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Window-Eyes screen reader made free to Office users

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The market for screen readers, software which converts text on computer screens to synthetic voice, is becoming more competitive and people who are blind are beginning to see huge benefits. Last week, GW Micro announced it would make its Window-Eyes screen reader free to users of Microsoft Office.

The announcementstates that Window-Eyes will be available globally to anyone using Microsoft Office 2010 or later, saving users from paying $1,022. GW Micro states that the decision was a result of an increasingly critical need for people who are blind or vision impaired to have reduced barriers to technology access.


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Report looks at television access levels across Europe

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A major report commissioned by the European Commission has found that levels of captioning, audio description and signing on television vary widely across Europe, and are highest in countries which have introduced legal or regulatory obligations. 

The Study on Assessing and Promoting E-Accessibility looked at accessibility levels in three areas – web, telecoms, and television – in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), along with four comparison countries, Australia, Norway, Canada and the US.  For each country, the study looked at two public broadcasters and two commercial broadcasters.


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Accessibility highlights from the Consumer Electronics Show

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held last week in Las Vegas, revealing a number of interesting new products that are likely to turn up in our stores in the months to come. Here are some of the main themes this year and their accessibility implications.

Interactive home appliances

With Panasonic introducing its accessible talking TV last year, LG is aiming to go one better, this year introducing a range of interactive home appliances.

Digital media and technology: 

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Vimeo enhances accessibility

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The video sharing website Vimeo has introduced several new features, including support for closed captions and foreign language subtitles on its video player.

Until now, YouTube was the only social video sharing service which allowed videos to be made accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired viewers. As reported by the Drum, with this added function, Vimeo will be more competitive and viewers will have access to a larger amount of content.


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