Assistive technology

Assistive Android apps recognised

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The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards were held yesterday in Belgium to celebrate innovative apps for Android smartphones designed to make things easier for people with a disability.

Funded by the Vodafone Foundation and supported by the European Disability Forum, the awards recognised apps in four categories: Wellbeing, Independent Living, Social Participation and Mobility. As phones which run on Android are generally less accessible than the Apple iPhone, encouraging Android developers to consider the needs of disabled users is very worthwhile.

Below are the winners and runners-up in each category:


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New initiative promotes technology designed for everybody

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A major initiative recently launched in London is raising awareness of the need for technology design that includes people with a disability.

An initiative of The Royal London Society for the Blind, Everybody Technology works collaboratively with technology companies, developers, designers and people with disabilities to create products that combine technology and design for the benefit of all users.

Digital media and technology: 

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Top 12 of 2012 #10 – helping seniors get online

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An important part of life for many older Australians is keeping in touch with family and friends, researching hobbies and interests and staying up-to-date with news.  In July, we launched a project to help older people get online and stay online as they begin to experience age-related disabilities.

In partnership with the Council on the Ageing Western Australia (COTA WA) and funded by the nib Foundation, we produced resources which will enable COTA WA member organisations to help individual members and train workshop coordinators on computer accessibility, assistive technology and social media.

Digital media and technology: 

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Top 12 of 2012 #2 – access to social media

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As social media continues to dominate what people do online, a new digital divide is opening up between those who use social media and those excluded from them by their inaccessibility. To help remedy this, we published sociABILITY: Social media for people with a disability in March.

Funded by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network grants scheme, the resource explains the current state of social media accessibility and guides users through getting started on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Skype and blogging.

Media Access Australia researcher Dr Scott Hollier conducted an eight-month qualitative study among people with a sensory and mobility impairment. Through this research, social media users with disabilities were able to share their tips and tricks so that others can gain access.


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