Blind/vision impaired Digital Technology & Online Media news

Australian web accessibility awarded

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The winners of the Australian Web Awards have been announced, recognising the importance of accessibility in web development and design.  The Cerebral Palsy Alliance took out the national award for best overall accessibility for its main website.

"We're delighted that there's a growing recognition of the importance of web accessibility in Australia," said Robyn Cummins, Manager of the Communication Design Team at Cerebral Palsy Alliance." With one in five Australians with a disability and a rapidly ageing population, it should be on every organisation's agenda."

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Excluded web visitors often don’t complain, they just leave

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The facts speak clearly – 71% of web users with a disability will simply leave a website that is not accessible to them, according to recent research from the US Government’s 'Section 508'. Not only is this bad for the business community, Government utilities, and society in general, digital inaccessibility is excluding millions of Australians from enjoying the positive interactions online that people without disability take for granted.

Area Closed Keep Out sign

Area Closed Keep Out sign


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More retailers under the hammer for inaccessible websites

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A new wave of lawsuits has begun in the USA with Kmart, McDonald’s, Sears, Ace Hardware, and GrubHub among the latest to be sued by blind and vision-impaired people for having inaccessible websites that exclude them from ordering products online.

Judges gavel hammer

Judges gavel hammer

A blind woman is alleging in the Chicago federal court that three major retailers are denying her, and similarly vision-impaired people, access to their websites in violation of US federal law. Kayla Reed filed suits on 8 September against hardware retailer Ace Hardware, flooring retailer Empire Today and discount store chain Kmart.

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Useful app helps the blind navigate around crowded places

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A pioneering smartphone accessibility app was recently updated and was designed to help orient and guide blind and vision impaired people through crowded indoor spaces, such as shopping malls, universities and hospitals.

RightHear logo

RightHear logo

The RightHear app was developed by Zikitapp Limited in Israel and is an accessibility solution for the blind and vision impaired that enables users to acquire a better level of independence and orientation within indoor spaces.

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Be My Eyes app gets August 2017 update

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Be My Eyes allows blind and vision impaired users to request help from a sighted person and the sighted users will then be called for help via linked video and audio between smartphones. This recently updated app is all about contributing to and benefiting from small acts of kindness, and it’s free on the App Store.

Be My Eyes logo

Be My Eyes logo

The new ‘Version 1.6.5’ update of Be My Eyes was rolled out on 10 August 2017 and features an expanded languages selection, added actions to call notifications, and some minor bug fixes and usability improvements.

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Commonwealth Bank disrupting EFTPOS usage for the blind and vision-impaired

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The Commonwealth Bank is continuing to roll out their EFTPOS tablet despite repeated concerns voiced over the past 18 months that this payment solution is inaccessible to people who are blind, vision-impaired or have other disabilities that make touchscreen-only use unworkable for them.

Woman tries to use touchscreen on Albert tablet

Woman tries to use touchscreen on Albert tablet


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Technology is key to creating ‘most accessible neighbourhood’

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The CNIB, Canada’s National Institute for the Blind, is turning to a combination of inclusive design and the latest technology to transform a small but popular section of one of Toronto’s busiest streets, into that country’s most accessible precinct, where blind and vision-impaired people can navigate easily and interact independently.

CNIB Beacon

CNIB Beacon - photo by Chris Young of the Canadian Press

The CNIB institute is preparing to roll out 200 small (7x7cm) 'Beacons' into stores and restaurants (at no charge to each business) in the neighbourhood, which will provide vision-impaired customers with practical information on the premises they enter.


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Microsoft releases new app – a talking camera for the blind

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The revolutionary new Seeing AI app has evolved from a long-running Microsoft research project for people with visual impairment to narrate the world around us. It turns the visual world into an audible experience, so that users can essentially use their phone as their eyes.

Seeing AI logo

Seeing AI logo

In March 2016, Microsoft showed off a prototype of its Seeing AI app, which looked very promising at the time but required further development. In mid July 2017 the company released an enhanced and updated version, as a free app on iOS.

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