Digital technology

Captions commence on ABC's iView player

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From Tuesday 30 March, all ABC1 and ABC2 programs available via the ABC’s iView player will have captions.

The captions will be an optional extra for the service, which has been a great success for the ABC, with 411,000 people visiting it in the month of February. Around the world, the provision of captions on downloadable or streaming video has been very patchy, although the BBC introduced captions on its iPlayer in 2008.

For more information, see the ABC TV Blog.

 


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Blackboard and NFB improve access to popular education software

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Blackboard Learn, an online learning platform used by tertiary institutions in Australia, has recently undergone an accessibility facelift due to the collaborative efforts of Blackboard and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB).

The update, launched at the 25th annual California State University, Northridge (CSUN) conference, will provide students who are blind or vision impaired with faster navigation and improved form interaction, improved discussion forums, ability to send and receive e-mail, and ability to take tests and quizzes and participate in polls. The teacher administrative section has also been improved, allowing instructors who are blind or vision impaired to effectively prepare for their classes.
 


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Apple confirms VoiceOver will dictate e-books

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Apple has confirmed that VoiceOver, an integrated accessibility tool that uses text-to-speech technology to help vision impaired users use the iPad, will also work to dictate e-books.

The free iPad application, iBooks, enables users to not only read e-books but also browse and shop for e-books online. VoiceOver ensures that users who are vision impaired have access to these features.
 


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Mozilla and PCF announce the 'Collaborative Subtitling Design Challenge'

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Mozilla Labs, creator of the popular Firefox web browser, and the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) have announced the ‘Collaborative Subtitling Design Challenge’, an initiative to help make video on the web more accessible.

The challenge is looking for creative solutions to the question: “Collaborative subtitling – How can users quickly create a timed transcript of any video on the web?” It asks for people to design a subtitle interface which is simple and easy to use for multiple collaborators. The PCF has already created a prototype interface which allows the user to create subtitles quickly. Participants in the challenge are asked to test this prototype, and suggest design improvements in the form of mock-ups and videos. PCF will then incorporate these into the interface.


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