Mobile technology provides a voice 

Jessica Irwin is non-verbal and lives with a high level of cerebral palsy but that won’t stop her sharing her ideas with the world.

The 26-year-old entrepreneur was hired in February as a part-time graphic designer with not-for-profit Parramatta telco Jeenee Mobile, of which she is also a customer.

Founded in 2010, Jeenee provides modified Android phones and tablets to help people living with disabilities communicate and live more independently.

It includes a 24-hour seven days a week help centre that can be reached via SMS.

“Having access to the Jeenee Mobile call centre via SMS is brilliant,” Ms Irwin said.

“Through the help centre I can actually ring businesses when I need to order something for my company or if I get stuck and need to contact family.”

Ms Irwin’s mobile has been set up with big icons to allow her to text message the help centre if she needs someone to make phone calls on her behalf or even if she just wants a chat.

Ms Irwin, who is employed by Jeenee two days a week and also runs her own design and photography business DARE2BEU, encouraged other people living with disabilities to consider the mobile service.

“You need to get out there and challenge the world,” she said.

“Now you have the peace of mind you can get help anytime. Hopefully if more people get out there it might challenge the public perception.”

On February 14, NSW disability services minister John Ajaka commended the Jeenee Mobile service during a tour of its parent organistion, Community Connections Australia.

‘‘This is a game changer for people with disabilities enabling greater independence for those who need it most,’’ Mr Ajaka said.

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