Review

Election websites accessibility report – improving but still difficult to use

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Media Access Australia’s Director of Digital Accessibility, Dr Scott Hollier, recently tested a number of websites related to the upcoming Federal Election to determine their accessibility. When compared with similar tests he did in 2013, improvements have been made. Yet people with disabilities or impairments still face challenges to determine their voting preferences based on online information, as Dr Hollier explains in an informative article and podcast.

Image of the words: why, where, what, how, when, who, in voice bubbles


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Review of the Panasonic Smart Viera TH-L42E6A, a ‘talking TV’ with Voice Guidance

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Panasonic’s 2013 range of Viera ‘smart TVs’ are the first in Australia to have a text-to-speech function which will be of great benefit to blind and vision impaired consumers. The function, called ‘Voice Guidance’, was developed in the by Panasonic in the UK, in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Media Access Australia’s project manager Ally Woodford gave it a test.

I connected the television simply with the aerial cable and power cable. The TV can be connected to a range of external equipment to record or play video.

When I turned on the power there was no sound and no text instruction to suggest how to activate the Voice Guidance. The on-screen option was to select your viewing environment of ‘Home’ or ‘Shop’. I selected Home.


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Educational app review: captions for learning

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Educational apps are increasingly being used by teachers as a fun and interactive way of engaging students, but captions are often lacking on the video content found within them.

Studies have shown that using captions can enhance the learning experience for all students, with particular benefit to students who speak English as a second language or with learning difficulties, not to mention the Deaf or hearing impaired students for whom captions are absolutely essential.

Media Access Australia found and tested three educational apps that include captions for all students.

Brainpop

Cost: Free, $1.99 per month, $6.99 per month (unlimited access)

Digital media and technology: 

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