Blind or vision impaired

Previewing Access 2020 – can we predict the future?

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Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley will be hosting a panel discussion on the future of access with four international access experts at the Languages and the Media Conference in Berlin on 6 November.

Robotic eye

A mix of speculation and building on current real-world trends and experiences, the panel will discuss a variety of themes based around disability access to television and related services in 2020:

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Facebook introduces VoiceOver gestures for iOS Messenger app

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Facebook has recently announced the addition of gesture-based accessibility features in the latest version of its Messenger app for iOS8.

Facebook Messenger app logo

As outlined in a recent Facebook Accessibility post, the new VoiceOver gestures are available for the Delete, Mute and More actions in the latest version of Facebook’s Messenger app (version 13) for iOS8 only.

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How to audio describe a YouTube video

Audio description is an additional audio track that provides a description of the visual elements of a video, TV broadcast or performance. Unlike closed captions, which are becoming widespread across the web, audio described videos are rarely available online.

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Five highlights of Language and the Media

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The bi-annual Languages and the Media conference is being held in Berlin from 5-7 November. This is the biggest media access conference in the world and Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley will be presenting at the conference. In this preview, he gives us his five personal highlights of the conference.

Languages & The Media: 10th International Conference on Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media. November 5th - 7th, 2014. Hotel Radisson Blu, Berlin.


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National Curriculum Review and inclusiveness

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Commentary by Anne McGrath, Education Manager, Media Access Australia

The education community has been anticipating the Australian Government’s newly released Review of the Australian Curriculum. The Review is well considered, comprehensive in nature and holds interest for all teachers, including those who work with students with disability and diverse learning needs.

Teacher pointing at mathematics questions on a projector screen in a classroom


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Find accessible movie sessions online

The major cinema chains have closed captions (CC) and audio description (AD) available at 115 locations across Australia. Finding movie sessions which have these features can be difficult. Here is our step-by-step guide to finding movie sessions with CC and AD on each major cinema website.

But before we start, we need to mention a few things:


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Print disability conference calls for papers for 2015

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The Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities is calling for papers for its next conference, to be held in Adelaide on 2 - 5 May 2015.

Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. with logo of Australia and New Zealand inside a circle

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Texpo to showcase new assistive technology for the blind

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Vision Australia’s Texpo 14, which starts in Melbourne on Friday, will showcase the latest assistive technology which has been developed to improve the lives of blind and vision impaired people.

Texpo 2014: Experience the latest technology and services for people who are blind or have low vision.

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Accessible consumer technologies and the cloud: VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014

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Dr Scott Hollier's keynote presentation at the VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare.

Presented at the VisAbility Tech Outlook 2014, Dr Scott Hollier covers the journey of Assistive Technologies (AT) from the hardware-based solutions of the 1980s, to the wide range of affordable AT options available today (including accessibility developments of Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android). The importance of the cloud in relation to the future AT is discussed, including its benefits and issues for consumer accessibility.


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Assistive technology: choice never greater

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Despite an often slow and mixed development history, the choice and availability of assistive technology to help people with disabilities access PCs and other computing devices has never been greater.

That’s the message delivered today to attendees of the VisAbility Technology Outlook conference in Perth, Western Australia by Media Access Australia’s resident accessibility expert, Dr Scott Hollier.

Dr Hollier said that assistive technology had had a long history with hardware-based text-to-speech technology being showcased in 1981, and SAM (Software Automatic Mouth) being released in 1982 for early personal computers from Atari, Apple and the Commodore 64.


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