Digital technology

Oracle layoffs raise concerns over Sun's access initiatives

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Since Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems, a number of Linux accessibility specialists have been removed from the company, moving the focus of Linux access back towards the open-source community.

The former team leader for GNOME accessibility development, Willie Walker, has raised concerns about the decision by Oracle, indicating that Sun was now understaffed in this area and would not be able to continue to the same degree that it had previously.


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United Nations workshop examines vision impairment Internet issues

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The United Nations has concluded a four-day workshop in Geneva which investigated ways to improve access to the Internet for people who are blind or vision impaired.

The workshop, which featured approximately 200 experts in the area of Internet accessibility from around the world, identified the medium as a ‘powerful equaliser’ in addressing issues relating to educational opportunities and employment.

One of the key recommendations from the workshop was the need to ensure that international copyright laws do not prevent people who are blind or vision impaired from using accessible electronic information.


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Mozilla supports GNOME Foundation to support Linux accessibility

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The Mozilla Corporation has donated $US10,000 to the GNOME Foundation to support the ongoing development of Linux accessibility features, aiming for a smoother integration of access between the operating system and the web browser.

Mozilla Corporation, the commercial arm of the organisation best known for its Firefox web browser, has worked closely with the GNOME foundation in the past, but has taken particular interest in supporting innovation in the area at the upcoming CSUN Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, where a ‘hackfest’ will be created to provide an innovative and hands-on environment for Linux programmers that specialise in accessibility development. GNOME is a popular graphical interface available in most Linux distributions.


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Have your say on news access with AWARe

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The Australian Web Access Review (AWARe) has moved in a new direction this month with a focus on the accessibility of news websites. The websites up for review include ABC news, Yahoo!7 news and ninemsn news.

To get involved, go to the AWARe website, register and answer some questions on the accessibility of the sites. Your involvement will be vital in helping Media Access Australia talk with the website owners and address accessibility issues.  


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