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Accessibility improvements on Twitter

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Social media tool Twitter has announced its efforts to make its website twitter.com more accessible to people with disabilities.

Their first blog, released yesterday, outlines improvements they have made to keyboard navigation on the website. According to the Twitter blog, pressing the K or J keys will now allow you to navigate between tweets. While using the Tab and Shift +Tab key will allow you to move between links within a tweet. Keyboard shortcuts allow people with mobility impairments to navigate the website through a button, providing an alternative to using mouse navigation. 

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Easy Chirp seeks funding for update

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Update 12 June: Easy Chirp's Kickstarter campaign successfully raised over $5000. The platform is going down temporarily from today while the new Easy Chirp is being built.

The accessible Twitter alternative, Easy Chirp, is seeking donations to continue. Easy Chirp replicates Twitter, the social media platform which allows people to post 140-character status updates, so that blind and vision impaired users can participate equally.

Easy Chirp was built in 2009 in response to Twitter’s inaccessibility. While Twitter has put significant work into improving its website and apps, Easy Chirp’s simplicity makes it the preferred option for many, if not most, blind Twitter users.

Currently, Easy Chirp uses the first version of Twitter’s API, the system which allows apps besides Twitter such as Easy Chirp and HootSuite to display tweets. Now, Twitter is updating its API and as a result, Easy Chirp needs an update too.

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Winners of the inaugural Golden Apple awards

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AppleVis has announced the winners of its first ever Golden Apple awards, celebrating innovations that enable and empower blind and vision impaired Apple users. The winners were determined by popular vote amongst AppleVis readers.

The Golden Apple went to Fleksy, an app which uses advanced predictive text software to allow accurate typing even without looking at the screen. The app also took out the award for Best iOS App of 2012 and earned its developers, Syntellia, Developer of the Year.


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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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