Web

Nominations for McFarlane Prize now open

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Nominations for the McFarlane Prize for excellence in Australian web design are now open. Entries are assessed on adherence to web accessibility and standards as well as usability and design.

The McFarlane Prize has been awarded annually since 2006 in memory of the late Nigel McFarlane, an IT professional well respected for his extensive knowledge of web development and open source.

To be eligible for nomination:


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Federal government launches WCAG 2.0 Community of Expertise

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The Federal government’s Accessibility and Style team has just launched the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Community of Expertise (CoE) via the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) accessibility blog.

The WCAG 2.0 CoE has been formed to support the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy which requires all Federal, State and Territory government websites to conform to the Single A level of WCAG 2.0 by the end of 2012, and all Federal government websites to conform to the Double A level of WCAG 2.0 by 2015.


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Google improves Gmail accessibility

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Google has recently updated its free Gmail web-based email service with a number of changes to improve the accessibility of its interface.

Although the interface looks visually similar to the earlier version, a number of accessibility improvements have been made behind the scenes, including:

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Open source community and IBM help to improve web accessibility

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IBM and open-source developers such as the Open AjaxAlliance are launching a series of tools and multinational initiatives to assist developers in creating accessible Web 2.0 and mobile device applications.

IBM Research intends to internationally address issues of accessibility such as literacy in India and improved public services in Japan. Another example is that the OpenAjax Alliance (OAA) will open roll out new source tools to help developers test Web 2.0 applications to see how they line up with federal accessibility standards.

Such initiatives hold great potential for people with disabilities, as accessibility in the cloud has the potential to let users set up their access features online, and have those features appear on any device or platform.  

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