Our Work

Power App for Good: Our Work with SA Power Networks Enabling Better Communication with the Hearing-Limited Community


When SA Power Networks recognised a need to better engage with hearing-limited members of the community, they engaged Chamonix to get education into the hands of field crews. One in six South Australians is hard of hearing, yet most day-to-day communication happens audibly. SA Power Networks recognised that communication with these members of the community was restricted, as crews were limited to writing notes and handing them across, making communication stilted and difficult.
An additional layer of complexity was that for profoundly deaf people written literacy is not always an achieved, in particular for those who were unable to attend specialist schools where those skills are developed. Often insulated, the only way to communicate with many of these people is through AUSLAN.

Our Approach

AUSLAN allows hearing-impaired members of the community to not only feel like they are being engaged in a manner that is most comfortable to them, it allows for far more rapid and natural conversation flow.

While teaching every line worker at SA Power Networks AUSLAN was not a viable option, Deaf:Can Do were more than happy to give SA Power Networks videos to help the SAPN staff communicate with deaf people in the community. SA Power Networks then needed a way to ensure staff could access that information at the right time.

To facilitate access to the necessary information, Chamonix built a Power App that could be accessed by the SA Power Networks staff, and we worked with the mobile device team to roll it out.

The impact of this app was twofold:

  • The primary impact was the ability for field crews to engage with members of the community that they previously were not able to.
  • The secondary impact was an improved relationship with the ‘Can Do’ group, and improved public perception of SA Power Networks for having undertaken this endeavour.

Our Recommendations & Solution

Chamonix worked with the Stakeholder Engagement team at SA Power Networks to rapidly prototype and deliver a Power App that catalogued and presented these videos in a sortable, searchable way. For ease of use by field teams, the app could be installed and pinned to their mobile phones or tablets. This app was then incorporated into broader training that familiarised staff with AUSLAN and allowed them to consume the catalogued videos as needed. By using rapid development tools (like Power Apps and YouTube) and a least-complexity approach to development, this app was able to be taken from concept through to delivery and formal presentation within several weeks. This reduced the overall spending and allowed for completion by a very small development team. Since its launch, the app has been accessed hundreds of times by dozens of different staff members, and it continues to be used today.

A summary of the AUSLAN training program, as well as a preview of the app, are available here:

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