Digital technology

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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iPhone app uses real-life people to answer questions for blind and vision impaired

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A new iPhone app enables people who are blind or vision impaired to recruit sighted users to answer questions about an item they have taken a photo of.

The VizWiz app, being developed by Rochester Human Computer Interaction, 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.

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Conference promotes use of technology for better outcomes for not-for-profits

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Media Access Australia’s Digital Media and Technology Manager Sarah Pulis will be talking to not-for-profit organisations about web accessibility at this year’s Connecting Up conference.

Connecting Up 2011 is a conference for organisations in the not-for-profit, charity and community sectors to discuss how new technologies can improve organisational efficiency and outcomes.

Pulis said, “For a lot of not-for-profits whose audience includes people with disabilities, sometimes more so than other sectors, providing a website that is accessible to all people is extremely important.”


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Netflix adds captions to iOS app

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A new update to the Netflix app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch now allows you to watch movies and TV episodes with captions.

Netflix began releasing titles with closed captions in April last year, but until the recent update to its iOS app, users could not turn on captions when using their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Captions are particularly useful for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, as well as those who are viewing content in a noisy environment, teaching or training, or learning English.

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