UK project Fix the Web hits 500 mark for website access reports


The ‘Fix the Web’ initiative led by Citizens Online in the UK has hit the 500 mark for number of websites reported for accessibility issues, after only launching in mid-November.

The volunteer-based project provides an easy way for people with disabilities to make complaints about inaccessible websites. Funded by Nominet Trust, Fix the Web has successfully addressed issues on 36 sites, with 60 website owners acknowledging access issues and a total of 83 owners informed.

Websites that have addressed accessibility issues on their sites after Fix the Web reports include the BBC, Facebook, Coventry Building Society and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

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Government announces the Terms of Reference for the Convergence Review


The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) today released the Terms of Reference for the Convergence Review. The Convergence Review will examine Australia’s regulatory approach to convergent media, with the Terms of Reference setting the scope of the review.

Convergence refers to the “development of digital broadcasting, data compression and internet-based technologies, coupled with improved infrastructure capability, [which] means that content and services that were previously constrained to one delivery channel can now be delivered over many different platforms”. Examples of convergent media include online TV catch-up services and smartphones, which have phone and Internet capabilities.

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Free and low-cost screen reader use increases according to survey


WebAIM has released the results from its third screen reader user survey conducted in December 2010.

The latest survey, with 1245 valid responses, was a follow-up to the original WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey of January 2009 and the follow-up survey from October 2009.

The survey showed that the usage of free and low-cost screen readers such as NVDA and VoiceOver has increased significantly since the last survey.

Digital media and technology: 

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New Zealand audio description trial begins today


The trial of audio description on New Zealand television begins today with an episode of the long-running British soap Coronation Street.

The program, which airs on TVNZ, was selected to be the first to be audio described by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand.

It is planned that the audio description of Coronation Street will continue until the end of the year. The success of the service will then be evaluated, and it is expected that more programs will follow. The service can be received on Freeview HD and Freeview Satellite TV receivers, and has been funded by a grant of NZ$500 from NZ on Air.

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