Digital technology

IBM supports research to make mobile devices more accessible

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IBM, in collaboration with India's National Institute of Design and the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, is commencing a research project to make mainstream gadgets and mobile devices more accessible to people with disabilities.

The aim of the project is to provide a freely available interface which can be adapted by manufacturers to a variety of consumer gadgets and mobile devices, resulting in better access to mainstream products and lower product cost for people with disabilities. It also has the potential to make people with disabilities less dependent on the purchase of alternative specialist devices for popular mainstream products.


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Korean government actively implements accessibility guidelines

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HiSoftware Inc., a provider of web content and social media compliance solutions, and Korean distributor Trust Line Information and Communications Co., Ltd. have announced that HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff has been selected for use by multiple government ministries in Korea.

HiSoftware Compliance Sheriff will be used by the Korean government to manage accessibility compliance in several major government organisations. The product will assist government to meet the new Korean Web Content Accessibility Guideline 1.0 (KCWAG 1.0) recently implemented by the Republic of Korea.


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US panel to review how broadband will work for disabilities

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The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is convening a panel to ensure that people with disabilities share fully in the benefits of broadband. The panel will look into the role of innovation; the need for legal, policy and regulatory changes; open government process and collaborative problem-solving. Findings and outcomes from the panel will feed into the National Broadband Plan being developed by the FCC.

The panel includes some major experts in media access in America, including Eric Bridges from American Council of the Blind; Rosaline Crawford from the National Association of the Deaf; Director of Media Access from WGBH, Larry Goldberg as well as a host of industry and government experts. The panel is being moderated by Jenifer Simpson (American Assoc of People with Disabilities) and Rob Atkinson (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation). 


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Google opens auto-captions up to other video providers

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Google have built on their auto-caption feature in YouTube by allowing other video providers to use the technology.

The feature, which uses Google Voice technology to automatically process and generate closed captions, was originally designed for YouTube clips. Due to its successful implementation, Google now allows video providers and general users to apply for machine transcriptions on their own videos. A video requested for transcription is put in a queue on YouTube where the captions are generated. The completed video has the benefit of also being able to translate the captions on-the-fly into other languages.


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