Sensory impairment

Social media, cloud show signs of improved access

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The accessibility of social media and the cloud are beginning to mature, but access issues remain for people with disabilities, Media Access Australia’s resident web accessibility expert Dr Scott Hollier says.

Dr Scott Hollier's 'Accessible consumer technologies and the cloud' presentation at VisAbility's Tech Outlook 2014


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Q&A Gilbert + Tobin’s Darren Fittler

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Media Access Australia spoke with Gilbert + Tobin’s Darren Fittler about his nomination for the 2014 Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Awards, challenges in media access, and his 40 by 40 challenge.

Portrait of Darren Fittler


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Accessible consumer technologies and the cloud: VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014

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Dr Scott Hollier's keynote presentation at the VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare.

Presented at the VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014, Dr Scott Hollier covers the journey of Assistive Technologies (AT) from the hardware-based solutions of the 1980s, to the wide range of affordable AT options available today (including accessibility developments of Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android). The importance of the cloud in relation to the future AT is discussed, including its benefits and issues for consumer accessibility.


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Telstra announces accessibility initiatives

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Telstra has announced several new initiatives aimed at improving access for people with disabilities to telecommunications services.

The company has launched a portal on Telstra.com that lets users search for features that may assist specific disabilities such as speech, vision, cognitive and dexterity impairment.

For vision, features include: screen reader, adjustable font-size, high contrast mode and voice output of caller ID.

For cognition, features include: simplify display, photo associated phone book, supports third party apps and supports gesture navigation.


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Human Rights Commission releases disability survey results

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The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released the results of a survey it undertook in the lead-up to the National Disability Forum which took place on 15 September.

The online survey, which was conducted over two weeks, aimed to identify the most important human rights issues facing persons with disabilities, the priorities for improving their employment outcomes, and the most strategic ways to focus the resources of the AHRC on these issues. For each question, respondents were asked to pick three out of 10 to 16 options. A total of 541 respondents took part in the survey.


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How to improve media access: complain

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People with disabilities have been urged to make formal complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission in order to encourage governments to make positive changes to policy.

Speaking at the National Disability Forum 2014, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, said the complaints process was one of the most effective ways to help the commission advocate on behalf of people with disabilities.


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Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities: Local Government NSW 2014

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Dr Scott Hollier's presentation at the Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities Forum 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare.

Presented at the Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities Forum, Dr Scott Hollier discusses the need for local government websites to address and support accessibility for the community, providing solutions for understanding user experience, reviewing/implementing policies, addressing online accessibility, writing accessible documents, creating accessible external messages and building accessible public computer facilities.

Digital media and technology: 

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Apple launches new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with accessibility features

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Apple has launched a series of new products including two new iPhone models and the long awaited smartwatch, with the iPhones containing a number of new accessibility features.

The Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus run the new iOS8 operating system which, like other recent iPhones, contains a number of accessibility features such as the VoiceOver screen reader, zoom, playback of captioned video and high contrast themes. The new iOS8 also contains additional accessibility features including an improved zoom, a greyscale feature, improved predictive text for the on-screen keyboard and the ability to use different software keyboards.

Digital media and technology: 

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Local Government: Practical accessibility steps

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Local councils have been urged to consider taking practical steps to improve the accessibility of their websites so that they can better meet their policy and legal compliance requirements.

Speaking ahead of his presentation on web accessibility at the Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities Forum in Sydney on 12 September, Media Access Australia accessibility expert Dr Scott Hollier said meeting accessibility compliance was easier than many councils thought.


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Australian accessible apps developers to be honoured

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The shortlist for the inaugural competition to recognise the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, has been announced.

The challenge, announced earlier this year, is being run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and is sponsored by Telstra.

For the category of 'Most accessible mainstream app', the finalists are: Energy Rating, ACCC Shopper and My Bus (Canberra Transport).


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