Sensory impairment

Accessibility improvements announced at Apple WWDC

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A number of new features announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held in San Francisco last week reveals some potential improvements to the accessibility of Apple devices. Presenting to developers, Apple unveiled its new operating system (OS), called OS X Mavericks, and the latest version of its mobile OS, called iOS 7.

Mavericks will come installed on Apple’s desktop computers and laptops including the iMac, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air, while iOS 7 will come installed on Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

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Women with disability disadvantaged in ICT

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The digital divide experienced by people with disability is wider for women, new research finds. A report released by Women with Disabilities Victoria and the Self Advocacy Research Unit has found that the perception of women with disabilities being less capable of operating computers perpetuates disadvantage.

Access to information communications technology (ICT) including computers, mobile devices, social media and websites is becoming increasingly vital for participation in society. The research identifies a vicious cycle of disadvantage. Women with disability are more likely to face poverty, unemployment and under-education than their male counterparts. This means they are less likely to have access to ICT which, in turn, means they are less likely to overcome socioeconomic barriers.


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Audiobook encourages blind and vision impaired seniors to get online

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In July, Media Access Australia, in partnership with Council on The Ageing Western Australia (COTA WA) and funded by the nib foundation, released a kit to assist seniors with disabilities participate online. This has now been provided as an audio book, catering specifically to the needs of those who are blind or vision impaired.

The Helping seniors with disabilities get online kit has been distributed to COTA WA member organisations across the state. The resource equips organisations with the knowledge to run workshops for older people who have a disability or may be experiencing a decrease in sight, hearing or mobility.


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Dell and Microsoft create program for accessible classrooms

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A new collaborative effort by Microsoft and Dell has introduced an education program in the U.S. that will provide training and support to teachers of students with disabilities.

The program will help them incorporate and promote the use of assistive technologies and software features in classrooms for students who are blind or vision impaired or have a cognitive disability.

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