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Australian web accessibility awarded

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The winners of the Australian Web Awards have been announced, recognising the importance of accessibility in web development and design.  The Cerebral Palsy Alliance took out the national award for best overall accessibility for its main website.

"We're delighted that there's a growing recognition of the importance of web accessibility in Australia," said Robyn Cummins, Manager of the Communication Design Team at Cerebral Palsy Alliance." With one in five Australians with a disability and a rapidly ageing population, it should be on every organisation's agenda."

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Five tips to make the web work better in your language

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In late May, Dr Scott Hollier travelled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to teach a web accessibility course to 22 students. As part of the assignment work, the students learnt how to use the basic functionality of screen readers and other Assistive Technology (AT). While the work went well, it quickly became apparent that there were a number of issues relating to the way in which Arabic was supported by the tools, and how those tools interacted with the web.

Translate button on a keyboard amidst keys labelled with multiple languages

There are several reasons why the web becomes more complicated for non-English speaking users, and it’s a combination of a number of factors:


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Study will review disabled consumer experiences with video on demand

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Curtin University academic Katie Ellis will investigate disabled consumer experiences of subscription video-on-demand (VOD) services in Australia in her project ‘Accessing Video on Demand: A study of disability and streaming television’.

Left hand pointing a remote control at a Smart TV


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iTunes to remove content that isn’t captioned

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1 July 2015 is the deadline in the United States for all online video content to have captions if it was previously captioned for broadcast on television. Following that date, iTunes will commence removing from its store movies and TV programs which fall into this category.

iTunes desktop application with playback controls visible. Image credit: maury.mccown via Flickr

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Chinese tech giant Baidu announces Blind Search device

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China’s leading search engine provider Baidu has announced the Blind Search device, a tool to assist blind and vision impaired people access “massive amounts of information online through touch” using a combination of tactile and voice-activated commands.

Blind Search facing upward with light emitting from the tactile display. Caption reads 'The device is called Blind Search'


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Californian government websites found to be inaccessible

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The California State Auditor has reported that many government websites in the state continue to not be fully accessible to persons with disabilities, despite state and federal legal requirements and the growing use of government services online.

The June 2015 report from the Californian State Auditor, states that violations of web accessibility standards ranged in severity, some to the point that “…elements of the departments’ websites were completely inaccessible to users with disabilities while other violations may prevent persons with disabilities from completing tasks necessary to access certain online services.”

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Web and PDF Accessibility: New Tools for Changing Times

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Tim Connell, Managing Director at adaptive technology company Quantum talks about web and document accessibility. Tim spoke to media Access Australia following his presentation at the 2015 Print Disabilities Conference held May 2-5 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Quantum: Reading, Learning, Vision logo


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