Screen readers

More retailers under the hammer for inaccessible websites

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A new wave of lawsuits has begun in the USA with Kmart, McDonald’s, Sears, Ace Hardware, and GrubHub among the latest to be sued by blind and vision-impaired people for having inaccessible websites that exclude them from ordering products online.

Judges gavel hammer

Judges gavel hammer

A blind woman is alleging in the Chicago federal court that three major retailers are denying her, and similarly vision-impaired people, access to their websites in violation of US federal law. Kayla Reed filed suits on 8 September against hardware retailer Ace Hardware, flooring retailer Empire Today and discount store chain Kmart.

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US restaurant chain has trouble on the menu

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The Olive Garden restaurant group in the US is accused of having a website that is inaccessible to the vision impaired, with a lawsuit filed in Florida in April 2017. The company is alleged to be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is the US equivalent of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in Australia.

Red slash through wheelchair

Red slash through wheelchair

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JAWS screen reader gets more bight

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Freedom Scientific has recently released JAWS 18.0.2738, which incorporates several important improvements made between the JAWS February 2017 release and this mid April 2017 update, plus dozens of less revolutionary but very practical enhancements.

Image of JAWS screen reader logo

JAWS screen reader logo

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is the world's most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. It allows blind and vision-impaired people to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a refreshable Braille display.

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Affordable digital access of real interest to seniors

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Media Access Australia (MAA) was a sponsor of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) annual conference that kicked off in Sydney on 8 November. MAA was also exhibiting at the event, with a focus on the content-rich Affordable Access website and downloadable resources.

Philip Jenkinson at the MAA stand at the Computer Seniors Conference

 Philip Jenkinson at the MAA stand at the Computer Seniors Conference

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USAA’s new banking app allows voice-guided cheque depositing

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USAA, a Texas-based Fortune 500 diversified financial services group, has recently demonstrated that banking and accessibility can easily go hand in hand with each other. This was proved in a recent update to their banking app which will mean that individuals who are blind or have a vision impairment will hear the benefits – literally.

USAA logo

This system offers verbal cues to guide a vision impaired customer to be able to properly position a cheque to deposit it. They use commands like ‘push out’, ‘pull in’, ‘move right’, ‘lift device’, ‘hold steady’, ‘image captured’, and more.


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Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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UK charity puts pressure on government to enforce web accessibility

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Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at Abilitynet, a UK disabilities charity, has written an open letter to the British Parliament, to put pressure on the people in power to fine organisations whose websites and apps fail to comply with WCAG 2.0.

Traffic warden issuing a parking ticket on a busy London road


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5 simple ways you can dramatically improve your blog’s accessibility

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Blogging encourages freedom of personal expression so it should be a right for anyone, regardless of disabilities or requirements, to have access to this vast pool of knowledge and community.  But what simple things can you do as a blogger, or a budding blogger, to make sure that your blog is accessible?  There are 5 simple ways that you can dramatically improve your blog’s accessibility.

Woman typing on her laptop, sitting on her bed

It’s fair to say that the blogging world has boomed in recent years, with more and more people starting a blog or reading a blog on a regular basis. You only have to whisper the world ‘Zoella’ to a tween and they know exactly who they are and get all starry-eyed. 


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How the blind experience the internet

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What is the internet like when you have a vision impairment? Chris Moury, who has rapidly declining vision, speaks about this topic on Control Z, a new ABC podcast by Yasmin Parry and Will Ockenden.

Laptop sitting open on a table next to a smartphone and notepad


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