Yesterday the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, announced Dr Denise Wood as the inaugural winner of the Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Prize for Telecommunications and Disability. Dr Wood is a researcher and senior lecturer in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia.
In accepting the prize for her paper 'Communicating in Virtual Worlds through an Accessible Web 2.0 Solution,' Dr Wood said that her research, which is part of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council project to improve access to 3D virtual learning environments, had identified the benefits of Web 2.0 and 3D Virtual Worlds such as Second Life for people with disabilities. Media Access Australia also contributed to the research by providing accessibility feedback on the Second Life interface.
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