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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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Kurzweil to release free interactive Blio e-reader with access features

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Kurzweil, best known for its development of SMS on mobile phones and assistive technology products, will release a free PC e-reader application called the Blio that includes access features and a million free books.

Kurzweil, best known for its development of SMS on mobile phones and assistive technology products, will release a free PC e-reader application called the Blio that includes access features and a million free books.

The application differs from other e-readers in that it uses both speech and a visual representation of a book, highlighting the text as the narrator readers through it.Based on PDF files, the voice is either pre-recorded and read out with the story, or the application uses high quality text-to-speech to deliver the audio content.

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UK sets further steps for Video On Demand access

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Ofcom, the UK broadcast regulator, has set out further conditions for industry providing access for vision impaired and hearing impaired people accessing Video On Demand (VOD) services.  

Ofcom, the UK broadcast regulator, has set out further conditions for industry providing access for vision impaired and hearing impaired people accessing Video On Demand (VOD) services.  

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New challenges ahead for an accessible web

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As the end of the year approaches, it is worth considering the strides that have been made in making the web accessible to all. Only recently Media Access Australia reported on a WebAIM survey stating 46 percent of respondents thought that web content has become more accessible. 

According to Tom Krazit, web designers are starting to take accessibility as seriously as button placement or heading layout and this is shared by a number of big companies who now recognise that accessibility is not just about doing the right thing, it actually makes business sense. For example, google to launch automated captions, apple announces new Snow Leopard accessibility features, and facebook more accessible thanks to work with American Foundation for the Blind.

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