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Top five podcast episodes of 2013

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Each week, we help produce a segment for Vision Australia Radio. Presented by community broadcasting legend Roberta Ashby, these offer a special opportunity to share developments in technology with people who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time online. Here, we share some of the favourites broadcast in the past year.

All episodes come with transcripts.


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Highlights 2013: Accessibility improvements in navigation apps

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In 2013, there have been some significant developments for accessibility in navigation apps. Navigation apps allow people to use their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as tools to help them get around. Most devices come with a built-in GPS and this year major technology companies updated their existing GPS apps with improved features for people with disability. As part of Media Access Australia’s Highlights series, we look back at some of the ways navigation apps have been improved for people with disabilities throughout 2013.

Google Maps

Google improved its GPS app with the introduction of voice-guided directions. Voice-guided directions enable people who are blind or vision impaired to follow walking directions through audible cues for each turn (rather than visual or text cues). Voice-guided directions are also available for driving and walking. While voice-guided directions have been a part of the Google Maps app since last year, it has continued to improve this year with its compatibility with new features and with the text-to-speech software of certain devices.


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Highlights of 2013 – getting captions into the classroom

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cap that! is our national awareness campaign encouraging teachers to turn on captions in the classroom to help improve learning and literacy for all students. Here, we give a summary of the campaign’s biggest year yet.

The national campaign has now completed its third successful year, with interest growing every year. The campaign calls on teachers, principals and librarians to become Captions Champions and advocate for captions to be used throughout the school.


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Unscrambling caption quality control

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In 2014 Media Access Australia will release the world’s first review of how the quality of closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf and hearing impaired is controlled internationally. The white paper is sponsored by Red Bee Media and will explore how a more consistent approach to captioning will benefit both viewers and caption providers internationally.

The report will draw on a range of approaches from across the world, both in English and other languages and will examine how various countries such as the UK, USA and Australia ensure the accuracy of closed captions on broadcast television.


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