Blind or vision impaired

New ‘Affordable Access’ project promotes low cost accessible technology

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Media Access Australia (MAA), in conjunction with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), is pleased to announce the launch of a new website and supporting downloadable resources designed to make digital accessibility for those with a disability easier and more affordable.

Screen grab of the Affordable Access website showing 7 people using devices

Screen grab of the Affordable Access website showing 7 people using devices

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Handy PointFinder app now available for iOS users

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The PointFinder accessible navigation aid for blind and vision-impaired people was launched on the Android platform in 2014, after some advice and testing from Media Access Australia. Now this very useful app is available for iOS users too.

Image of PointFinder app logo

Image of PointFinder app logo

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Online Census accessibility review - Pass or Fail

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Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s ‘Specialist Advisor, Digital Accessibility’, undertook an accessibility review of the 9 August Census… conducted before, during, and after that fateful night. Unfortunately, the 2016 Census was a total debacle from go to woe… but did it pass or fail in terms of accessibility, in its online form? Find out in this fascinating podcast article.

Image of Census 'This site can't be reached' message

Image of Census 'This site can't be reached' message

 

Listen to the complete interview where Dr Scott Hollier chats to Philip Jenkinson about the accessibility of the online Census.


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Accessibility in the workplace has widespread benefits

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Almost half of all EU citizens living with a disability are unemployed, a new study commissioned by Microsoft has revealed. As people increasingly rely on technology to get their jobs done, the report also showed that many employees who are Deaf, blind, vision, hearing or cognitive impaired, or who have a physical disability, are finding it harder to participate productively in workplaces that are not technologically accessible.

Image of ‘thumbs up’ signifying ‘good’

Image of ‘thumbs up’ signifying ‘good’

 


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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.

Close up of person in a lecture browsing their laptop


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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.

Google logo

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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