• 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
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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
  • Microsoft’s Sydney CBD store is staging free accessibility workshops this week

    The Microsoft store at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall is putting on a series of very useful Accessibility Week workshops from 28 November to 2 December, that are free to attend with registration a must.A finger presses an Accessibility key on a laptop
    The Accessibility Week workshops are being staged in the lead up to the International Day for People with Disability. The week kicks off with Discover OneNote’s accessibility features which is being presented on Monday 28 November and T
  • International PDF Day comes to Australia for the first time

    In conjunction with scheduled meetings of ISO TC 171 SC 2 working groups that will occur later in November and early December, PDF Day Australia, organised by the PDF Association, is being held in Sydney on Friday 25 November.PDF Day Australia
    The event is designed to assist CIOs, document management experts and electronic content policymakers understand ISO-standardised PDF (Portable Document Format) technology. Annual PDF Day events usually occur in Europe and alternate with PDF Technical Conf
  • International PDF Day came to Australia for the first time

    In conjunction with scheduled meetings of ISO TC 171 SC 2 working groups that will run in late November and early December, PDF Day Australia, organised by the PDF Association, was held in Sydney on Friday 25 November.PDF Day Australia
    The event is designed to assist CIOs, document management experts and electronic content policymakers understand ISO-standardised PDF (Portable Document Format) technology. Annual PDF Day events usually occur in Europe and alternate with PDF Technical Conference e
  • Three upcoming free arts events in Sydney and Victoria

    Media Access Australia wants to let you know about a trio of free events scheduled around the International Day Of People With Disability on 3 December. 'Youth, Mental Health and Inclusion in the Arts' will be staged in Ballarat on 28/11; 'Red Dog True Blue' is being audio described at Event Cinema Parramatta on 4/12; and you're invited to attend the 2016 Arts Access Victoria AGM on 6/12 in South Melbourne.International day of people with disability
    A 'Youth, Mental Health and Inclusion in the A
  • Disability commissioner calls ABC transcription cuts a backward step

    The Disability Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, has blasted the decision last month from the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) to cut back transcription of some news and current affairs programs on TV and radio, as a “backward step” for accessibility.Australian Broadcasting Commission logo
    The national broadcaster made the move to reduce their level of transcription of programming in a bid to decrease operating costs as reported by the Guardian Australia. Yet the Disability Comm
  • Affordable digital access of real interest to seniors

    Media Access Australia (MAA) was a sponsor of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) annual conference that kicked off in Sydney on 8 November. MAA was also exhibiting at the event, with a focus on the content-rich Affordable Access website and downloadable resources. Philip Jenkinson at the MAA stand at the Computer Seniors Conference
    The two-day event, which is the 18th annual conferenced staged by the (ASCCA), attracted almost 150 seniors on the first day, from compute
  • GoDigi National Year of Digital Inclusion Expo

    The GoDigi National Year of Digital Inclusion Expo, presented by Infoxchange, is being staged on 16 November at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern, Sydney. The event aims to help create a society where everyone can innovate, and Media Access Australia will be there, showcasing free Affordable Access resources.2016 National Year of Digital Inclusion Expo
    The all-day expo event on Wednesday 16 November will feature a number of leading speakers within the field of digital inclusion and the d
  • Calls for a Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities in the US

    The National Council on Disability (NCD) in the United States has made a call to establish a ‘Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities’ as part of a series of recommendations to the US Federal Government for making technology more accessible to people with a sensory, cognitive, or mobility disability.Image of original US Bill of Rights
    Other recommendations called for by the NCD, which advises the US Government on disability policy, are that action should be taken to cl
  • Access & Inclusion on centre stage for Sydney Festival 2017

    The Sydney Festival is gearing up for January 2017 and the organisers are committed to making every effort to ensure that their program of activities to be staged from 7 to 29 January will be accessible to people with a disability.Image of Sydney Festival 2017
    The 2017 Sydney Festival program is available in a number of alternative formats including mp3 audio, PDF, interactive PDF, Word document in large print format, Braille, and as an audio CD. All of the details along with the relevant downlo
  • What day-to-day challenge would you like solved by technology?

    The Australian Network on Disability (AND) in conjunction with Microsoft Australia is staging ‘Hack 4 Good’ in November 2016, with the aim of bringing the best and brightest tech minds together to support the development of accessible technology (AT) to remove barriers for people with a disability. You can help frame the event by completing an online survey and submitting a day-to-day barrier that you’d like resolved through technology.Image of Hack 4 Good logo
    AT and Accessibl
  • The accessibility of augmented reality – Pokémon Go or no go

    Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s Specialist Advisor on Digital Accessibility, put 2016’s biggest hit in augmented reality – Pokémon Go – under the accessibility spotlight, to see just how accessible this very popular game really is. Find out how it fared in this fascinating podcast article.Image of Pokémon Go logo
     
    Listen to the complete interview where Dr Scott Hollier chats to Philip Jenkinson about the accessibility of augmented reality in
  • Transcript of Dr Scott Hollier interview on augmented reality

    Introduction
    You're listening to a podcast from Media Access Australia. Inclusion through technology.
    Phillip
    I’m speaking with Dr Scott Hollier, Media Access Australia’s Specialist Advisor, Digital Accessibility. And today’s focus is on the accessibility of augmented reality. That may sound like a bit of a mouthful, but think the hugely popular Pokemon Go, and you’ll be on the right track. Scott, this was the topic of your October 2016 WC3 column, and you drew on your ow
  • New access app Blappy is making people happy

