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Highlights of 2013: Accessibility in mainstream devices

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In 2013 people with disability have been offered more choice in smartphones and tablet computers. While Apple still dominates this market, this year saw its competitors offer affordable and accessible alternatives. Here, Media Access Australia looks at a selection of mainstream electronic devices and how they have been improved for accessibility.

Samsung Galaxy S4

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Telstra bans CAPTCHA tests

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Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra has won the day by announcing it will no longer use CAPTCHA tests on its apps and websites.

The announcement was made as part of its Disability Action Plan, released to mark International Day of People with Disability. CAPCTHAS notoriously present a barrier to many users with disabilities, including those with vision impairment or dyslexia.

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Highlights of 2013: cinema access advances

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Throughout December Media Access Australia will bring you a summary of the biggest developments in access to media and technology seen in 2013. The first looks at developments in cinema both in Australia and internationally.

New technologies

In Europe three separate companies are introducing captioning or captioning and audio description to Italy and Spain through innovative devices.


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Online content to support the Australian Curriculum

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Finding online resources that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum is now a whole lot easier. Education Services Australia (ESA) has developed Scootle, a purpose-designed search tool which is available to teachers nationally. Some of the content to be found on Scootle is captioned, and teachers can refine their search to include only captioned material.

The Scootle portal houses an increasing range of content from a variety of educational sources. From an accessibility standpoint, only some of the content is captioned and Scootle has put processes in place to include more captioned educational content in the future.


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Nokia assistive app competition

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Smartphone company Nokia and the Royal National Institute for Blind People in the UK have partnered in a competition for apps which assist people who are blind or vision impaired.

Eligible apps must be compatible with Windows 8 and Nokia Lumia phones. While there’s a broad range of assistance apps available on Android and Apple iOS phones, options for blind and vision impaired Windows users are far more limited. The Nokia Create: Do Good Mission aims to help remedy this.

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