Sensory impairment

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FCC to ensure deaf-blind Americans have access to 21st century communications technology


The US media and communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has announced that it will spend US$10 million per year to provide low-income people who are deaf-blind with access to 21st century communications technology.

In line with the 21st Century Video and Communications Accessibility Act of 2010, the pilot program will help ensure that individuals who are deaf-blind have access to the Internet, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services.

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Communications Minister launches NBN consumer guide


Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy, today launched the release of a comprehensive consumer’s guide to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Produced by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), NBN: A Guide For Consumers is intended to explain the processes, facts and rollout plans of the NBN using simple language in a variety of formats for convenience.

ACCAN developed the guide so that people who do not have the political or technical expertise to pick up on the jargon-laced details that have been released to the public so far will be able to readily grasp the finer details of the network.

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The mobile web and access potential

It’s an amazing thing to watch how new platforms and devices move from ‘niche developer tool’ to ‘fad’, then ‘trend’ and finally ‘commonplace’. In recent years devices such as netbooks and the iPad, along with platforms such as Google Android, have certainly followed this path. Android in particular seems to have gone from a hobby OS to a dominant mobile platform in about a year. 

Digital media and technology: 

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W3C talks accessibility in report on web and television convergence


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) held its Second Web and TV Workshop in February, where key priorities about web and TV convergence were discussed.

The workshop, held in February this year, resulted in the publication of a report by the W3C including but not limited to the following:

  • Home networking and second-screen scenarios
  • The role of metadata and relation to Semantic Web technology
  • Ensuring that convergent solutions are accessible
  • Possible extensions to HTML5 for television

The release of this report is designed to create some consistency in how televisions are incorporating online content. 

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