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Commentary: Getty-Google partnership misses the mark on accessibility


The Getty Museum recently announced that it would be the first museum to collaborate with Google, and using Google’s image recognition application Google Goggles, offer visitors the chance to learn more about the artworks.

Visitors to the Getty Museum can take a photo using Google Goggles on their Android phone or iPhone and immediately access more information about the work of art as well as commentary from artists and curators.

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New service improves accessibility of museum tours for the deaf


A new service from the Australian Communication Exchange will improve the accessibility of museum tours for the Deaf and hearing impaired.

The Smart Auslan service transcribes museum audio tours into captions as well as translating them into AUSLAN (Australian sign language) for the Deaf and hearing impaired.

Digital media and technology: 

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Deaf entrepreneur wins American leadership award

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Catharine McNally, a co-founder of Keen Guides, has been awarded one of two Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards for 2011 by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

Developed after a disappointing experience in a museum for McNally, who is Deaf, Keen Guides is a mobile application that provides accessible video tours of museums, colleges and public venues, with the objective of producing cultural experiences that appeal to everyone.

The Keen Guides application, available on iPhone and Android devices, applies universal design principles, offering an educational, entertaining and accessible alternative to standard audio and live tours.

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Access in the arts in the United States

There are a number of audio description companies in the United States providing either the service themselves or training programs for theatre staff. These include Audio Description Solutions, who are a service provider and facilitator of training programs nationally, and the Audio Description Associates, operating training programs across the country.

Captions also play a large role in bringing performing arts to Americans who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

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