    A new Bluetooth chat application for accessibility, called Blappy, aims to bring more people together. The app translates voice to text and text to voice, to enable people who are vision impaired to effectively communicate with those who are Deaf or hearing impaired.
     Blappy running on three smartphones. Image from UC3M.
    Blappy was created by CESyA, the Spanish Centre of Subtitling and Audio Description, with the support of UC3M's Audiovisual Accessibility Laboratory, which is part of the C
  • Some replacement Galaxy Note7’s still too hot to handle

    In September 2016 Samsung globally recalled more than 2.5 million of their flagship Galaxy Note7 smartphones due to safety concerns. Now there are growing reports of incidents of replacement models catching fire too, and production has been stalled as a result.Two Samsung Note7 phones
    The phones, which include a lot of useful accessibility features and have been a popular choice in Australia for those people with a disability, were recalled and a replacement program put in place due to multiple
  • Bionic Olympics for competitors using 'AT' staged in Switzerland

    In what is claimed as a world first, the Cybathlon Championship was held in Switzerland on 8 October, featuring six contests based around every day obstacles, with disabled athletes using and controlling Assistive Technology (AT) and/or robotic devices.Cybathlon Championships logo
    The challenges include cutting bread, climbing stairs, unwrapping a sugar cube, and fitting a light bulb all feature as competitions in an event which has been dubbed the world’s first ‘Bionic Olympics&rsqu
  • Bionic Olympics for competitors using AT staged in Switzerland

    In what is claimed as a world first, the Cybathlon Championship is being held in Switzerland on 8 October, featuring six contests based around every day obstacles, with disabled athletes using and controlling Assistive Technology (AT) and/or robotic devices.Cybathlon Championships logo
    The challenges include cutting bread, climbing stairs, unwrapping a sugar cube, and fitting a light bulb all feature as competitions in an event which has been dubbed the world’s first ‘Bionic Olympics
  • Voice your choice about the value of accessible product design

    From the Samsung Note7 recall to reviews of smart TVs and even toasters, Choice is known for their no-spin product and service ratings, reports and reviews. And now the consumer advocacy group is wanting to find out just how many people value accessible product design, with a new survey that's open to everyone to have their say.A megaphone inside a speech balloon
    If you have a disability or age-related health problem, have a close friend or family member who does, or you simply want to voice you
  • Half of people with a smartphone don’t download apps

    While Google and Apple continue to fight it out to see which one has the biggest app store, new US research shows that 49% of smartphone users never download any apps at all.APP buttons in a rainbow of colours
    Stand by... more on this story real soon!
  • Have your say in the ACA’s Disability Action Plan survey

    The Australia Council for the Arts (ACA) is evaluating their 2014-2016 Disability Action Plan and their Arts and Disability Funding program. If you’re an artist or arts-based organisation, they need your help to find out about the challenges so far and your thoughts on future priorities.Australia Council for the Arts logo
    The ACA welcomes feedback from artists with and without disability, arts organisations of all shapes and sizes (including but not limited to disability-led organisations)
  • Apple launches major new mobile operating system upgrade

    A week after the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were launched to much fanfare, Apple has pushed out iOS 10, which overhauls some core iOS applications, along with providing developer access to a number of popular features and apps. After initial difficulties associated with iPhone updates, Apple has stated that the problems have been solved and iOS 10 is now issue-free.Screen shot of Apple iOS 10 home page
    Apple launched the new mobile system upgrade at the tech giant’s annual Worldwide Develo
  • New ‘Affordable Access’ project promotes low cost accessible technology

    Media Access Australia (MAA), in conjunction with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), is pleased to announce the launch of a new website and supporting downloadable resources designed to make digital accessibility for those with a disability easier and more affordable.Screen grab of the Affordable Access website showing 7 people using devices
    ‘Affordable Access’ was launched at ACCAN’s annual conference on 14 September 2016. It’s an online resou
  • Are you President or Board Director material? PWDA is on the lookout.

    The AGM of People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) will be on 23 November and nominations for the roles of President and seven Board Director positions are currently being sought, from people who are voting members of PWDA.Logo of PWDA
    People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation, with members made up of people with disability and organisations primarily constituted by people with disability. They also have a large as
  • Ryan Lochte will not receive further punishment from IOC over Rio gas station drama

    Ryan Lochte will not receive separate punishment from the International Olympic Committee for lying about being robbed at gunpoint during the Rio de Janeiro Games.
  • 8@eight: ASX tipped to snap back

    The ASX is set to snap back from Monday's sell-off after a much anticipated speech from a US Federal Reserve member helped Wall Street rebound overnight.
  • How many black dots can you see? The internet puzzle causing migraines and madness

    Look once you'll see a maximum of four. Look twice, you'll see eight.
  • Nice and Italy striker Mario Balotelli says Liverpool transfer was his worst mistake

    Controversial striker Mario Balotelli has described his spell with Liverpool as 'the worst mistake of my life'.
  • Teenager Brayden Davidson breaks Australia's athletics gold medal duck at Rio Paralympics

    He's just 18 years old. He was under the impression he was only an outside chance of a medal. But Brayden Davidson has done what no other Australian track and field competitor has been able to do so far: win a gold medal.
  • Ryder Cup 2016: Rickie Fowler, JB Holmes and Matt Kuchar called up for US team

    United States captain Davis Love III focused on "what fits best for our team" in naming Rickie Fowler, JB Holmes and Matt Kuchar as three of his four wildcard picks for this month's Ryder Cup against Europe.
  • Ex-Burkina Faso player Idrissa Ben Derme dies during French Cup tie

    Former Burkina Faso international Idrissa Ben Derme died after a suspected heart attack in a French Cup third-round tie at the weekend, his club said on Monday.

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