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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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Google Glass to have captions

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Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an app which will provide real-time captions on Google Glass, and potentially be of great benefit to Deaf and hearing impaired users.

Google Glass, Explorer Edition (2014)

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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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Repealing captioning red tape: Captioning of repeats on multichannels

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In the fifth part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at the digital multichannels, which are currently exempt from the normal caption quotas but are required to caption previous repeats.

Scissors cutting through a red ribbon


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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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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption quotas

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In the fourth part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at the confusing state of caption quotas for Australian TV, and how they can be simplified to benefit consumers and broadcasters.

Man's right hand holding open scissors over a line of red tape


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Digital Theatre productions with captions

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UK not-for-profit captioning organisation Stagetext has partnered with on-demand live arts service Digital Theatre to offer captioned versions of theatre productions.

A digital theatre production is where the play is recorded live and then distributed online, like a ‘film’ of the theatre performance. The addition of captions means that these productions are accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired people around the world.  This is part of the push to provide a different form of physical access when a person cannot attend the performance at the venue.  It also means that the performance is available multiple times and can be watched when the viewer chooses.


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Repealing captioning red tape: Caption reporting

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In the third part of our series on red tape repeal, we look at calls to end the requirement that broadcasters must report on how much captioning they have done.

Scissors cutting through red tape


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Ai-Media trials live captioning in UK schools

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The Australian-based access company Ai-Media, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the UK charity Nesta, has been working on a project which looks at the benefits of real-time captioning and transcriptions in British classrooms.

35 primary school teachers have taken part in the project, which is called the Visible Classroom and is being funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. They have had real-time captions provided by Ai-Media which are streamed onto an electronic whiteboard or tablets during lessons, and afterwards children are able to read the transcripts.

In an earlier trial of the system in Australia, it was found that the captions also benefited non-Deaf students, and allowed teachers to review their professional practice. The UK project is producing similar results.   


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