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 * http://e-accessibility.com | 80.87.128.130
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+---
 
---
 To: Dan Jellinek <dan+@+headstar.com> | Subject: Re: EAB news page
 From: Nicholas Freear <nick@bunburyIS.com>
 Organization: Bunbury IS | Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2004 11:54:10 +0100

eab/issues/2012/jul2012.txt

+++E-ACCESS BULLETIN
+Access To Technology For All, Regardless Of Ability
+- ISSUE 150, July 2012.
+
+A Headstar Publication.
+http://www.headstar.com/eab/ .
+
+Please forward this free bulletin to others (subscription details
+at the end). We conform to the accessible Text Email
+Newsletter (TEN) Standard:
+http://www.headstar.com/ten/ .
+
+
+++Issue 150 Contents.
+
+01: Final Draft of Mandate 376 Set For Review.
+- Feedback sought for ICT procurement standard.
+
+02: “Georgie” Apps Make Smartphones Smarter.
+- Accessible apps series for Android phones.
+
+03: Dyslexia Spelling Checker Wins Techology4Good Award
+- “Talking TVs” commended, Stephen Hawking speaks.
+
+News In Brief: 04: IQ Guidance - developer resource hub; 05:
+Improving Interfaces - control system barriers; 06: Pledging
+Change - ‘WebSight’ campaign; 07: Job-Share Politics - MP
+calls for Parliamentary job-sharing.
+
+Section Two: Inbox.
+08: TV Trouble – set top box firm in administration; 09:
+Northern Voice – text-to-speech accents; 10: Airline Struggles
+– websites still inaccessible; 11: Opera Blocked – request for
+digital text denied.
+
+Section Three: Special Report - Paralympics Broadcasting
+12: Winning The Accessible Games, Live and Online.
+Preparing for broadcasting the 2012 Paralympic Games has
+presented Channel 4 with a range of accessibility challenges,
+but addressing these issues has bolstered accessibility
+throughout the organisation, says Paul Edwards, Channel 4’s
+online programme manager for the Paralympics 2012. Tristan
+Parker speaks to him.
+
+[Contents ends].
+
+
+++Section One: News.
+
++01: Final Draft of Mandate 376 Set For Review.
+
+The latest and final draft of a new European Standard for the
+accessibility of ICT products and services procured by the
+public sector – known as “Mandate 376” – is to be placed
+online next week, E-Access Bulletin has learned.
+
+Users, developers, manufacturers, public bodies and procurers
+will have until October to offer feedback on the standard and
+associated documents before formal work begins on legislation
+this autumn.
+
+The work, co-funded by the European Commission, is being
+carried out by European standards organisations. It aims to
+harmonise accessibility requirements for public procurement of
+ICT across Europe, and to provide a set of tools for the use of
+procurers.
+
+“Informal feedback on the draft standard is urgently needed
+before it is submitted to the formal – and lengthy – standards-
+making process”, said Dave Sawdon of TRE Projects, who is
+working on the project for the European Telecommunications
+Standards Institute (ETSI).
+
+Sawdon said the commission hopes the finished standard will
+“promote the procurement of accessible ICT products and
+services by public bodies and hence promote the general
+development and adoption of more accessible ICT.
+
+“In support of this and to build a coherent EU-US market it is
+hoped to maximise commonality between the emerging EU
+standard and the ongoing refresh of Section 508 of the US
+Rehabilitation Act.” Section 508 is a US law requiring public
+bodies to ensure the ICT systems they buy are accessible.
+
+The new draft will be published at:
+http://www.mandate376.eu
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=753
+
+
++02: “Georgie” Apps Make Smartphones Smarter.
+
+A new series of apps has been developed to enhance
+accessibility features for Android-enabled smartphones for
+blind and visually impaired users.
+
+The “Georgie” apps allow blind and visually impaired users to
+perform a number of functions additional to ‘standard’ phone
+features, including recording and broadcasting audio blogs;
+photographing text and having it read out to them, using an
+optical character recognition feature; and audio tagging images
+with sound clips. It will also read aloud screen text when users
+touch the screen, and voice recognition software enables users
+to speak the content for text messages into the phone.
+
+Although all these features are already available from other
+providers, Georgie collects them into one place for the first
+time. It was designed by husband and wife founders of
+assistive technology company Screenreader, Roger and
+Margaret Wilson-Hinds, who are themselves blind, alongside
+software architect Alan Kemp.
+
+The fact the system was developed by blind users is key to its
+power, Roger Wilson-Hinds told E-Access Bulletin. “We’re not
+second guessing what blind users want. Georgie is not
+retrofitted to software that’s been designed for sighted users.
+Apple and Google both have accessibility settings that are a
