Policy

U.K. Government fails to act on video-on-demand accessibility

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The organisation Action on Hearing Loss has expressed disappointment at the U.K. Government’s failure to set targets or introduce legislation for the provision of access services (captions, signing and audio description) on video-on-demand (VOD) services.

Left hand pointing a remote control at a Smart TV displaying a Video on Demand app


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Accessibility in the cloud – benefits, issues and trends

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As a new survey shows an increase in the use of the cloud in 2016, the impact of this on people with disabilities and impairments becomes ever more important. Media Access Australia has produced a white paper, Accessibility of Cloud Computing – current and future trends, which provides valuable insights into cloud accessibility.

Left hand holds a smartphone with floating squares emerging from the screen


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Service Providers Accessibility Guide now available via direct download

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Media Access Australia’s Service Providers Accessibility Guide, which received a significant update in October 2015, is now available to download directly in accessible PDF and Word formats via our Digital Accessibility Services website. The guide caters to service providers using practical, hands-on, step-by-step ways to effectively prepare and deliver content and communications for people with disabilities via computing and mobile devices.

Finger resting on an accessibility button on a computer keyboard

Digital media and technology: 

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European Commission proposes making products and services more accessible

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The European Commission has proposed a European Accessibility Act which will set accessibility requirements for key products across the European Union (EU), making them more accessible for people with disabilities. The products include ATMs and banking services, telephones, TV equipment, transport, e-books and e-commerce.

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Feedback on captioning regulation wanted

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The lead-up to the end of the year has seen a little burst of consultation around captioning issues. The Federal Department of Communications and the Arts has released a policy consultation paper on the Captioning Regulatory Framework.

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Better audio description through consultation

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A basic rule of research is that if you want to know what somebody thinks about your product, the best thing to do is ask them. It is surprising how little that approach is taken with access services, including audio description for blind people, which makes recent initiatives by Pixar in the US and Ericsson in Australia all the more welcome.

Left hand adjusting the volume control on a home theatre system


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Digital Gap pushes for change by 2017

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The call for improvement to digital accessibility for people with disabilities moved to Parliament House in Canberra with a call for significant change to happen by 2017, which is the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Two glass jars of peanut butter. Smooth on the left and crunchy on the right.


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ACCAN launches campaign for online caption quality

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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has formed an alliance of organisations which is calling for online videos to be provided with accurate, readable captions.

YouTube auto-caption for Tony Abbott reads "things like the big butts well we want to carefully look". Image credit: ACCAN via Facebook


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Accessible Canada by law

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Canadian province Manitoba has introduced a customer service standard as part of its accessibility legislation. This recognises that disabled customers may not be able to access communications and may be using assistive devices. The standard also applies to public events.

Canadian flag

Many countries have moved towards disability inclusion through strategies, equity and diversity plans. Generally the only area that has been enshrined in law has been around building codes, but Manitoba’s new standard is an example of it reaching into digital accessibility and customer service.


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US communications commissioner calls for increased accessibility for the blind

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In a blog post marking his second anniversary as chairman of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), Tom Wheeler has emphasised the work that still needs to be done to make communications technology accessible for people who are blind and vision impaired.

FCC charman Tom Wheeler. Image credit: ALA Washington Office


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