Blind or vision impaired

Mobile device accessibility recognised

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The work of mobile developers in improving access for people with disabilities has been recognised at the 20th Global Mobile Awards.

20th Global Mobile Awards (GSMA) logo

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NVDA 2015.1 screen reader released: hands-on first impressions

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NVDA, the free screen reader for Windows which is one of the world’s most popular, continues to receive significant improvements with the latest version, 2015.1. Dr Scott Hollier provides a hands-on review and initial impressions of the latest software update from NV Access.

Headset resting next to a Windows-based laptop

While not a proficient screen reader user, I find it useful from time to time when trying to read web pages, documents and emails which are text-heavy, so I was interested to take the new version of NVDA for a spin on my Windows 8.1 machine.


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iPads, and improved access to education

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Media Access Australia spoke to Lyn Robinson, Assistive Technology Teacher and Principal Researcher in the iPad Project about how tablet computers are helping students with disabilities better access education.

What are the challenges that students with vision impairments face in trying to access the curriculum?

Lyn Robinson: The classroom is full of educational materials that rely on vision. From print in textbooks to information on the whiteboard, vision is the primary sensory channel used in learning.

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Vision Australia launches audio description campaign

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Vision Australia has launched Tell the Whole Story, a campaign calling for the introduction of audio description on television. The campaign asks that people write to the Minister of Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, to express their need for the service.

Left hand holding a remote control, pointed at a TV screen


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Vision Australia lodges audio description complaints against broadcasters

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Vision Australia has lodged complaints against the Seven, Nine and Ten networks, SBS and Foxtel with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), calling on them to provide an audio description service for the blind and vision impaired.

Microphone in front of an audio mixing console. Image credit: marvinjvds via Flickr


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Bloggers encouraged to audiocast their posts

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A campaign has been launched to encourage bloggers and other online content creators to provide audiocasts with their posts. Speak Your Word, an initiative driven by filmmaker, photographer and writer Miguel Cano, seeks to provide the global blind and vision-impaired community with a more human experience of the web.

Speak Your Word logo

Audiocasts, also known as podcasts, are audio files commonly presented as voice recordings and broadcasts available to stream or download via the internet.

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Q&A: The importance of accessible gaming

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Media Access Australia spoke with accessible gaming advocate Ian Hamilton on the importance and value of accessible digital entertainment ahead of his presentation at this year’s annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN 2015).

Xbox 360 controller resting on a flat surface. Image credit: Steve Petrucelli, Flickr

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Q&A: IAAP’s CEO Chris Peck

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The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), the body created to promote the development of an accessibility profession, turns one year old this March. Ahead of its first birthday—coinciding with the 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN 2015)—Media Access Australia spoke to IAAP’s CEO, Chris Peck, for a look at the organisation’s achievements so far.

Portrait of IAAP CEO, Chris Peck


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Audio description app trialled in the UK

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The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has commenced a trial of a new app designed to deliver audio description for programs on video-on-demand services.

MovieReading logo

The app was developed by the Italian company Universal Multimedia Access, which also created the MovieReading app. This allows a caption file for a movie to be downloaded to a user’s smartphone or tablet, so that the captions can be watched as the movie screens in a cinema.

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Coles web accessibility case settled

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The case against grocery retailer Coles, for the alleged inaccessibility of its online shopping service, has been settled.

Miniature shopping cart resting on a laptop keyboard. Image credit:  Tim Reckmann, Flickr

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