Solutions

Connect Ability Challenge awards accessible tech innovators

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The Connect Ability Challenge, which challenges developers to build accessible technology solutions for people with disabilities using only existing and affordable mainstream platforms, announced the winners of a USD$92,500 (AUD$125,381) prize pool last Monday.

Person using a tablet device in front of an open laptop


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Windows 10 launches with accessibility improvements

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The Windows 10 update has begun to roll out on a number of devices and has some significant improvements to the accessibility features previously available in Windows 8.1, particularly around the inclusion of the Siri-like Cortana digital assistant, more versatile dictation support and minor updates to existing accessibility features.

Windows 10 logo


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Real-time captioning glasses premiere at French arts festival

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Augmented reality (AR) glasses which project real-time, customisable captions and surtitles for viewers have debuted at the Avignon Festival in France, highlighting international growth potential for real-time captioning technology in accessible arts and live performances.

Augmented reality (AR) captioning glasses. Image credit: Theatre in Paris

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Ofcom consults on accessibility of on-screen TV guides

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has issued a consultation paper outlining changes it is proposing to make electronic program guides (EPGs) more accessible for blind and vision impaired TV viewers.

TV remote resting on a flat wooden surface next to an open magazine


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Five key captioning roles for specialist educators

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Specialist education roles, such as Itinerant or Supporting Teachers of the Deaf, have a strategic and practical role in promoting the use of captions in school.

Smiling teacher standing in a classroom, holding a folder in her right hand

Five key roles you can play are:

1. Broadening the reach of access services to others


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Five tips to make the web work better in your language

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In late May, Dr Scott Hollier travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to teach a web accessibility course to 22 students. As part of the assignment work, the students learnt how to use the basic functionality of screen readers and other Assistive Technology (AT). While the work went well, it quickly became apparent that there were a number of issues relating to the way in which Arabic was supported by the tools, and how those tools interacted with the web.

Translate button on a keyboard amidst keys labelled with multiple languages

There are several reasons why the web becomes more complicated for non-English speaking users, and it’s a combination of a number of factors:


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Study will review disabled consumer experiences with video on demand

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Curtin University academic Katie Ellis will investigate disabled consumer experiences of subscription video-on-demand (VOD) services in Australia in her project ‘Accessing Video on Demand: A study of disability and streaming television’.

Left hand pointing a remote control at a Smart TV


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Audio description trial on iview enters third month

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The trial of audio description on the ABC’s iview service is about to enter its third month, with feedback from viewers on the choice of programs and quality of the description being very positive.

ABC iview icon

Since the trial began in April, over 12,000 drama programs and over 5,000 factual programs have been played on iview with the audio description activated. The most popular drama program so far has been Poldark, and the most popular factual program The Killing Season.


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Blind viewer sues ABC for not providing audio description

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Suzanne Hudson, a blind television viewer, has launched a case against the ABC in the Federal Circuit Court, claiming that it has unlawfully discriminated against her by not providing a regular audio description service for the blind and vision impaired.

Headphones resting atop a vintage microphone. Image credit: Ilmicrofono Oggiono via Flickr


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iTunes to remove content that isn’t captioned

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1 July 2015 is the deadline in the United States for all online video content to have captions if it was previously captioned for broadcast on television. Following that date, iTunes will commence removing from its store movies and TV programs which fall into this category.

iTunes desktop application with playback controls visible. Image credit: maury.mccown via Flickr

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