ABS announces updated processes for same-sex marriage postal vote

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) sent out a news release on Thursday 17 August announcing a newly updated process for the upcoming ‘Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey’ including an online option for blind and vision-impaired people. However, they are still trying to work out how they will actually be able to do it.

Accessibility button on a laptop

Accessibility button on a laptop


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Same-sex marriage postal vote could be inaccessible for 275,000 people

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Australians who are blind or vision-impaired won’t be able to vote unassisted in the upcoming same-sex marriage postal vote, because it will be conducted in a print-only format without an accessible voting option at the time this news piece was published.

Australia Post post boxes

Australia Post post boxes


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Five Guys burger chain in a pickle over website inaccessibility

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On 21 July 2017, a US federal district court in Manhattan rejected a ‘motion to dismiss’ claim by the ‘Five Guys’ burger chain (Case No. 17-cv-788) defending their alleged inaccessible website. The judge found that there is indeed a case of discrimination to answer against a legally-blind customer who couldn’t order the burger they wanted from the fast food seller’s site.

A ‘Five Guys’ burger with beef and cheese

A ‘Five Guys’ burger with beef and cheese.


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Push for mandatory captioning in New Zealand

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Change is being urged in New Zealand when it comes to TV and film captioning for Deaf and hearing impaired people. The reality behind this call to action is the fact that this important section of society is missing out on a huge amount that contributes to their quality of life when captioning isn't available.

Don’t just tell me. Show me.

Don’t just tell me. Show me.


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Airbnb launches inclusive design toolkit

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Recently, Airbnb Design launched a “toolkit” for designers built around the premise of ‘how can you design for everyone without understanding the full picture?’ It poses a set of questions to help people balance our bias, consider the opposite, and embrace a growth mindset, so as to create offerings that are inclusive and useful for most people.

Balance your bias. Consider the opposite. Embrace a growth mindset.

Balance your bias. Consider the opposite. Embrace a growth mindset.


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Commonwealth Bank disrupting EFTPOS usage for the blind and vision-impaired

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The Commonwealth Bank is continuing to roll out their EFTPOS tablet despite repeated concerns voiced over the past 18 months that this payment solution is inaccessible to people who are blind, vision-impaired or have other disabilities that make touchscreen-only use unworkable for them.

Woman tries to use touchscreen on Albert tablet

Woman tries to use touchscreen on Albert tablet


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Uber sued for only having 0.3% accessible cars

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A New York disability advocacy group is taking the world’s biggest ride-share company to court in New York, accusing Uber of being rotten to the core by not providing an accessible service in the Big Apple.

Uber on smartphone with an accessible taxi in background

Uber on smartphone with an accessible taxi in background


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Technology is key to creating ‘most accessible neighbourhood’

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The CNIB, Canada’s National Institute for the Blind, is turning to a combination of inclusive design and the latest technology to transform a small but popular section of one of Toronto’s busiest streets, into that country’s most accessible precinct, where blind and vision-impaired people can navigate easily and interact independently.

CNIB Beacon

CNIB Beacon - photo by Chris Young of the Canadian Press

The CNIB institute is preparing to roll out 200 small (7x7cm) 'Beacons' into stores and restaurants (at no charge to each business) in the neighbourhood, which will provide vision-impaired customers with practical information on the premises they enter.


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Microsoft releases new app – a talking camera for the blind

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The revolutionary new Seeing AI app has evolved from a long-running Microsoft research project for people with visual impairment to narrate the world around us. It turns the visual world into an audible experience, so that users can essentially use their phone as their eyes.

Seeing AI logo

Seeing AI logo

In March 2016, Microsoft showed off a prototype of its Seeing AI app, which looked very promising at the time but required further development. In mid July 2017 the company released an enhanced and updated version, as a free app on iOS.

Digital media and technology: 

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Legal win for Deaf couple against hospital with ineffective communication

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A high-profile hospital in Texas has settled a lawsuit which alleged that their communications for Deaf patients were ineffective, in a landmark legal outcome with far-reaching implications for the medical profession. It has been reported that the July 2017 settlement will encourage others, who are being discriminated against in terms of inaccessible processes and information, to take similar action.

Lawsuit sign

Lawsuit sign

The Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, in Edinburg Texas, is a physician-owned hospital with a prominent Cancer treatment centre, and this lawsuit settlement comes after six years of the plaintiffs trying to get the facility to be more accessible for people who are Deaf or hearing-impaired.


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