What day-to-day challenge would you like solved by technology?

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The Australian Network on Disability (AND) in conjunction with Microsoft Australia, and with accessibility support from Media Access Australia, is staging ‘Hack 4 Good’ in November 2016. It aims to bring together the best and brightest tech minds to support the development of accessible technology (AT) to remove barriers for people with a disability. You can help frame the event by completing an online survey and submitting a day-to-day barrier you’d like resolved through technology.

Image of Hack 4 Good logo

Image of Hack 4 Good logo

AT and Accessible Communication Technology (ICT) allow access to services, employment opportunities and connectivity for everyone, regardless of ability. And with Hack 4 Good, organisations can harness the power of technology to better include people with a disability.

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The accessibility of augmented reality – Pokémon Go or no go

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Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s Specialist Advisor on Digital Accessibility, put 2016’s biggest hit in augmented reality – Pokémon Go – under the accessibility spotlight, to see just how accessible this very popular game really is. Find out how it fared and discover a little about the future benefits of Augmented Reality in this fascinating podcast article.

Image Pokémon Go logo

Image of Pokémon Go logo

 

Listen to the complete interview where Dr Scott Hollier chats to Philip Jenkinson about the accessibility of augmented reality in general and Pokémon Go in particular.

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New access app Blappy is making people happy

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A new Bluetooth chat application for accessibility, called Blappy, aims to bring more people together. The app translates voice to text and text to voice, to enable people who are vision impaired to effectively communicate with those who are Deaf or hearing impaired.

 

Blappy running on three smartphones

Blappy running on three smartphones. Image from UC3M.

Blappy was created by CESyA, the Spanish Centre of Subtitling and Audio Description, with the support of UC3M's Audiovisual Accessibility Laboratory, which is part of the Center for Technologies for Disability & Dependence in UC3M’s Science Park in Madrid, Spain.

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Some replacement Galaxy Note7’s still too hot to handle

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In September 2016 Samsung globally recalled more than 2.5 million of their flagship Galaxy Note7 smartphones due to safety concerns. Now there are growing reports of incidents of replacement models catching fire too, and production has ceased.

Two Samsung Note7 phones

Two Samsung Note7 phones

The phones, which include a lot of useful accessibility features and have been a popular choice in Australia for those people with a disability, were recalled and a replacement program put in place due to multiple cases of exploding batteries and spontaneous combustion. Yet the problems continue.

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Bionic Olympics for competitors using 'AT' staged in Switzerland

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In what is claimed as a world first, the Cybathlon Championship was held in Switzerland on 8 October, featuring six contests based around every day obstacles, with disabled athletes using and controlling Assistive Technology (AT) and/or robotic devices.

Cybathlon Championships logo

Cybathlon Championships logo

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Voice your choice about the value of accessible product design

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From the Samsung Note7 recall to reviews of smart TVs and even toasters, Choice is known for their no-spin product and service ratings, reports and reviews. And now the consumer advocacy group is wanting to find out just how many people value accessible product design, with a new survey that's open to everyone to have their say.

A megaphone inside a speech balloon

A megaphone inside a speech balloon

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Half of people with a smartphone don’t download apps

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While Google and Apple continue to fight it out to see which one has the biggest app store, new US research shows that 49% of smartphone users never download any apps at all.

APP buttons in a rainbow of colours

APP buttons in a rainbow of colours

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Have your say in the ACA’s Disability Action Plan survey

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The Australia Council for the Arts (ACA) is evaluating their 2014-2016 Disability Action Plan and their Arts and Disability Funding program. If you’re an artist or arts-based organisation, they need your help to find out about the challenges so far and your thoughts on future priorities.

Australia Council of the Arts logo

Australia Council for the Arts logo


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Apple launches major new mobile operating system upgrade

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A week after the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were launched to much fanfare, Apple has pushed out iOS 10, which overhauls some core iOS applications, along with providing developer access to a number of popular features and apps. After initial difficulties associated with iPhone updates, Apple has stated that the problems have been solved and iOS 10 is now issue-free.

Screen shot of Apple iOS 10 home page

Screen shot of Apple iOS 10 home page

Apple launched the new mobile system upgrade at the tech giant’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on 12 September 2016, but the upgrade roll-out didn’t quite go according to plan.

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