and books on the BookLink app without worrying about the cost of data.

BookLink, available from the Apple app store, gives New Zealanders who are blind or have low vision access to more than 11,000 audio books and other publications in the foundation’s digital library.

As a first step, 2degrees has zero-rated all data used by Blind Foundation clients who access its BookLink app on 2degrees’ mobile network, making it effectively free to use.

“Partnerships like this are a great example of how we can work with other organisations in an innovative way to improve services and support for New Zealanders who are blind or have low vision,” says Blind Foundation CEO Sandra Budd, in a statement.

At the moment, users need an Apple device to use BookLink, but future work includes adapting the app for other devices, including Android.

Blind Foundation client Lance Girling-Butcher says BookLink is an invaluable service.

“Being blind can be very isolating and lonely. BookLink helps to fill this gap, allowing us to read and be entertained with access to the latest magazines and books.

“I am delighted the Blind Foundation and 2degrees are making this service more accessible with no cost to use the app on the go. It’s especially great news for avid readers who use this essential service every day,” he says.

2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says it is great that the company’s national mobile network is helping people in a tangible way.

“The app’s a terrific advancement that allows people to read books on demand and zero-rating the data used to obtain these publications seems only fair.”

Blind Foundation client Lance Girling-Butcher says BookLink is an invaluable service.
Blind Foundation client Lance Girling-Butcher says BookLink is an invaluable service.

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