Blind or vision impaired

Audio description takes to the sky

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Emirates airline has announced the introduction of audio description to its in-flight entertainment system, making it the first airline to provide both captioned and audio described content for passengers to enjoy.

Emirates has worked closed with Walt Disney Studios to supply closed captioned content since 2007. In the month of August alone, there will be over 50 movies with closed captions for the Deaf and hearing impaired. To continue Emirates’ commitment to exceptional customer service, audio description will be introduced on 16 Disney movies, allowing people with vision impairment to listen to the visual narration soundtrack.


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Technology for students (blind/low vision) (new)

People who are blind or vision impaired rely on a broad range of software tools and devices to read, learn and work.

Most people own assistive technology without even knowing it. Most computers, smartphones and tablets for sale in Australia already have screen readers, screen magnifiers and other tools for blind and vision impaired users installed. You simply have to go into the menu on your device and turn them on.


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Teacher information (blind/low vision) (new)

Teachers play a pivotal role in the learning outcomes of all students. It is vital that teachers who have students with sensory impairment in their classrooms create an equitable educational environment through the use of accessibility practices.

Specialist teachers provide targeted support for students with sensory impairment, and are invited to view our page designed for specialist teachers.


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Accessible cinema to get a legislative boost in the USA

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Last week the United States Attorney General signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which recommends amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act to provide captioning and audio description of movies.

The ruling will provide a consistent approach across the United States for cinemas to exhibit closed captioned and audio described movies. While the majority of movies released by American studios have captions and audio description, the number of cinemas making use of these features is varies widely across the country.

Some of the rulemaking inclusions are:


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Teacher information (new)

Teachers play a pivotal role in the learning outcomes of all students. It is vital that teachers who have students with sensory impairment in their classrooms create an equitable educational environment through the use of accessibility practices.

Specialist teachers provide targeted support for students with sensory impairment, and are invited to view our page designed for specialist teachers.


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Technology for increased classroom access (new)

Advances in technology have seen the concept of learning escape the confines of the classroom, however teachers need to ensure that BYOD and other devices or equipment in the classroom don’t pose a barrier for students with diverse learning needs. Accessibility features need to be enabled.

From a best practice perspective, modelling accessible use of multimedia in your school communities can be facilitated by:


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OwnFone launches ‘world's first braille mobile phone’ in Australia

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OwnFone has launched a braille-based mobile phone for blind and vision impaired users in Australia—a world-first, according to the mobile technology company.

By combining a three dimensional (3D) printing system and customisable, blank mobile devices, OwnFone allows customers to design a mobile phone with up to three contact names and numbers, which are automatically converted into braille buttons on the front of the device.

The phone features a single button dialling system, with pre-programmed options to call emergency services and contacts of the customer’s choice, including family, friends or carers.

Digital media and technology: 

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Q&A: Former Australian Disability Commissioner, Graeme Innes

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Media Access Australia spoke to former Australian Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes about his time in the role, web accessibility, disability employment, and the need to change attitudes towards disability in the public and private sectors.

Could you reflect on your time as Disability Commissioner?


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Ofcom releases access requirements for 2015

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The UK communications regulator Ofcom has released its list of TV channels which will be required to provide access services – captioning, audio description and signing – in 2015.

Ofcom conducts an annual mid-year review of access requirements, based on each channel’s revenue and audience share in the previous year. Following this year’s review, 79 domestic channels will be required to provide access services in 2015, compared to 76 in 2014. This accounts for over 90% of the total UK audience share.


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