Practical Web Accessibility news

Dog finds his voice: First Dog On The Moon goes aural

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Crikey cartoonist First Dog On The Moon has started releasing versions of his political cartoons in audio format specifically for the enjoyment of blind and vision impaired readers.

First Dog On The Moon (as the cartoonist likes to be known) takes a cast of animal characters and has them play out the political stories making headlines. In this universe, Prime Minister Julia Gillard becomes Power Fox and Senator Barnaby Joyce a talking pumpkin scone. The cartoons, while visually simple, involve many frames and long exchanges of dialogue.

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Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2013

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Thursday 9 May marks the second annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day dedicated to raising the profile of web accessibility amongst web professionals. In Australia, there will be activities held in different cities to explore how accessibility, or lack thereof, impacts on the experience of using the web for people with disability.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) started after Los Angeles-based web developer Joe Devon suggested the idea on his blog. Canadian accessibility professional Jennison Asuncion spotted the post and offered his help to get the day off the ground.

This year, organisers are inviting web professionals to get a taste of what it’s like for the one in five people who have a disability. Some of the suggested activities include: 

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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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Global progress on social media accessibility

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of our sociABILITY: social media for people with a disability resources. The project was the first of its kind and is being used as a keystone in a global push towards recognising people with disability as a large and influential audience on social media.

While social media networks still present access barriers, there are steps organisations and individuals can take to reduce them. For instance, Facebook does not let you provide alternative text for images and so Media Access Australia provides this in the first comment below the image. Similarly, when posting a link to a video we will always mention whether it is captioned or audio described.

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