Blind/vision impaired TV, DVD, Cinema & the Arts news

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In an effort to provide the most relevant information on the most accessible website we can, Media Access Australia is seeking feedback from readers about our website. 

The simple 5 minute survey is an opportunity to tell us what you are interested in and what you would like to see more of on our site. Importantly, you can also let us know how you find the website’s accessibility.

“Our readership is incredibly diverse in terms of people’s interests and needs as users. Every day we talk to people who might be using a piece of assistive technology that radically changes how they experience the site. Gaining insight into that is vital for us being the best we can be,” said Online Editor Eliza Cussen.

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Highlights of 2013: access in the air

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As many of our readers prepare to jet off on summer holidays, people will be curious about how their access needs will be accommodated by airlines. A number of developments this year are changing the way we travel as well as the enjoyment of our air travel experience. Most developments are taking place in the USA as a result of the Air Carrier Access Act, which impacts strongly on Australia and the rest of the world.

In March 2013, amendments to the Air Carrier Access Act were introduced to the US Senate, requiring domestic and foreign air carriers to ensure that all visually displayed entertainment is accessible, including by making available captioning and audio description for people who are Deaf, hearing impaired, blind, or vision impaired.


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Top five podcast episodes of 2013

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Each week, we help produce a segment for Vision Australia Radio. Presented by community broadcasting legend Roberta Ashby, these offer a special opportunity to share developments in technology with people who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time online. Here, we share some of the favourites broadcast in the past year.

All episodes come with transcripts.


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Highlights 2013: Accessibility improvements in navigation apps

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In 2013, there have been some significant developments for accessibility in navigation apps. Navigation apps allow people to use their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as tools to help them get around. Most devices come with a built-in GPS and this year major technology companies updated their existing GPS apps with improved features for people with disability. As part of Media Access Australia’s Highlights series, we look back at some of the ways navigation apps have been improved for people with disabilities throughout 2013.

Google Maps

Google improved its GPS app with the introduction of voice-guided directions. Voice-guided directions enable people who are blind or vision impaired to follow walking directions through audible cues for each turn (rather than visual or text cues). Voice-guided directions are also available for driving and walking. While voice-guided directions have been a part of the Google Maps app since last year, it has continued to improve this year with its compatibility with new features and with the text-to-speech software of certain devices.


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