Blind or vision impaired

Audio description awards call for nominations

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The annual audio description awards hosted by the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project are now open for nomination.

Golden microphone trophy

The awards have six categories:


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Accessible media preview from CSUN

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The annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (commonly known as CSUN) starts on 21 March in San Diego, California. This year there is significant coverage around accessible media. Media Access Australia’s CEO, Alex Varley, previews some personal highlights.

Seated audience attending a conference

Digital media and technology: 

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Wikispeech project aims to make Wikipedia accessible for vision impaired people

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Swedish researchers are developing an open source speech synthesis platform to make Wikimedia-based websites more accessible to blind and vision impaired people. The platform will be optimised for Wikipedia and aims to provide access in 283 languages, starting with three initial languages next year.

Wikipedia button on a computer keyboard in shape of the Enter key


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Crossing the digital divide

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A recent discussion paper states that 1 million Australians with a disability don’t have internet access at home, because of cost, complexity and/or connectivity issues. This is well below the national average, yet an expert in web accessibility, Dr Scott Hollier, maintains that with the right technology, those with an impairment or disability can access information on the net, quickly and easily.

No access sign


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Transcript of The Wire's interview with Dr Scott Hollier on 'Crossing the digital divide'

The Wire

Access to the internet is something most of us now take for granted and couldn’t imagine living without, but for one million Aussies with a disability that’s exactly what they have to do.  For many, they think it will cost too much, especially to buy the kind of software they need to help them use it, for others, it’s just all too hard.  Laura Corrigan reports.

Laura: Dr Scott Hollier is director of Digital Accessibility for advocacy group Media Access Australia.


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Unpublished


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Sydney Opera House launches expanded access strategic plan

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One of the world’s leading arts venues, the Sydney Opera House, has launched a significantly expanded access strategic plan, covering all elements of disability access for the venue and its productions.

Opera Australia's Luke Gabbedy performs with Auslan choir conductor and actor Alex Jones at the 2016 Access Launch. Image credit: Daniel Boud


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More work needed for digital inclusion at home

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A newly-released report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) lists the number of households with access to the internet at home as 7.7 million in the last financial year, representing 86% of all households, up 3% from 2012–13. However, a recent discussion paper shows that there are one million people with a reported disability who do not have internet access at home.

Left hand pressing a holographic play button

The ABS Household use of IT study, released on 18 February 2016, shows that the number of Australians accessing the net is continuing to rise, albeit at a slightly slower rate than in past years.

Digital media and technology: 

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First NVDA screen reader update for 2016 now available

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NV Access has launched the 2016.1 update of its NVDA screen reader for Microsoft Windows, adding a new option to lower the volume of external sounds, additional support for braille displays, significant fixes for using Microsoft Office and improvements to browsing the iTunes Store.

Woman using a laptop with headphones outdoors


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