Digital technology

ACCAN Standing Advisory Committee members appointed

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Media Access Australia Project Manager Dr Scott Hollier and board member Victoria Rubensohn have been appointed to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) Standing Advisory Committees for 2011-2013.

ACCAN is the peak body that represents Australian consumers on communications issues, working towards the availability, accessibility and affordability of communications.

Dr Hollier has been reappointed to its Standing Advisory Committee for Disability Issues (SACDI), which assists ACCAN in identifying communications issues faced by people with disabilities and planning strategies to address them.


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VizWiz now available in iTunes store

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VizWiz, a new iPhone app which enables people who are blind or vision impaired to recruit sighted users to answer questions about an item they have taken a photo of, is now available in the iTunes store.

The app allows iPhone users to take a photo of an item they have a query about, record their question and send the photo and question to a team of real-life people to answer. These people record the answer, which is then sent back to the user.

You can now download VizWiz from the iTunes store free of cost.

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CBM offers Christian audio library for people with a print disability

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CBM Australia is offering a free Christian audio library service for people with print disabilities, including blindness and vision impairment.

The service is available to people in Australia and New Zealand, who can sign up to receive free Christian talking books and magazines out of a catalogue of over 1,500 books and 12 magazine titles. 

These are recorded using the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) format and are distributed on disk.

CBM Australia is part of CBM, the world’s largest organisation working for people with disabilities in poor locations around the world.


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US Government releases FAQs for accessible eReader laws and rules

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The United States Department of Education has released a new guide that provides further clarification for schools and colleges about the laws and rules they must follow to ensure eBook readers and other emerging technologies are accessible to all students.

The guide is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the June 29, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter that was sent to college and university presidents expressing concern that these institutions were using electronic book readers that were inaccessible to people who were blind or vision impaired.

The FAQs, released on 26 May 2011, reinforce that the same considerations apply to:

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