Smartphones

The NDIS: a role-based ICT approach - Disability Employment Conference 2014

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Dr Scott Hollier's presentation at the Disability Employment Conference 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare.

Speaking at the Disability Employment Conference 2014, Dr Scott Hollier discusses the necessity of ICT accessibility, providing an in-depth outline of Media Access Australia's 'Service Providers Accessibility Guide'. The presentation below covers the topics of policy & legislation, web accessibility, document creation, email & social media, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and more.


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Making cloud computing accessible

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With cloud computing becoming increasingly central to daily life, cloud providers have been urged to consider the access requirements of consumers with disabilities.

According to Media Access Australia’s resident web accessibility expert, Dr Scott Hollier, cloud—the process of delivering computing resources, data, services and media over an internet connection rather than directly from a personal computer or a mobile device—now enables everything from internet banking and shopping, to purchasing insurance and superannuation, to paying bills, taxes and registering cars.

However, while businesses still had a choice of whether to adopt cloud services or not, consumers often had little choice, he said.

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Q&A: TIA on mobile technology and Baby Boomers

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Media Access Australia spoke to Brian Scarpelli, Director, Government Affairs at the US Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) following his chairing of a session on mobile technology and Baby Boomers at this year’s M-Enabling Conference.

Media Access Australia: What is the adoption of mobile devices and applications by seniors? How big is the market?

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Q&A: How SMS aids Deaf research and communication

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Media Access Australia spoke with Erin Walsh and Meaghan Arundell from the Australian National University ahead of their presentations at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) conference in Melbourne on how SMS is being used as a research and communication tool for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

The conference, being run at Swinburne University’s Hawthorn campus from 9-11 July, tackles a diverse range of issues in the media and communication space, including issues around disability and media access.

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Telstra backs ACCAN’s Apps For All challenge

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Australian app developers have been encouraged to enter the Apps For All challenge following the news that significant cash and career development prizes have been added to the inaugural competition.

Apps For All, a partnership between the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission, now offers the winners in all four categories a $1500 cash prize, thanks to Telstra’s signing on as sponsor of the competition.


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Amazon touts accessibility of Fire smartphone

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Amazon has announced that accessibility has taken centre stage in its new Fire smartphone.

The company, better known for its Kindle e-reader and its online shopping site, has stated that its Fire smartphone contains features to address vision, hearing and motor-related impairments.

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Spanish website provides accessibility reviews of smartphones

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Spanish organisation Fundación ONCE has created a website, Amóvil, designed to provide accessibility reviews of popular European smartphones.

Amóvil is a Spain-based initiative designed to help people with disabilities find a smartphone that suits their needs and preferences. It allows users to search for a particular model of smartphone and then read reviews about the device and its accessibility features.

The search function allows users to search by accessibility type, such as features only applicable to blind users, hard of hearing users and low vision users.

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Apple Yosemite and iOS8 accessibility roundup

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Apple this week announced the launch of its new Mac operating system, Yosemite, and its new mobile operating system, iOS 8, at its annual developer conference.

The new operating systems have a range of accessibility features, such as Spotlight which makes web searches and launching applications and documents easier for people with motor-related disabilities, and a ‘dark mode’ which switches black text on a white background to white text on a black background, aiding people with vision-related disabilities.


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Mozilla's $25 accessible smartphone

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Soon there will be more choice in the accessible smartphone market, with not-for-profit technology organisation Mozilla launching its own mobile operating system and smartphone. With accessibility and affordability key considerations, it is hoped that these products will help bring down the cost of smartphones for people with disability.

Like all Mozilla products, the operating system Firefox OS is open source, meaning that members of the development community can contribute to its improvement. As we reported in July, this will allow for Firefox OS’s accessibility features to be introduced and enhanced more quickly than in closed source systems such as Apple iOS.

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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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