Blind or vision impaired

DIY 3D-printed tactile maps

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The expansion of affordable 3D printing into the mainstream has meant that people needing tactile versions of objects or printed material can access them more easily.

Man using a 3D printer connected to a laptop

Early adopters of the technology have been schools where diagrams, images and other visual information can be printed out for vision impaired students.

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TV in UK exceeds captioning and audio description quotas

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Television channels in the UK continue to deliver access at much higher levels than the regulated quotas. All channels are covered by the access requirements and any exemptions are generally due to very low levels of audience share.

Man sitting at a mixing panel in a television studio gallery


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The force is even stronger with AD and CC

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The latest film in the Star Wars universe, The Force Awakens, is now available for sale in iTunes with audio description (AD) and closed captions, so that this blockbuster movie can be enjoyed by more people of all abilities. It’s one of the latest in a growing list of movies available in Australia with AD.

Image of Star Wars: The Force Awakens from the official movie site gallery


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Australian Network on Disability seeks participants for Banking Accessibility Survey 2016

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The Australian Network on Disability (AND) is conducting a new survey to extend its research into the accessibility of banking services, encouraging people living with disability to participate. The survey aims to gain a stronger understanding of user experience when paying for goods and services.

Person signing in to an online banking app on a tablet device

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Artificial intelligence in the home with Amazon Echo

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The Amazon Echo is a newly released device that could greatly benefit people with vision or motor impairments, but its usability in Australia is currently very limited.

Amazon Echo device

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Facebook introduces automatic alternative text feature to iOS app

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Facebook has launched a feature based on image recognition to provide Automatic Alternative Text (AAT) for photos uploaded to the social media service.

Hands holding an iPhone with Facebook app displayed. On screen is an image of trees in a forest. Image credit: Automatic Alternative Text by Facebook Accessibility

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Egypt gets a taste of Hotel Transylvania 2 with live AD

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In a first for Egypt and the Middle East, the popular new children’s fantasy-comedy movie Hotel Transylvania 2 was screened in Cairo with live Audio Description (AD), which is the first time this has been done in the region.

Image of Hotel Transylvania 2 from the official Sony Pictures movie site gallery


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Twitter supports alternative text for images sent via app

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Twitter has announced that images tweeted from its iOS and Android apps can now include alternative text, ensuring that users of assistive technologies such as screen readers can understand the nature of the visual content.

Two screen shots of the composer for Twitter on iOS. The first showing the new "Add description" button overlayed on an image thumbnail in the composer, and the second showing the composition of alt text for an image. Image credit: Twitter


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Consultation on communications access

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The inclusion of accessibility features in many mainstream smartphones and tablets is a potential game changer in the delivery of special services for Deaf and hearing impaired people, according to the Department of Communications.

Woman using a smartphone

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Social media for those with a disability gets 2016 update

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The ground-breaking 2012 ‘SociAbility’ review into social media for those with a disability has had a much anticipated update. The Media Access Australia website now includes important new information on the varying accessibility challenges and practical fixes across all popular social channels. Project leader Dr Scott Hollier believes that it is destined to be the go-to resource on social media for people with a disability and those who provide care, support and advice.

Social media icons with a magnifying glass on the words ‘social media’


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