Blind or vision impaired

Accessible Live Events call for papers

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The University of Antwerp is hosting a special international symposium on Accessible Live Events on 29 April 2016 and is seeking proposals for papers and presentations.

Audience cheering whilst facing the stage at a live performance. A person's hands are raised in the foreground making a 'heart' shape.


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UK regulator releases access requirements for 2016

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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.

Remote control resting on a TV guide


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Egypt audio describes its first feature film

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On 11 June 2015, the 1963 epic drama Al Nasser Saladin became the first Egyptian feature film to be screened with audio description for blind and vision impaired people.

Poster of the film Al Nasser Saladin


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Apple wins AFB award for its accessibility product features

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The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has announced that the Helen Keller Award for 2015 has been won by Apple due to its commitment to including accessibility features in its products to support people who are blind or vision impaired.

Apple products on display. From left to right: MacBook, iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus


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Employment conference to cover digital accessibility

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One of the most powerful practical approaches to assist people with a disability in becoming self-sufficient and managing their needs is through helping them into employment. Specialist disability employment services are the usual first place that both employers and people with a disability turn to in that job-hunting quest. Whilst the person may be experienced, willing and able to take on the workplace, the workplace also needs to accommodate their needs.

Australia's Disability Employment Conference - Sydney 2015


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Accessible trailers help you decide

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Many movies are available with captions and/or audio description at cinemas, on DVD and some video-on-demand (VOD) services. But how do you decide whether the movie is the right one for you? Websites that feature accessible movie trailers are a good starting point.

Popcorn spilling out of a glass bowl onto a tablecloth, paper bag in the background


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Affordable Access secures grant funding

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Media Access Australia has secured an Australian Communications Consumers Action Network (ACCAN) grant for its Affordable Access project, which will look at low-cost, mainstream accessible technology for people with disabilities with an aim to help people make more informed choices when it comes to devices.

Elderly person using a Samsung tablet device. Image credit: Wikipedia commons

Digital media and technology: 

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Android Wear 5.1.1 includes long-awaited accessibility features

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The latest version of the Android Wear operating system version 5.1.1 includes several new accessibility features which allows wearable devices to become accessible for many users.

Accessibility icon highlighted in Android Wear 5.1.1 (under Location and above Screen Lock)

The new features are largely vision-related, with support for magnification, colour inversion and large text. The magnification feature can be accessed via specific gestures.

Digital media and technology: 

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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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UK disability advocates release roadmap for VOD accessibility

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The accessibility of video-on-demand (VOD) services is a hot topic in Australia, the UK and other countries at the moment. There have been calls for legislation to be introduced unless the VOD services make acceptable progress in introducing captions and audio description voluntarily. But what constitutes accessible progress? In the UK, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Action on Hearing Loss, and Sense (who represent people who are deafblind or have associated disabilities) have issued a report that attempts to answer that question.

Elderly couple watching TV together. Woman pointing remote at screen. Image credit: Defining progress for Access Services on Video on Demand (VOD)


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