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Disability is a mainstream issue

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Media Access Australia (MAA) advocates for all people living with disability. New CEO, Dr Manisha Amin, believes that disability is a mainstream issue that needs to be managed in a mainstream way.

Image of Dr Manisha Amin

Image of Dr Manisha Amin


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UK charity puts pressure on government to enforce web accessibility

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Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at Abilitynet, a UK disabilities charity, has written an open letter to the British Parliament, to put pressure on the people in power to fine organisations whose websites and apps fail to comply with WCAG 2.0.

Traffic warden issuing a parking ticket on a busy London road


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Print Disability Round Table: call for papers

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The Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities is now calling for presentation abstracts for its May 2014 event.

The Round Table focuses on how information can be made more available for those for whom print materials such as books and newspapers present a barrier. This includes people who are blind, vision impaired, have dyslexia or have limited dexterity.

The theme of the 2014 conference is ‘Information Access – Putting the person at the centre’. This explores how current systems and policy frameworks can be improved to put the needs of print disabled consumers first.


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Access conference calls for papers

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The Roundtable on Print Disability, hosted by the Western Australian Association for the Blind, is calling for papers for its April 2012 conference.  The conference covers a wide range of topics around blindness, vision impairment and other print disabilities. Topics include education, digital delivery of print materials, web accessibility, assistive technology and audio description.

The theme for the 2012 conference is “Universal access - are we there yet?” focusing on the impact of digital technology on a space which was formerly occupied by books and print media.

“We're closer than ever to the goal of universal access to information for people who can't read print. But are we there yet?” the call for papers asks. “What new barriers has technology introduced? Is accessibility in mainstream technologies inevitable, and is it good enough?”


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Captions and audio description benefit people on the autism spectrum

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UK researcher Judith Garman has published an article that provides insight into the positive impacts of captions and audio description on people in the autism spectrum. By combining the visuals and audio, they can help create a complete picture for people who have autism, Aspergers, monotropism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.

Garman’s article draws insights from her user testing of BBC television services in 2010, involving participants on the autism spectrum, and later television platform testing in 2011.


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WA invests $4m in classroom accessibility technology

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The West Australian government has promised $4m for interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in the state’s public schools. IWBs, which use touchscreen functionality, offer interactivity and multimedia capabilities which not only boost student engagement but allow for easy use of assistive technology, such as captions.

WA Education Minister, Dr Liz Constable, said that IWBs are particularly beneficial for students with special needs, including those with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. “Students with autism are visual and the technology allows teachers to run image-based programs on the screen.”

IWBs are used in Media Access Australia’s Classroom Access Project, a series of prototype classrooms in mainstream schools which exemplify how technology can best be used to fully include Deaf and hearing impaired students.


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