Digital technology

3D printers to improve classroom access

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While not traditionally thought of as media, 3D printers are emerging as a new way for students to access learning and information.

Printing head of a FELIX 3D Printer

Increasingly affordable devices can ‘print’ three dimensional objects with computer-based 3D ‘maps’ of everything from chemical compounds, microorganisms, topographical maps, to bodily organs and machine parts.

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Understanding the experience of gamers with disabilities

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Gamers with disabilities often face challenges due to accessibility issues found in games, despite some good resources for developers who want to ensure that people with disabilities can effectively engage in a gaming environment.

PlayStation 3 controller resting on a wooden surface

We asked gamers for their thoughts, experiences and opinions on using in-game captions, ideas to improve gaming accessibility, and their stories to share as gamers with a disability.

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Windows Phone

Windows Phone is a smartphone operating system produced by Microsoft with the latest version being Windows Phone 8.1, not to be confused with the desktop and tablet operating system Windows 8.1. Smartphones that primarily use Windows Phone include Nokia and Microsoft-branded products, although there are some other models available from companies such as HTC.

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Amazon Kindle Fire and Kindle app

The Kindle Fire series of tablets are also based on Android and are growing in availability in Australia. Due to their use of a customised version of Android, the accessibility features available are very similar to those found in Android tablets including the TalkBack screen reader.

The Fire HDX is the current model and contains a number of accessibility features. These features include:

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Facebook introduces VoiceOver gestures for iOS Messenger app

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Facebook has recently announced the addition of gesture-based accessibility features in the latest version of its Messenger app for iOS8.

Facebook Messenger app logo

As outlined in a recent Facebook Accessibility post, the new VoiceOver gestures are available for the Delete, Mute and More actions in the latest version of Facebook’s Messenger app (version 13) for iOS8 only.

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Google announces Android 5.0 Lollipop

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Google has announced the availability of the next version of its Android operating system, Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Graphic of a smartphone, smartwatch and tablet device running Android 5.0 Lollipop

Among many new features, the new operating system includes accessibility improvements, in particular, enhanced low vision and colour blind capabilities.

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Google Glass to have captions

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Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an app which will provide real-time captions on Google Glass, and potentially be of great benefit to Deaf and hearing impaired users.

Google Glass, Explorer Edition (2014)

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