Android smartphones

New app brings enhanced accessibility to Perth bus network

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A new app for Android smartphones has been released to help Perth residents who are blind or vision impaired get around on buses.

Stop Announcer (Perth) provides audio information for buses and other public transport around Perth, Western Australia. Users select their route number and stop, and the app counts down the number of stops and alerts the user when their stop is approaching. The app is designed specifically for people who are blind or have low vision, so it is completely screen reader accessible with a high contrast visual design.

Developer Voon-Li Chung explained the inspiration for Stop Announcer.

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Accessible app challenge announced

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission have announced an accessible app challenge called Apps For All at this week’s M-Enabling Australasia 2013 Conference. 

Apps For All challenges developers to create mobile or tablet apps which can be accessed by as many people as possible, including people with disabilities.

Announced by Johanna Plante, Chairperson of ACCAN, and Graeme Innes, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, the focus of the challenge is to raise awareness about the universal benefits of accessible apps.

“The Apps For All challenge will not only highlight why accessibility is so important, but trigger a flood of innovative and groundbreaking ideas around how apps and technologies can truly benefit all,” saidPlante.

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Feature: SIMO – Australia’s indoor mapping project

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For most people, great ideas are triggered by an event or experience that pushes them to do something. For Sydney industrial designer Euan Ramsey-Stewart, it was getting kicked out of art galleries, writes Clarizza Fernandez.

"I used to get kicked out of art galleries because I would go up and touch sculptures. I thought 'What if I couldn't see the damn thing?' I'd at least want to know what it felt like."


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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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