Sensory impairment

Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities: Local Government NSW 2014

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Dr Scott Hollier's presentation at the Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities Forum 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare.

Presented at the Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities Forum, Dr Scott Hollier discusses the need for local government websites to address and support accessibility for the community, providing solutions for understanding user experience, reviewing/implementing policies, addressing online accessibility, writing accessible documents, creating accessible external messages and building accessible public computer facilities.

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Apple launches new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with accessibility features

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Apple has launched a series of new products including two new iPhone models and the long awaited smartwatch, with the iPhones containing a number of new accessibility features.

The Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus run the new iOS8 operating system which, like other recent iPhones, contains a number of accessibility features such as the VoiceOver screen reader, zoom, playback of captioned video and high contrast themes. The new iOS8 also contains additional accessibility features including an improved zoom, a greyscale feature, improved predictive text for the on-screen keyboard and the ability to use different software keyboards.

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Local Government: Practical accessibility steps

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Local councils have been urged to consider taking practical steps to improve the accessibility of their websites so that they can better meet their policy and legal compliance requirements.

Speaking ahead of his presentation on web accessibility at the Disability Inclusion and Liveable Communities Forum in Sydney on 12 September, Media Access Australia accessibility expert Dr Scott Hollier said meeting accessibility compliance was easier than many councils thought.


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Australian accessible apps developers to be honoured

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The shortlist for the inaugural competition to recognise the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, has been announced.

The challenge, announced earlier this year, is being run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and is sponsored by Telstra.

For the category of 'Most accessible mainstream app', the finalists are: Energy Rating, ACCC Shopper and My Bus (Canberra Transport).


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Finding your way around our updated education website content

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The education section of our website has a new menu structure, with an increased level of content and information to assist teachers and parents.

There are three main categories that provide focused points of reference: accessible media for diverse learners, hearing impairment and deafness and low vision and blindness.


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Consumers and cloud accessibility

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Consumers stand to benefit from the wider adoption of cloud services in their private and work lives, but the lack of accessibility of these services for people with disabilities may hamper the realisation of the cloud’s benefits.

That’s the finding of new research, The accessibility of the cloud: Current and future trends white paper, produced by Media Access Australia and sponsored by the Australian web Industry Association, into the accessibility of cloud services for people with disabilities.


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Caption reports hide great access story

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Why is it that our communications regulator seems satisfied to hide great achievements in access by our free-to-air television stations? Commentary by Alex Varley.

Developments that benefit viewers, stations, advertisers and content providers should be celebrated and publicised. Instead the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) puts out reports that hide innovation and the power of the market to deliver more under a spirit of healthy competition.


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Accessibility: the missing essential in cloud services

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Independent access expert Media Access Australia has released a research paper on the need for commercial services and governments to incorporate accessibility for people with disabilities into their cloud services.

The research finds that improving the useability of cloud services is an essential criterion in organisations efforts to maximise their customer engagement opportunities and ensure that they are not left behind by their competitors, some of whom have already discovered the commercial potential of access.


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Google Glass flips the classroom

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Students with disabilities at times require specialist technology in the classroom that is often relevant just for their use. With the yet to be released Google Glass wearable head mounted technology, that scenario appears to be ‘flipped on its head’, with the technology being marketed as mainstream.

Some stories about Google Glass help to explain the technology’s potential. Google Glass appears to provide an opportunity for consumers to access and engage in leisure and learning opportunities without significant access barriers. Telstra have been involved in a trial with b2cloud of prototype apps to support those with hearing or vision loss for use with Google Glass.

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Disability employment: three easy steps

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Getting ready to either help or directly employ people with disabilities is easier than you think. Here are three reasons why.

Workplace systems and technology

A major misconception is that there is an expense in setting up computers, office equipment and other systems so that they can be used by people with disabilities.

While this may once have been the case, it’s simply not true anymore. ‘Disabled employment’ no longer means ‘expensive’ or ‘too hard to set up’ and should not be viewed as a barrier.

That’s because the mainstream office technology that we all use—Windows, iOS, OS X and Android-based systems—is now packed with built-in accessibility features.


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