Do you have an old smart phone that still works? MobileMuster and Able Australia are calling for donations to help members of the deafblind community. Deafblindedness is a combination of sight and hearing loss, each of which can amplify the effects of the other.

Scott Darkin from Able Australia says, “Deafblindness is very much Australia’s forgotten disability. The smartphones donated will help deafblind people stay connected, which is something most of us take for granted. These donated smartphones will also increase their mobility, independence and help them navigate their way around their community.

“Nine out of ten deafblind people will experience depression and anxiety and the simple act of donating an unwanted phone is an easy way to show your support to Australia’s deafblind community. Your old phone could be the vital link that transforms a socially isolated person with deafblindness into an active member of their local community,” he continued.

Through September, MobileMuster will be collecting suitable smart phones and donating them to Able Australia. “The phones will be used to educate people with deafblindness on how to use speech recognition and Braille readers via mobile technology,” says MobileMuster.

Spyro Kalos from MobileMuster says that, “there are approximately 25.5 million unused mobiles sitting in homes and business around Australia, some of these may be smartphones that could help the deafblind community.” He adds “Each smartphone will be checked to confirm it is working and any data left of the phone will be wiped to ensure privacy. MobileMuster will also ensure that any mobiles and accessories that can’t be reused will be recycled by MobileMuster in a safe, secure and ethical way, with all data being destroyed in the recycling process.”

You can download a free-postage mailing label for the phone from the website for MobileMuster, mobilemuster.com.au. Click on News. Or use any one of the 3500 drop off points around Australia.

Suitable phones are those without cracked screens and are otherwise operational. Ideally they will be an iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, LG Nexus 7 and Nokia Lumia 540 or above. A charger is preferred, but not essential. MobileMuster asks that the phone be removed from the relevant “Find My Phone” facility and that all data be wiped.