Android smartphones

Apple continues to improve accessibility of iOS

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A new feature in the latest beta release of iOS 5, the operating system for the iPad and iPhone, provides on-screen replacements for various button functions, such as the home button.

The control panel, called Assistive Touch, will assist users who may have trouble using the standard gestures or the physical buttons on the iPad. For example, instead of using the swipe action (gesture) to move from screen to screen, you can tap on an icon instead. This may increase accessibility for users with a physical disability.

Once the feature is turned on in the accessibility settings, you can tap on a designated corner on the device to bring up the control panel.

Assistive Touch has four options in total:

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New service improves accessibility of museum tours for the deaf

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A new service from the Australian Communication Exchange will improve the accessibility of museum tours for the Deaf and hearing impaired.

The Smart Auslan service transcribes museum audio tours into captions as well as translating them into AUSLAN (Australian sign language) for the Deaf and hearing impaired.

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Mobile Accessibility app comes to Android

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The release of Mobile Accessibility, a screen access application designed to help people who are blind or vision impaired to use an Android, has created a stir in the access community.

Mobile Accessibility, developed by CodeFactory, consists of a suite of 10 accessible applications for everyday online activities such as email, phone calls and contact lists, SMS, calendar and web. It also has a screen reader that works with these applications, as well as outside the suite to navigate the standard interface.

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Installing Android apps for accessibility is now easier

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You can now download new text-to-speech voices and carrier specific Accessibility Application Installers from the Android app store, making it easier to get accessibility apps on your Android smartphone.

The Accessibility Application Installers will identify which accessibility applications are not installed on your Android smartphone and assist you to install the missing applications.

These apps include Accessibility Preference, Eyes Free Shell, IDEAL Item Identifier, IDEAL magnifier, IDEAL Web Access Pack, K-9 Mail, KickBack, Rock Lock, Sound Back, TalkBack, Talking Dialer, Walky Talky and Intersection Explorer.

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