Blind or vision impaired

Progress with accessibility needed in New Zealand

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121 students took over New Zealand’s Parliament to debate about ‘Accessible Web Pages and Apps’. This was a mock bill aiming to improve accessibility in NZ.

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Screenworks host CC and AD workshop to educate filmmakers

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As part of the accessibility focus of Screenworks, they will be holding a Closed Captioning (CC) and Audio Description (AD) workshop next month, with the aim of educating filmmakers on the importance and simplicity of accessibility methods.

Screenworks logo

According to Ken Crouch, General Manager of this Northern Rivers NSW based not-for-profit organisation, the seminar aims to “raise the quality of closed captioning and audio description across the film industry.”


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USAA’s new banking app allows voice-guided cheque depositing

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USAA, a Texas-based Fortune 500 diversified financial services group, has recently demonstrated that banking and accessibility can easily go hand in hand with each other. This was proved in a recent update to their banking app which will mean that individuals who are blind or have a vision impairment will hear the benefits – literally.

USAA logo

This system offers verbal cues to guide a vision impaired customer to be able to properly position a cheque to deposit it. They use commands like ‘push out’, ‘pull in’, ‘move right’, ‘lift device’, ‘hold steady’, ‘image captured’, and more.


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Barriers for disabled gamers with Pokémon Go

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The latest Pokémon game, Pokémon Go, has just been released, and instead of its usual portable game console format, it was released as a phone app. Pokefans everywhere are taking to the streets to catch their favourite Pokémon, but this new game is not playable by everyone.

Pokemon Go logo with three Pokemon charactors standing in the grass

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Google invests in start-up that identifies images through your phone’s camera

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Google has said “oui” (yes) to buying French start-up Moodstocks, a company that specialises in rapid object recognition from smartphones. This interest from Google is further proof that the world of accessibility is going mainstream.

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Google already has an object recognition app (Google Goggles), but Moodstocks operates differently. It runs on your smartphone rather than via a server, which makes it more affordable, more mainstream and more accessible to its targeted audience.


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Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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UK charity puts pressure on government to enforce web accessibility

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Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at Abilitynet, a UK disabilities charity, has written an open letter to the British Parliament, to put pressure on the people in power to fine organisations whose websites and apps fail to comply with WCAG 2.0.

Traffic warden issuing a parking ticket on a busy London road


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Apple wins award for accessibility advances

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The American Council of the Blind (ACB) has awarded Apple the coveted Robert S. Bray Award for their continued accessibility innovations, which will be presented on 4 July during the ACB’s annual conference and convention in Minneapolis, USA.

Close up of an iPhone 6 being used by a woman

The Bray Award is given to a person or business that has improved or expanded the level of accessibility of communication technology or devices for people who are blind or have a vision impairment, therefore allowing greater inclusion for all.


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New ‘game-changing’ phone app enhances phone accessibility

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‘OpenAccess Captions’ is a brand new application for iPads and iPhones that was developed by Brisbane-based charity Conexu Foundation. It is an app that aims to connect callers via a live captioner so that phone conversations can be read in live-time.

Conexu Foundation logo

This app was launched this week to coincide with Deafblind Awareness Week (the last day is today). The app creators have hailed it as a ‘game-changer’ for those who are Deaf and blind or have hearing loss or vision impairment. 

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Amazon launches new affordable, more accessible Kindles

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Amazon has just launched a new range of Kindle ebook readers, starting at the affordable price of US$79. Best of all, they come with features that allow the Kindle to be accessible for Blind or vision-impaired users.

A person reading a Kindle Paperwhite while drinking a coffee

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