Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Access initiatives

Skip Navigation LinksVictorian Deaf Education Institute > Innovation and Technology > Access initiatives

Celebrate Hearing Awareness Week at the Werribee Open Range Zoo! | Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Primary and secondary school students who are deaf or hard of hearing are invited to join us at Werribee Open Range Zoo for a day of activities including using the OpenMi Excursion app. 

OpenMi is a smartphone application that offers interactive and accessible learning through captions and Australian Sign Language as well as a newly added audio tour.  The app has been designed to be used around the Pula Reserve Walking Trail and Safari Tour via Quick Response codes (QR code). 

The app has recently been updated with new features including an audio tour for hard of hearing students (as well as other deaf and hard of hearing people). 

OpenMi was developed by Australian Communication Exchange in collaboration with the Victorian Deaf Education Institute and the Werribee Open Range Zoo to create accessible learning for Deaf and hear of hard of hearing students. 

Date: Wednesday 28 August 2013

Time: 9.30am to 2.00pm

Cost: Free of charge entry.  Schools required to cover own transport costs. 

BYO: Digital devices with the OpenMi Excursions app downloaded.  Please note there will be limited devices available for loan on the day.  The app is free and available for IOS and android devices.  Find out how to download the OpenMi Tour app at

Bookings: Get in early as places are limited.  Bookings close 14 August 2013. 

For more information, please contact Michelle Howard at the Werribee Open Range Zoo on or call 9731 9630. 

To make a booking please call the Werribee Open Range Zoo Admissions Booking Office on 9731 9601. 

New app increases accessibility for deaf children at Werribee Zoo | Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A new mobile app that improves access for deaf and hard of hearing children to the Werribee Open Range Zoo has just been launched.
Through the new OpenMi Excursions app, deaf children can now access walking trail and safari bus content through its Auslan videos and captions. 
The application is part of the Smart Auslan for Education Project and the result of a partnership between the Victorian Deaf Education Institute, the Australian Communication Exchange and Werribee Open Range Zoo. 
Deaf children may simply hire a kit as soon as they arrive with their family and/or friends and visually take in information on animals’ history, habitats and habits. 
VDEI and ACE are continuing discussions on improving the app and identifying the venues which would benefit student excursions being made available with this exciting access initiative and technology.
For more information about the app or to download it view: OpenMi Tours in iTunes
To read the media release view: New app to help deaf children enjoy our zoo   

Access initiative with ACE | Sunday, June 17, 2012

At the recent Deafness Summit hosted by Deafness forum, major sponsor Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) made some exciting announcements after presenting the awards. ACE have adapted their Smart Auslan application for use at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) for the Napoleon Exhibition which has just opened. ACE also announced they are working in partnership with VDEI in another exciting access initiative. Over the coming months we will be able to provide more information on about this and we are very excited to be in partnership with ACE to ensure deaf friendly access becomes more widely available and a top priority in all educational settings. 

For more information, see the following links: