• Be part of 24 hours of inclusive design

    A free 24-hour online community event on accessibility is being staged on 9 June 2017 by The Paciello Group – one the world’s leading Assistive Technology providers for vision impaired people. It promises to be an inspiring event and is open to everyone.A person thinks of usability and user experience
    Inclusive Design 24 is an innovative event sponsored by The Paciello Groupto celebrate worldwide efforts to ensure people with disability have full and equal access to the web.
    This yea
  • New eGlasses can improve vision for many who are legally blind

    Canadian company eSight creates futuristic glasses that use images from a forward-facing camera to overcome vision loss, even for many people who are legally blind. The makers claim that their latest variant, the eSight 3 augmented reality headset, is a real wearable breakthrough for those people living with vision loss.eSight 3 electronic glasses
    The launch of this advanced new wearable was reported in the Toronto Star by Michael Liedtke of Associated Press in February 2017 and by VOA News repo
  • Five tips for teachers of students with hearing impairment

    So you’ve started a new term this year and you’ve discovered that one (or perhaps more) of your students has a hearing impairment or doesn't have English as their primary language. This article shares five quick tips to help you make the most of your classroom.
    Use captionsAll students benefit from captions and especially those who are Deaf or hearing-impaired, plus those with English as a second language. To cater for these students it is important to use only captioned multimedia s
  • Free captioning and description editing tool launched

    The National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) in the USA has just launched CADET (Caption and Description Editing Tool) which was previously only available as a Beta project. This official launch version of CADET was developed with partial funding from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office with the rest coming from crowd-funding, and is available via a free download.Dashboard of CADET being used
    CADET has taken over two years to develop from the initial beta test, and is the result of a
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  • 4 leading Startups in the Deaf and hearing-impaired space

    1 in 6 Australians are affected by hearing loss including around 30,000 Deaf Auslan users with total hearing loss, according to the Australian Network on Disability (AND). On a global scale, the World Health Organization puts the total number of those with disabling hearing loss at about 360 million people, so it’s no wonder more Startups are springing up to help.International Symbol for Deafness
    Around the world, dedicated research teams and tech experts working for Startups are striving
  • US restaurant chain has trouble on the menu

    The Olive Garden restaurant group in the US is accused of having a website that is inaccessible to the vision impaired, with a lawsuit filed in Florida in April 2017. The company is alleged to be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is the US equivalent of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in Australia.Red slash through wheelchair
    Olive Garden is a US casual dining restaurant chain specialising in Italian-American cuisine, and is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc
  • Ava app makes group conversations accessible

    For those with hearing disability, simple dinner table group conversations can be pretty painful to stay on top of. However, the Ava app aims to bring Deaf and hearing impaired people back into group conversations with each other plus people of all abilities – and the May 2017 update provides even more functionality.Ava being used on a smartphone
    The Ava threaded speech-to-text application gives people with hearing disability an easy way to stay engaged in conversation with a group of frie
  • Live, Work and Play: NSW the State of Inclusion Conference is on 17 & 18 May

    Registrations are now being taken for the NSW Department of Family and Community Services ‘State of Inclusion’ conference, running 17 and 18 May in Sydney. The event will showcase the progress being made in NSW towards building an inclusive society for people with disability and highlight the opportunities and challenges for the future.Live Work Play NSW The State of Inclusion
    The Live, Work and Play: NSW the State of Inclusion event is being held at the new International Conference
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  • JAWS screen reader gets more bight

    Freedom Scientific has recently released JAWS 18.0.2738, which incorporates several important improvements made between the JAWS February 2017 release and this mid April 2017 update, plus dozens of less revolutionary but very practical enhancements.JAWS screen reader logo
    JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is the world's most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. It allows blind and vision-impaired pe
  • Aipoly Vision is a truly visionary app

    ‘Aipoly Vision’ is a very useful object-and-colour recogniser app that helps the blind, vision-impaired, and colour blind to understand their surroundings. It does so by using artificial intelligence to recognise objects through a device’s camera and then announces the name of each object to the user.Image of Aipoly Vision logo
    The Aipoly developers are on a self-declared mission to build scalable vision intelligence. They intend to add facial recognition to the Aipoly Vision a
  • New vision-impaired user interface launched by Virgin Australia

    Virgin Australia has become the first airline in the Asia Pacific region, and the second airline in the world, to introduce an in-flight entertainment (IFE) user interface for passengers who are blind or have low vision.‘Welcome Aboard’ main menu
    The new interface increases accessibility to IFE content through simplified screen layouts, larger icons and voice prompts. It will be available soon on Virgin Australia’s entire fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which feature a seat
  • AND’s ‘ANC’ is at the MCG on 16 May

    The Australian Network on Disability (AND) is staging its Annual National Conference at Melbourne’s iconic MCG on 16 May. It will attract a diverse range of employers, business stakeholders and advocates in the disability inclusion space.Melbourne Cricket Ground
    This year is the ninth that AND has staged an annual conference and the theme for 2017 is ‘Enabling change and creating impact’ which is an outcome that Media Access Australia itself wholeheartedly supports and strives
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  • I am not a Robot! - the access implications of Google’s new Invisible reCAPTCHA

    Google has taken one more step towards a fully-automated bot-detection system with the launch of ‘Invisible reCAPTCHA’ - which hopefully spells an end to having to prove that you are not a robot all of the time. But what are the accessibility implications?Image of circle crossed robot dalek
     
    What is CAPTCHA?
    CAPTCHAs (or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a type of challenge-response test used to determine whether or not the user is h
  • Government forms Working Group on AD for TV

    The Turnbull Government has set up a new taskforce with the aim of improving TV accessibility. They have announced the formation of an Audio Description (AD) Working Group to examine options for increasing the availability of AD services in Australia.Man wearing headphones listens to AD on TV
    This welcome move follows the most recent ABC iview trial and the submission of a report on the trial of AD on ABC iview that was tendered to the Government in late February this year by seven leading disab
  • New game allows you to play face-to-face even if you’re blind

    The Nintendo Switch console has a terrific new game that's accessible for the blind. Called 1-2 Switch, it allows two players to enjoy game-play scenarios by looking at each other and not the screen.A cowgirl and a cowboy point fingers at each other
    Played on the recently released Nintendo Switch console, 1-2 Switch is like a party-style game for two players, with the main innovation being that rather than looking at the screen, you look at your opponent or what you’re physically doing. Yo
  • Latest tech releases from Apple

    Apple has announced a new iOS 10.3 update, some updates to iPad, iPhone and their Apple Watch, plus they have launched a new app called ‘Clips’ which makes it possible for pretty much everyone to create quick and fun videos on an iPhone and iPad.Apple logo
    Apple has just released the iOS 10.3 update, marking the launch of the third major update to the iOS 10 operating system since it launched. This one features an improved file system to what is called Apple File System (AFS) —
  • Opera House more accessible – on and off the stage

    The Sydney Opera House has launched its biggest ever Access Program for 2017. The line-up of events features more than 70 accessible shows, workshops and experiences that are sure to delight children and adults of all abilities, with more mobility access options, and an expanded array of accessible performances.Main theatre of Sydney Opera House
    Underpinned by the Sydney Opera House’s Access Strategic Plan of 2016-18, the 2017 Opera House access program is their biggest yet, increasing the
  • New muppet with autism joins Sesame Street

    Over the decades, iconic children’s TV show, Sesame Street, has always been good at raising awareness around a wide variety of sections of the community. The latest character to join the muppet family is Julia, who has autism, and makes her debut in April 2017.New muppet Julia
    Julia actually made her debut in late 2015 in print and digital artworks as the focus of a Sesame Street workshop titled ‘Autism: See Amazing in All Children’ which also led to a series of videos, an app,
  • Registrations now open for 2017 Round Table Conference in May

