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Research into synthesised speech and audio description

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IBM Research-Japan and WGBH's Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) are conducting a joint study via an online survey on the applicability of speech synthesis for audio description of Web-based video, and are looking for adults who are blind or vision impaired to participate in the research. The study asks for people to provide opinions on a series of videos with synthesised description.

IBM Research-Japan and WGBH's Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) are conducting a joint study via an online survey on the applicability of speech synthesis for audio description of Web-based video, and are looking for adults who are blind or vision impaired to participate in the research. The study asks for people to provide opinions on a series of videos with synthesised description.

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Government websites to be WCAG 2.0 compliant by 2015

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The Australian government announced today that it will join the international community by committing to the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 compliance of government websites by 2015.

Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten made the announcement, the first time that the Australian government has set a specific target date for the implementation of a web accessibility standard.

Lindsay Tanner said, “The standards contained in WCAG 2.0 were in line with internationally recognised best-practice and stipulated that all government websites adhere to these new standards by 2015.”

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Deaf actor inspires ABC.com to caption online

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The Oscar winning Deaf actor Marlee Matlin inspired Disney so much that it agreed to expand its online captioning efforts.

Matlin was distressed at the online versions of programs not containing captions, including her appearance on Dancing With the Stars. Her protest was included in a video clip that was posted on the Internet and seen by Disney. 

Disney reacted quickly and instead of captioning only dramas and comedies, it has now committed to captioning all long-form programs on its online player at ABC.com, including live and reality shows such as Dancing With the Stars

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Tutorial videos for PowerPoint access freely available online

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Online videos that highlight the steps needed to ensure the accessibility of PowerPoint presentation slides are now available for free viewing.

The videos, created by Nora Scully, California State University (CSU), consist of a series of short tutorials focusing on how to incorporate text alternatives and other access features during the slide creation process. The tutorials themselves cater for accessibility through the inclusion of open captions.

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