Policy & Legislation

US adopts rules to make electronic devices more accessible

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a set of rules which will make a wide range of electronic devices more accessible for the Deaf or hearing impaired and blind or vision impaired.

The rules cover any device which is used to receive or play digital video, including televisions, set-top boxes, computers and smartphones. From now on, these will need to have on-screen text menus and program guides which are audibly accessible (i.e. the user can opt to hear them spoken), and a single button, key or icon to activate accessibility features such as closed captions.


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ABC report on audio description finally released

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After being delivered to the then Department of Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy at the end of 2012, the report from the ABC on the audio description trial has finally been released to the public.

The report gives the ABC’s feedback on the technical aspects of delivering audio description (AD) in Australia’s broadcast environment. A number of key findings emerged from the report which will impact on delivery of a service in the future.


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Our study into education for blind and vision impaired children

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Media Access Australia has today released a landmark study into how the access needs of blind and vision impaired students can be met in Australian schools. Launched at the Blind Citizens Australia convention yesterday, it is hoped that the study informs how new technologies and systems are adopted.

While there is no official statistic for the number of blind and vision impaired children in Australia, a reasonable estimate is 4,000. The vast majority of these school age children attend mainstream schools.

The study explores how the challenge of providing access to media and technology for blind and vision impaired students is met across the public, Catholic and independent sectors. The study draws on interviews with mainstream and specialist teachers and service providers.


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