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First NVDA screen reader update for 2016 now available

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NV Access has launched the 2016.1 update of its NVDA screen reader for Microsoft Windows, adding a new option to lower the volume of external sounds, additional support for braille displays, significant fixes for using Microsoft Office and improvements to browsing the iTunes Store.

Woman using a laptop with headphones outdoors


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Microsoft reveals accessibility goals for Windows 10 and Office 365

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Tech giant Microsoft has revealed its roadmap of accessibility features to be introduced in Windows 10 and Office 365 over the course of 2016. The announcement comes after a number of public statements outlining an increased commitment to inclusion of people with disabilities in its product offering and services.

Laptop running Windows 10


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Video advertisements on Facebook to be auto-captioned

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Facebook will begin to roll out a new feature that will make auto-playing advertisements more accessible to people with a disability.

Man giving thumbs up whilst holding card with Facebook 'like' icon

Following the launch of auto-playing video advertisements, new captioning features are being introduced to increase user engagement. These new features by default make advertisements more accessible to users that have a disability.

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Service Providers Accessibility Guide now available via direct download

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Media Access Australia’s Service Providers Accessibility Guide, which received a significant update in October 2015, is now available to download directly in accessible PDF and Word formats via our Digital Accessibility Services website. The guide caters to service providers using practical, hands-on, step-by-step ways to effectively prepare and deliver content and communications for people with disabilities via computing and mobile devices.

Finger resting on an accessibility button on a computer keyboard

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Organisations receive Emmy awards for internet caption standards

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The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) were honoured at the 67th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards held in Las Vegas on 8 January for developing standards that allow closed captions to be provided for online videos.

Members of the W3C Timed Text Working Group holding an Emmy. Image credit: Cashman Photo, Las Vegas, NV & The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


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Pixar’s new app bypasses cinema audio description issues

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Movie producer and distributor Pixar Studios has moved to solve the problem of blind people not being able to access its movies by creating an audio description app.

Attendees of Pixar's 'White Canes, Red Carpet' event standing in front of a poster for 'The Good Dinosaur'. Image credit: Guide Dogs for the Blind, Flickr


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Petition launched for more audio description on iTunes

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Accessible media advocate Phillip Chalker has launched a Change.org petition calling on iTunes to provide more movies with audio description for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Young girl using earphones connected to a tablet device

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Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility promotional video out now

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A new video produced by Media Access Australia has been created to promote the upcoming Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility (PCWA). It’s designed to underline the main points and key benefits of enrolling in Australia’s only university-accredited web accessibility certificate for digital professionals.

Five students accessing technology via a laptop and a tablet computer.

The PCWA course highlights video runs for one minute and thirty seconds. In addition to the standard video, an audio described version of this video is also available.


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The most popular accessibility stories of 2015

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As the year comes to a close, here’s a look back at some of the most popular articles and events regarding consumer accessibility across the web, digital technology, education, TV, video, cinema, arts, policy and research in 2015.


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