Devices

Apple to provide accessibility support around NDIS conference

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Apple is presenting its accessibility technologies at the NDIS New World Conference in Brisbane next week. The tech giant has prepared an "Accessible House" in the main conference exhibition space, with an interactive exhibit promoting and featuring accessible devices, apps and accessories to assist people to do more around the home and office.

Man using an iPad

The seminar will feature products such as the iPhone and iPad, and will cover options for vision, hearing, motor and cognitive disabilities. In addition to this, every Apple store in Australia will be running an accessibility workshop on Saturday 31 October at 9:30am.


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Blind Citizens Australia wraps up successful convention in Perth

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The Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) annual convention was held over the weekend at the Mercure hotel in Perth, with approximately 120 attendees discussing a range of issues.

Much of the focus related to the 40th anniversary of BCA with presentations and discussions relating to how products and services for people who are blind or vision impaired have progressed over that time, current issues both locally and internationally, and the significance of BCA in the future.


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Digital Inclusion Index measures access in Australia

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A new Melbourne-based research project has launched with the aim of discovering the reach of digital inclusion in Australia.

Computer cable extending out from Australia on a world globe

Digital media and technology: 

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Apple TV, iPhone and iPad lineup offers both accessibility benefits and challenges

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The new range of Apple products has been announced with upgrades of many of them including new iPhones, an iPad with a larger screen, and a significant update to the Apple TV. While many of the products include helpful accessibility improvements, users should also be aware of some potential challenges the new features may create.

Apple iPad Pro and iPhone 6S with iOS9 home screen displayed

Digital media and technology: 

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Kodi 15.1 media centre software significantly improves accessibility features

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Kodi, arguably the world’s most popular open-source media centre software, has recently introduced significant accessibility improvements in its 15.1 development update.

Kodi logo

The media centre software, formerly known as Xbox Media Center (XBMC), is currently being updated  to include a specific accessibility section relating to video playback of captions and selectable audio streams, as well as the ability to install audio menu support.

Digital media and technology: 

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BBC paper looks at the future of online captioning

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As people increasingly watch TV programs online, the opportunity arises for captions to be made more responsive to the needs of individual users. A new BBC white paper looks at some of the possibilities, which include users being able to vary font size and colour, along with many other enhancements.

Man and woman smiling while viewing media on a smartphone together


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Connect Ability Challenge awards accessible tech innovators

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The Connect Ability Challenge, which challenges developers to build accessible technology solutions for people with disabilities using only existing and affordable mainstream platforms, announced the winners of a USD$92,500 (AUD$125,381) prize pool last Monday.

Person using a tablet device in front of an open laptop


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Windows 10 launches with accessibility improvements

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The Windows 10 update has begun to roll out on a number of devices and has some significant improvements to the accessibility features previously available in Windows 8.1, particularly around the inclusion of the Siri-like Cortana digital assistant, more versatile dictation support and minor updates to existing accessibility features.

Windows 10 logo


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Five tips to make the web work better in your language

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In late May, Dr Scott Hollier travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to teach a web accessibility course to 22 students. As part of the assignment work, the students learnt how to use the basic functionality of screen readers and other Assistive Technology (AT). While the work went well, it quickly became apparent that there were a number of issues relating to the way in which Arabic was supported by the tools, and how those tools interacted with the web.

Translate button on a keyboard amidst keys labelled with multiple languages

There are several reasons why the web becomes more complicated for non-English speaking users, and it’s a combination of a number of factors:


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Apple wins AFB award for its accessibility product features

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The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has announced that the Helen Keller Award for 2015 has been won by Apple due to its commitment to including accessibility features in its products to support people who are blind or vision impaired.

Apple products on display. From left to right: MacBook, iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus


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