Blind and vision impaired

VizWiz now available in iTunes store

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VizWiz, a new iPhone app which enables people who are blind or vision impaired to recruit sighted users to answer questions about an item they have taken a photo of, is now available in the iTunes store.

The app allows iPhone users to take a photo of an item they have a query about, record their question and send the photo and question to a team of real-life people to answer. These people record the answer, which is then sent back to the user.

You can now download VizWiz from the iTunes store free of cost.

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Accessible Twitter changes name to Easy Chirp

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Accessible Twitter, the popular web application that helps people with disabilities to access Twitter, has changed its name to Easy Chirp.

According to the press release, the name change is due to several reasons, mainly, that Twitter rules of use for third-party applications do not allow the word ‘Twitter’ in the name of the application.

Also, the word ‘easy’ is more understood than ‘accessible’, particularly to those not in the accessibility or disability communities. Easy Chirp is also shorter, especially important with the 140-character limit in Twitter statuses, better known as tweets.


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Wells Fargo reaches settlement that will guarantee equal access

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The United States Justice Department and Wells Fargo & Company have reached a comprehensive settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act which will ensure equal access to all Wells Fargo services, including website services, for people with disabilities.

Wells Fargo has been the subject of numerous complaints by Deaf and hearing impaired people, as well as people with speech difficulties, many of which related to the company’s refusal to use the telecommunications relay service.

As part of the settlement, Wells Fargo will ensure that its 10,000 retail and banking stores, over 12,000 ATMs, and phone and website services will be fully accessible. It will also pay US$16 million in compensation to individuals, and a US$55,000 civil penalty to the United States.


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Latest W3C column looks at evaluation tools for auditing website accessibility

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This month’s W3C column from Dr Scott Hollier, representative of Media Access Australia on the Advisory Committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is out.

Dr Hollier looks at the recent work of the W3C in making it easier for people to check if websites are accessible for people with disabilities. This work includes the creation of the Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0 Schemato help web developers, and the WCAG 2.0 Evaluation Methodology Task Force(Eval TF)to create a methodology for accessibility evaluation.


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