    Registrations are now being taken for the 2017 Round Table Annual Conference, to be co-sponsored again by Media Access Australia. This year’s theme is ‘Information Access – new modes, technologies and opportunities’. It is being staged at the Mercure Perth hotel in the city from Saturday 6 May to Tuesday 9 May.Round-Table-on-Information-Access-for-People-with-Print-Disabilities-Inc.
    The 2017 Round Table Conference provides three full days of presentations, panel sessions,
  • Don’t miss The Future of Accessible Work

    The 14th International Web for All Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A 2017), run in conjunction with the 26th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2017), is taking place in Perth from 2-4 April – with the overall theme being ‘The Future of Accessible Work’.W4A 2017 logo plus Perth skyline
    The featured keynote address at the end of the first day of the conference will be from Alastair McEwin, the Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner, who
  • 2017 Sydney Access and Inclusion Campaign launched

    Accessible Arts in partnership with the City of Sydney launched the new Accessing Sydney Collectively (ASYD.CO) knowledge exchange partnership program on 8 March 2017, as part of the Sydney Access and Inclusion Campaign.Sydney Access and Inclusion logo
     
    Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Alastair McEwin, officially launched this world-first initiative at the Sydney Theatre Company on International Women’s Day. Media Access Australia CEO, Dr Manisha Amin, attended the launch a
  • New report on the trial of A.D. on ABC iview

    Media Access Australia was one of seven leading advocacy organisations that have just tabled a report, including consumer feedback, perspectives and analysis, of the Government-funded trial of Audio Description (AD) on the ABC's iview service, from April 2015 to July 2016.Image of Audio Description
    The new report was submitted in late February 2017 to Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications, and also provided to Sophie Kowald (Advisor to the Shadow minister for Communications) and Sen
  • New Australian app for A.T. users to better equip themselves

    A new consumer app is helping Australians with disabilities to identify the range of Assistive Technology (AT) equipment and technology options available, with the aim of improving their independence and wellbeing.Image of Equip Myself
    The newly released Equip Myself app, that was developed by the Independent Living Centre (ILC) WA, links to anational online AT database which contains impartial information on more than 11,000 assistive technology products available right around the country.
    Thro
  • Design-a-thon event showcased innovative thinking

    The recent Enabled Design-a-thon event was held in Sydney on 25-26 February 2017 with two Media Access Australia accessibility specialists taking part – Heidi Laidler and Monica Regalado. It attracted 16 teams of from 4-10 members who worked over the two days to design and develop prototypes of solutions to assist people with disability.Image of four members of ‘team Post-It’
    This hands-on event was organised by Remarkable, a division of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. The first d
  • Check out the world’s least accessible website

    Mehmet Duran, a developer in the accessibility team at the UK Government’s Digital Service group, created a website with two colleagues that is the most inaccessible on the planet. He did so in order to check the accuracy and efficacy of automated testing tools, and the results were surprising.A screenshot of 'the world's least accessible website'
    The British team built a stand-alone webpage full of accessibility fails so that they could conduct an audit of 10 popular automated testing too
  • Don't miss Meeting Place 2017 on 2 March in Perth

    Hosted in partnership with the Perth International Arts Festival and DADAA WA, Arts Access Australia’s Meeting Place 2017 will be held next week in Perth and promises to be a memorable and thought-provoking event.Arts Access Australia
    Arts Access Australia is dedicated to broadening understanding and improving skills and access in the field of disability and the arts. The annual Meeting Place gathering supports cultural exchange between outstanding national and international artists with d
  • Windows 10 free upgrade offer still on for AT users

    Microsoft continues to support a free upgrade to Windows 10 for people who are using Assistive Technologies (AT) in Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, despite officially ending their promotional offer on 29 July 2016.A laptop running Windows 10
    For the general public, the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 ended many months ago, yet Microsoft continues to improve their Windows 10 experience for people who use AT. Before upgrading however, the company urges users of AT to check with your assistiv
  • Latest on iOS 10, 7 & Plus 7 phones and new Apple Support app

    A lot of new things are happening in the Apple universe. There's an iOS 10 Home ‘button‘ and Voice Control update, along with a wonderful new Apple Support app that is ideal for people with a hearing impairment as well as those suffering from anxiety.Apple logo
    Exciting news from the 10.2.1 iOS update is that users can now turn off Voice Control. It’s great for people who accidentally have their finger on the Home button for too long to open and don’t want Siri or Voice C
  • 2017 Consumer Electronics Show showcases digital assistants

    The world’s largest technology tradeshow, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was staged in Las Vegas in January and is now 50 years young. In addition to the weird and the wonderful, there was plenty of innovation on display, including a whole lot of love at the event for digital assistants including Amazon Echo’s ‘Alexa’, as Media Access Australia’s Specialist Advisor - Digital Accessibility, Dr Scott Hollier reports.Amazon Echo with ears drawn on each side
    There
  • Magnifier feature in Apple iOS 10 – a hidden gem

    Towards the end of 2016, Apple's iOS10 mobile operating system was released. One of its ‘box of tricks’ that didn’t receive much publicity is a helpful new accessibility feature called Magnifier. This hidden helper has been a hit with the people who have discovered it, and is designed for the visually impaired plus seniors who have trouble reading small print.Image of Magnifier enlarging an image and words on an iPhone
    The Magnifier feature uses a device's built-in camera to en
  • The accessibility of self publishing

    Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s Specialist Advisor, Digital Accessibility, self-published an inspiring book Outrunning the Night late last year. He shares some very helpful practical advice on his journey of ensuring that the finished product was accessible across multiple formats, with MAA’s Philip Jenkinson in a fascinating podcast article.Image of a book within a computer screen
    Listen to the complete interview where Dr Scott Hollier shares some great tips with Philip J
  • Transcript of Dr Scott Hollier interview on the accessibility of self publishing

    Introduction
    You're listening to a podcast from Media Access Australia. Inclusion through technology.
    Philip:
    I’m speaking with Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s specialist advisor, digital accessibility. And today’s focus is on the accessibility of self-publishing. As mainstream publishers cut back on their author rosters and globalised sales models limit the amount of new authors a publishing house can take on, more and more people are turning to self-publishing to s
  • Major review of NDIS costs now underway

    In late January 2017 the Federal Government announced that the Productivity Commission is to conduct a study to review the costs of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which is due to be operational and available to around 500,000 people by 2019.Image of National Disability Insurance Scheme
    The NDIS study will examine issues including the sustainability of scheme costs; jurisdictional capacity (including the complementary disability services provided by the States and Territories);
  • Registrations open for 8 February Web Accessibility Camp in Perth

    Got something to share or learn about web accessibility? Then the Perth Web Accessibility Camp is where you need to be. It’s being staged on 8 February at Bankwest House in the city, in the lead up to the Web for All (W4A) 2017 conference in April, co-located with the International World Wide Web 2017 (WWW2017) conference.People raising their hands at the 2016 Perth Access Camp
    The Camp, in its fourth year, is sponsored by Bankwest and being held at their office in 306 Murray Street Perth.
  • Website inaccessibility court cases on the rise

    In March 2016 ‘Colorado Bags n’ Baggage’ became the first retailer in the US to lose a litigation case because their website was inaccessible. Today, there are dozens of court cases that are either scheduled to be heard or that have already settled out of court, as a surge of legal cases bring web accessibility into the mainstream, with broader implications for Australia and around the world.'Sorry it's the law' within a red circle
    The California State Court became the first in
  • Section 508 gets ICT upgrade to match WCAG Level A & AA standards

    In a move welcomed by disability groups and advocates, the U.S. Access Board has updated their accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within Section-508 of the Rehabilitation Act,to bring it into line with European and WCAG (Level A, AA) standards.Access stamp
    The new rule was announced 9 January 2017 and is in response to market trends and innovations, such as the convergence of technologies. The refresh also harmonises these requirements with other guidel
  • High compliance in TV captioning during FY 2015–16… but more needs to be done.

