Digital technology

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Have your say on news access with AWARe


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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UK centre uses technology to help intellectual disability


The Rix Centre, based at the University of East London, is running a project called Click Start to provide accessible online information for people with intellectual and learning difficulties. 

The work of the Rix Centre includes training carers and staff, as well as people with intellectual and learning difficulties, to create websites using its ‘Easy Build’ tools that make it simpler to develop a website portal. 

The Centre also undertakes research and development into the use of new media technology to assist its client base, and runs courses in advocacy. 

For more information, see the Rix Centre website.


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ACCAN's Independent Grants Scheme


As part of its agreement with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) will be administering an Independent Grants Scheme. The objectives of the scheme will be to produce research into social, economic, environmental or technological implications of developments relating to consumers and communications, or representation of the interests of consumers in relation to communications issues.

ACCAN will be seeking to fund projects that assist it to achieve our vision and strategic goals. A copy of the Strategic Plan can be found on the ACCAN website.

Round One Applications will close 18 February and Round Two will close 18 March 2010. Round One Projects must be completed by 30 June 2010 and Round Two Projects will not commence until 1 July 2010 and be completed by 30 June 2011. The program has a total budget of $101,600 for Round One and $250,000 for Round Two.

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Apple iPad launched with iPhone-like accessibility features


Apple has announced the launch of its latest handheld device called the Apple iPad, a touch screen device that functions like an iPhone but is the size of a netbook, with a 9.7” screen. It also comes with the same suite of accessibility features that have been available on the iPhone 3GS.

The accessibility features contained in the iPad include the VoiceOver screen reader, zoom functionality, the ability to reverse the colour scheme, the ability to play back captioned video and the ability to change the sound from stereo to a mono output. 

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