Solutions

Cortana now available to Australian Windows 10 users

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Support for Cortana for Australian users has been added in the latest November update for Windows 10, allowing the feature to be officially enabled locally.

Cortana logo above the text "Hi, I'm Cortana."

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Q&A with Sonokids Australia: education through gaming for children with disability

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We spoke with Phia Damsma, co-founder and Creative Director at Sonokids Australia, to learn about the processes involved in creating accessible, educational computer programs for children with disability. Phia tells us about her award-winning projects and motivation to create accessible content for children.

Sonokids Ballyland. Image credit: Sonokids Foundation

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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.

European Union flag flying atop a flagpole


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U.S. broadcasts live TV audio description for the first time

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U.S. cable provider Comcast, in partnership with NBC and Descriptive Video Works (DVW), will mark the International Day of People with Disability (3 December) by televising the Broadway musical The Wiz Live! with audio description, providing the first accessible live entertainment TV program in the U.S. for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Promotional poster for The Wiz Live! Image credit: NBC


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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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US city makes captions compulsory on public TVs

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All television sets in public places in Portland, Oregon, will need to have closed captions switched on during business hours, after the Portland City Council passed a new ordinance last week.

Neon sign reading "Portland, Oregon, Old Town" lit up at dusk

The rule will apply to bars, restaurants, gyms and other public spaces. It was welcomed by advocates for the deaf, who argued that deaf patrons could miss important news items, particularly in emergencies.


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YouTube allows fans to contribute video captions

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In a recent update, YouTube will allow community members to contribute closed captions to supported videos, opening up the potential for the world’s largest online video platform to be more accessible for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

YouTube logo alongside the Closed Captioning (CC) logo

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ACMA asks for feedback on caption quality

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a discussion paper entitled ‘Review of the Television Captioning Standard’, and is requesting comments on it from interested parties.

Australian Government | ACMA: Australian Communications and Media Authority logos printed on a glass panel. Image credit: acma.gov.au


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Audio description on iview now available on desktops

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The trial of audio description on the ABC’s online iview service which commenced in April has now been extended to desktop computers.

Man on sitting on a couch, smiling whilst wearing headphones connected to a laptop

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Xbox Accessories app supports standard controller remapping

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The recently updated Xbox Accessories app from Microsoft now provides button remapping support for standard Xbox One controllers, adding to the list of native accessibility features available on the Xbox One gaming console.

Standard Xbox One controller

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