Blind Foundation collaborates with 2degrees in technology partnership

Blind Foundation clients, 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 in the Blind Foundation’s digital library, along with magazines, national and regional newspapers.

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.

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,” says Lance.

2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says it’s great to be using 2degrees’ national mobile network to help people in a tangible way, in this case helping the Blind Foundation’s BookLink members enjoy the library.

“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 CEO Sandra Budd says, “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.”

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

For more information about BookLink, phone 0800 24 33 33 or visit blindfoundation.org.nz/booklink

Lance Girling Butcher BookLink resize

 Pictured: Blind Foundation Client, Lance Girling-Butcher

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Emily King, Blind Foundation, Communications Advisor
DDI: 09 355 3906
Email: eking@blindfoundation.org.nz

Lucy Reed, 2degrees Communications Manager
Mobile: 021 023 33138
Email: lucy.reed@2degrees.nz

About the Blind Foundation
The Blind Foundation enables the thousands of New Zealanders who are blind or have low vision to experience a life without limits.

It provides practical support for living independently, guidance and advice on staying in or looking for work, as well as ongoing help and training to use technology aids.

The Blind Foundation relies on the generous support of the public to deliver services and support to New Zealanders who are blind or have low vision.

About 2degrees:
Since launch in 2009, 2degrees has made a significant impact on the New Zealand telecommunications market. The company has built a nationwide 2G, 3G and 4G network and has significantly lowered the cost of mobile for Kiwis. In early 2015 2degrees acquired internet service provider Snap to become a full service telecommunications provider. 2degrees has over 55 retail outlets and 97.5% mobile network coverage across the country which is complemented by ADSL, VDSL and UFB services.