Aussies amongst the winners of the 2012 Access Awards

Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:38pm

NV Access, the Australian organisation behind the screen reader NVDA, is among a list of winners of the 2012 Access Awards. Presented by the American Foundation for the Blind, the awards are given to people and organisations in recognition of their work in improving quality of life for people who are blind or vision impaired. Joining NV Access on the list of winners is Major League Baseball, Leader Dogs for the Blind and adapted physical education researcher Lauren Lieberman.

The non-profit Australian organisation NV Access has been recognised for their work on the free-to-download, open source screen reader, NVDA. The NVDA screen reader for the Windows operating system is a piece of software that translates text and other elements to synthetic speech, so that people who are blind or vision impaired or who have cognitive disabilities, can access information on the web as well as programs on their computer. In an article published recently by Media Access Australia, co-developer James Teh said the non-profit organisation is struggling to sustain its funds.

Major League Baseball (MBL) has been recognised for providing accessible services on their website and through their At Bat 11 app for the iPhone and iPad. The Gameday Audio player on the MBL website lets users download audio versions of game broadcasts while the At Bat 11 app gives access to videos, post-game wraps, archived games and news.

Leader for Dogs for the Blind is a US organisation that provides training services for people who are blind or vision impaired. The organisation offers orientation and mobility training through their Accelerated Mobility Program, which helps people who are blind or vision impaired travel safely and independently in different environments. The organisation has also provided guide dogs and associated services.

Lauren Lieberman, a professor at the State University of New York, founded a program to promote fitness for young people with a disability. The Camp Abilities program offers 14 sports and recreation camps in the United States and four internationally. It also provides the opportunity for young blind or vision impaired people to train for and compete in the Paralympics.

The Awards are detailed further in an American Foundation for the Blind media release.

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