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PCWA online course aims to promote accessibility

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Inclusion and accessibility are hot topics that impact on the daily lives of around 25% of the population who have a disability or impairment. And now web professionals can improve their levels of expertise in web and digital accessibility to make a positive difference by enrolling in Australia’s only university-accredited online access course.

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How the blind experience the internet

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What is the internet like when you have a vision impairment? Chris Moury, who has rapidly declining vision, speaks about this topic on Control Z, a new ABC podcast by Yasmin Parry and Will Ockenden.

Laptop sitting open on a table next to a smartphone and notepad


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A demo of Microsoft Office 365’s new accessibility features

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Microsoft has recently updated Office 365 with three main new features that enhance accessibility for users with vision impairments. We provide an overview and share a video demo of the new updates.

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Audio description trial on iview ending soon

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The trial of audio description on the ABC’s online iview service, which commenced in April 2015, will soon be drawing to a close.

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Election websites accessibility report – improving but still difficult to use

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Media Access Australia’s Director of Digital Accessibility, Dr Scott Hollier, recently tested a number of websites related to the upcoming Federal Election to determine their accessibility. When compared with similar tests he did in 2013, improvements have been made. Yet people with disabilities or impairments still face challenges to determine their voting preferences based on online information, as Dr Hollier explains in an informative article and podcast.

Image of the words: why, where, what, how, when, who, in voice bubbles


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Vivid Sydney includes AD at the festival

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Last week Sydney saw the launch of Vivid, which is claimed to be the largest Winter festival of light, music and creativity in the country. Although Vivid is a typically visual festival, this year the organisers have made sure that individuals with a disability, including those who are blind or vision-impaired, can still be involved and enjoy the festival through audio description (AD).

Image of Vivid Sydney Festival logo

This new offering is in-line with the Sydney Opera House recent accessibility 3-year strategy plan which covers all elements of disability access for the venue, its productions and experiences.


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A disabled gamer influenced Naughty Dog to improve accessibility in Uncharted 4

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Video game developer Naughty Dog has recently updated the accessibility options, thanks to the insight from a gamer with cerebral palsy.  After feeling frustrated with the game, he decided to reach out to the game developers in order to make the game more accessible for people with disabilities.

Close up of two Playstation controllers resting on a table

Josh Straub, former Game Informer intern, found that due to the inaccessible controls he couldn’t use the controller to ”smash through doors” which were necessary to complete particular levels.

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ACMA publishes preliminary captioning exemption orders for Telstra Pay TV

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published preliminary exemption orders for 34 channels provided on Telstra Pay TV for mobile phones. These include both free-to-air channels such as ABC1, and channels available on Foxtel.

Silhouette of a man standing in front of a curved wall of lots of different TV screens.  Image Credit: Telstra Pay TV


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More than 2,300 people have signed to legislate closed captioning in NZ

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On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 19 May 2016, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group submitted a petition to Mojo Mathers, Green MP, with more than 2,300 signatures in a bid for the House of Representatives to legislate closed captioning across all relevant media. 

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“Okay Google, turn on Voice Access”

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As part of its focus to make Android devices more accessible to people with disabilities, Google has launched Voice Access Beta, a new accessibility service that allows Android users to control all of the functionality of their device by voice alone.

Google Voice Access Beta Logo

The new app allows users to change settings, writing texts, scrolling to the end of a page, using the camera, contacts and more.  This will allow a greater inclusion to users unable to operate the touchscreen due to a disability.


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