The .au Domain Administration (auDA) is using its surplus to fund projects to improve the social impact of the Internet within Australia.

The domain name authority announced at a ceremony in Sydney today it has invested AU$275,000 to the AuDA Foundation who will distribute funds to 16 projects across Australia including anti-spam software, accessibility browser development for the vision impaired, medical projects, and counselling and support projects.

auDA, a not-for-profit organisation and unofficial, non-government regulator for domain name registrars in Australia has allocated between AU$5,000 and AU$20,000 for each granted project.

Some of this year’s projects include:

  • Accessibility projects —
    these projects include the development of a browser specifically designed for the vision-impaired. This project intends to use JSP Java technology to parse Web pages and display them in an accessible format. Another project revolves around the establishment of dedicated Internet and webcam facilities for enhanced service delivery and assistance for the hearing impaired in rural communities.
  • Counselling & support projects —
    several projects aim to provide easily accessible support to youth and the
    elderly. Lifeline in Canberra is working on the development of expanding its services to include Web-based counselling. The ASCCS (Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Assocaition) has a grant to help bring computer training to the elderly. Goulburn Valley Family Care are launching an inivative method to prevent youth suicide through the medium of local football teams.

  • Medical-based Projects —
    support networking for families of those suffering from muscular dystrophy is being expanded through the Parent Project. The Stroke Recovery Association (SRA) is providing chat rooms to help stroke victims and their carers.
  • Technical Projects —
    the only purely technical project this year is an open-source front-end for SMTP servers that uses a TCP-layer algorithm to tackle the growing spam problem. Swinburne University are developing this software OS independent and easily installable and hope to raise the profile of Australian research institutions