Digital technology

Google announces Android Nougat with new accessibility features

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Google has officially launched its new version of Android 7.0 Nougat which will feature a number of significant accessibility additions and improvements.

Android robot waving and standing on a pile of nougat

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Barriers for disabled gamers with Pokémon Go

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The latest Pokémon game, Pokémon Go, has just been released, and instead of its usual portable game console format, it was released as a phone app. Pokefans everywhere are taking to the streets to catch their favourite Pokémon, but this new game is not playable by everyone.

Pokemon Go logo with three Pokemon charactors standing in the grass

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Google invests in start-up that identifies images through your phone’s camera

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Google has said “oui” (yes) to buying French start-up Moodstocks, a company that specialises in rapid object recognition from smartphones. This interest from Google is further proof that the world of accessibility is going mainstream.

Google logo

Google already has an object recognition app (Google Goggles), but Moodstocks operates differently. It runs on your smartphone rather than via a server, which makes it more affordable, more mainstream and more accessible to its targeted audience.


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New free technology resource for teachers of the Deaf

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Australian not-for-profit, Conexu Foundation, has developed a free resource guide for teachers aimed at students who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, entitled ‘11 easy to use technologies to enhance learning in your classroom'.

Front cover of the teacher resource with the words ‘Download Now!’

The new resource has been designed for teachers in mainstream public, Catholic and private schools where children with these disabilities attend, and allows educators to find the latest on relevant communication technology.


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Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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UK charity puts pressure on government to enforce web accessibility

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Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at Abilitynet, a UK disabilities charity, has written an open letter to the British Parliament, to put pressure on the people in power to fine organisations whose websites and apps fail to comply with WCAG 2.0.

Traffic warden issuing a parking ticket on a busy London road


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Apple wins award for accessibility advances

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The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has awarded Apple the coveted Robert S. Bray Award for their continued accessibility innovations, which will be presented on 4 July during the ACB’s annual conference and convention in Minneapolis, USA.

Close up of an iPhone 6 being used by a woman

The Bray Award is given to a person or business that has improved or expanded the level of accessibility of communication technology or devices for people who are blind or have a vision impairment, therefore allowing greater inclusion for all.


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New ‘game-changing’ phone app enhances phone accessibility

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‘OpenAccess Captions’ is a brand new application for iPads and iPhones that was developed by Brisbane-based charity Conexu Foundation. It is an app that aims to connect callers via a live captioner so that phone conversations can be read in live-time.

Conexu Foundation logo

This app was launched this week to coincide with Deafblind Awareness Week (the last day is today). The app creators have hailed it as a ‘game-changer’ for those who are Deaf and blind or have hearing loss or vision impairment. 

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Channel 4 seeks viewer feedback about its accessibility services

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Channel 4 has created a survey to capture as much feedback as possible from people who view their programming with captions (subtitles in the UK), audio description, signing on TV, or on the station’s on-demand service.

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Amazon launches new affordable, more accessible Kindles

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Amazon has just launched a new range of Kindle ebook readers, starting at the affordable price of US$79. Best of all, they come with features that allow the Kindle to be accessible for Blind or vision-impaired users.

A person reading a Kindle Paperwhite while drinking a coffee

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