    At last, some good news on the captioning front. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reported in late December 2016 of a high level of compliance with captioning targets during the 2015-2016 financial year. However, their reporting period did not cover the back end of last year which saw multiple captioning issues emerge on the ABC and other networks, which proves that more work needs to be done.Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
    ACMA advised on 21 December
  • Accessibility a priority at Sydney Festival

    The Sydney Festival runs in January 2017 with many accessible events featured along with a program of activities that will be accessible to people with a disability.Image of Sydney Festival 2017
    Next year’s Sydney Festival is set to be the biggest ever. There’ll be a total of 150 events, 73 of which are free, with 454 performances taking place across 46 venues, featuring 1021 artists from 15 countries. Music, theatre, dance, opera, visual arts, ideas, free and family events are all i
  • Be part of the Diverse-CITY of Melbourne

    Now in its 12th year, the ‘Diverse-CITY’ exhibition is running up until the evening of 21 December. It showcases a diverse range of artworks from artists of all ages who are living with a disability, or an experience of mental ill health, and who come from culturally diverse backgrounds across Victoria.Image of Diverse-CITY
    This annual event is free to attend and put on by ADEC ArtAbility. It’s a featured exhibition at Federation Square, on the corner of Swanston Street and Fli
  • Riverside Theatres present accessible movies

    Riverside Theatres in Parramatta are staging a large number of accessible screenings of a variety of popular films including the latest releases, over the Summer season.Riverside Cinema
    All of the upcoming special event screenings at Riverside Theatres offer a great level of disability access, with their line-up of movies allowing specific access points covering Open Captions, Audio Description, AUSLAN interpretation, Tactile Tours, and/or Relaxed Performances. They also offer level access and s
  • Disability is a mainstream issue

    Media Access Australia (MAA) advocates for all people living with disability. New CEO, Dr Manisha Amin, believes that disability is a mainstream issue that needs to be managed in a mainstream way.Image of Dr Manisha Amin
    Media Access Australia is the nation’s only independent Not-For-Profit devoted to relieving disability through providing access to digital information, online services, information through technology and mainstream media. Making all of these elements accessible is essentia
  • Submissions wanted for Government inquiry into hearing health and wellbeing

    The Australian Parliament’s House Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport is going to be considering the social and economic impacts of hearing impairment and ear or balance disorder, and seek submissions from the public. You can have your say by 23 December.Image of Parliament House, Canberra
    Following a referral on 2 November 2016 from the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, The Hon Sussan Ley MP, the Committee will inquire into and report on the Hearing Health and Wellbe
  • Dr Scott Hollier publishes a memoir with purpose

    Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s Specialist Advisor, Digital Accessibility, has just published an autobiography which he describes as ‘a memoir with purpose’ entitled Outrunning the Night. Its aim is to provide support and encouragement to disadvantaged people and the people supporting them, and he talks about his inspiring new book in a very personal and entertaining podcast.Image of Dr Scott Hollier
    Listen to the complete interview where Dr Scott Hollier chats to Ph
  • Transcript of Dr Scott Hollier interview on a memoir with purpose

    Introduction:
    You're listening to a podcast from Media Access Australia. Inclusion through technology.
    Philip:
    I'm speaking with Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia Specialist Advisor, Digital Accessibility and just published author of ‘Outrunning the Night’, a memoir with purpose. Scott has a degenerative eye condition and is legally blind and his stated aim for his autobiography is to provide encouragement and support to disadvantaged people and the people who care for them. S
22 Oct 2017

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