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NVDA screen reader 2015.3 update released

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NV Access has released the latest update of its NVDA screen reader for Microsoft Windows, adding introductory support for Windows 10, improvements for browsing web apps and increased functionality for Internet Explorer, among several additional features.

Young man sitting outdoors at a café whilst using a laptop and headphones


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Transport for NSW releases app to help the blind navigate

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Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has announced the release of an app, Stop Announcer, which will help blind or vision impaired people to find their way around the public transport system across NSW.

Stop Announcer (NSW) app icon


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Kodi 15.1 media centre software significantly improves accessibility features

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Kodi, arguably the world’s most popular open-source media centre software, has recently introduced significant accessibility improvements in its 15.1 development update.

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The media centre software, formerly known as Xbox Media Center (XBMC), is currently being updated  to include a specific accessibility section relating to video playback of captions and selectable audio streams, as well as the ability to install audio menu support.

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Windows 10 Home and Pro – hands-on accessibility test

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Shortly after the launch of Windows 10 on July 29th, Dr Scott Hollier put together his thoughts, findings and hands-on impressions regarding the accessibility of Microsoft's latest operating system.

Windows 10 desktop with the Start menu expanded


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BBC paper looks at the future of online captioning

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As people increasingly watch TV programs online, the opportunity arises for captions to be made more responsive to the needs of individual users. A new BBC white paper looks at some of the possibilities, which include users being able to vary font size and colour, along with many other enhancements.

Man and woman smiling while viewing media on a smartphone together


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Five tips to make the web work better in your language

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In late May, Dr Scott Hollier travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to teach a web accessibility course to 22 students. As part of the assignment work, the students learnt how to use the basic functionality of screen readers and other Assistive Technology (AT). While the work went well, it quickly became apparent that there were a number of issues relating to the way in which Arabic was supported by the tools, and how those tools interacted with the web.

Translate button on a keyboard amidst keys labelled with multiple languages

There are several reasons why the web becomes more complicated for non-English speaking users, and it’s a combination of a number of factors:


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Study will review disabled consumer experiences with video on demand

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Curtin University academic Katie Ellis will investigate disabled consumer experiences of subscription video-on-demand (VOD) services in Australia in her project ‘Accessing Video on Demand: A study of disability and streaming television’.

Left hand pointing a remote control at a Smart TV


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iTunes to remove content that isn’t captioned

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1 July 2015 is the deadline in the United States for all online video content to have captions if it was previously captioned for broadcast on television. Following that date, iTunes will commence removing from its store movies and TV programs which fall into this category.

iTunes desktop application with playback controls visible. Image credit: maury.mccown via Flickr

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Chinese tech giant Baidu announces Blind Search device

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China’s leading search engine provider Baidu has announced the Blind Search device, a tool to assist blind and vision impaired people access “massive amounts of information online through touch” using a combination of tactile and voice-activated commands.

Blind Search facing upward with light emitting from the tactile display. Caption reads 'The device is called Blind Search'


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Californian government websites found to be inaccessible

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The California State Auditor has reported that many government websites in the state continue to not be fully accessible to persons with disabilities, despite state and federal legal requirements and the growing use of government services online.

The June 2015 report from the Californian State Auditor, states that violations of web accessibility standards ranged in severity, some to the point that “…elements of the departments’ websites were completely inaccessible to users with disabilities while other violations may prevent persons with disabilities from completing tasks necessary to access certain online services.”

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