+great start, but the intricate and cluttered screens are very
+difficult to navigate around and find the correct button, even if
+it’s being read out.”
+
+The software is available ready to use and pre-installed on a
+Samsung Galaxy Y smartphone handset for £299, or can be
+downloaded separately onto any existing Android-based phone
+for £149.
+
+Georgie’s core features help users send text messages; scroll
+through phone book contacts; make phone calls; and configure
+the phone. Three additional bundles of apps (at £24.99 each)
+cover ‘travel’; ‘lifestyle’; and ‘communicate’.
+
+These additional bundles feature apps that can, for example,
+help users navigate around hazards on a daily route, by
+allowing users to mark known dangers – such as potholes and
+low-hanging branches – on a map, which then reminds the user
+of the obstacle during their journey.
+
+Georgie is being distributed through Sight and Sound
+Technology: http://bit.ly/NwA1Lp
+
+Earlier this year, the One Voice for Accessible ICT Coalition –
+an umbrella group of organisations promoting access to
+technology – published a report on apps that can help disabled
+people, and access to apps and smartphones in general. See:
+http://bit.ly/yBTdwo
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=751
+
+
++03: Dyslexia Spelling Checker Wins Techology4Good Award.
+
+A piece of software that can correct spelling as the user types
+into any programme – hugely valuable for people with dyslexia
+– has won the accessibility award at the second annual
+Technology4Good awards, presented in London this month.
+
+“Global AutoCorrect” (
+http://www.lexable.com/GlobalAutoCorrect )
+is the brainchild of Neil Cottrell, a 24-year-old graduate who is
+himself severely dyslexic.
+
+Other finalists for the accessibility award were Panasonic
+Corporation, for a range of “talking TVs” designed with the
+RNIB (as discussed in recent issues of this newsletter – see:
+http://bit.ly/HmjoAD ); Therapy Box, for a range of of apps
+supporting people with communication disabilities; and satellite
+TV company BSkyB, for embedding accessibility across its
+products and services, including a talking electronic
+programme guide.
+
+Also shortlisted for an innovation award was MyChoicePad, a
+Makaton language app for the iPad making Makaton signs and
+symbols much easier and cheaper to use for children and
+adults with special communication needs.
+
+An AbilityNet Excellence in Accessibility Award went to the
+celebrated physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, who has
+motor neurone disease. Professor Hawking was not able to
+attend the awards ceremony but recorded a message using his
+electronic voice synthesiser, which he operates by twitching his
+cheek.
+
+He said: “I am delighted to accept this award as recognition for
+all the truly great things that disabled people can achieve when
+technology has given them the chance to shine.
+
+“I was lucky to be born in the computer age. Without
+computers my life would have been miserable, and my
+scientific career impossible.
+
+“...the Technology4Good awards remind us that technology is
+a vital part of human existence. They show us that the right
+tools, in the right hands, can help everyone, regardless of our
+frailties, to achieve our true potential and advance as a
+civilisation. And I hope that the Technology4Good awards will
+inspire people to think about the needs of everyone around
+them and make sure they can all benefit from the power of
+computers and the internet to change their lives for the better.”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=749
+
+
+++News in Brief:
+
++04: IQ Guidance: A new online hub of resources to help
+developers create accessible websites has been launched by
+non-profit organisation Media Access Australia. The website,
+Access iQ, features advice and guidance on creating accessible
+content, accessibility news, event listings, and a ‘marketplace’
+listing services, products and jobs within the sector.
+
+Quick link: http://www.accessiq.org/
+
+
++05: Improving Interfaces: The barriers faced by disabled and
+elderly people when using interfaces and control systems for
+common technologies such as bank cash machines and
+computer equipment are examined in a new report, ‘Accessible
+user interfaces: priorities for research’. The report was written
+by John Gill and Julio Abascal of the Cardiac project to
+support and carry out research in accessible and assistive ICT.
+Its recommendations include increased European support for
+research in this field; and better dissemination of knowledge
+about accessible interface designs that do not make it all the
+way to a product stage.
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/jtxaxc
+
+
++06: Pledging Change: Businesses are being asked to pledge
+their commitment to a minimum standard of accessibility for
+their company website and smartphone apps, by following five
+key design criteria. The 180-Day WebSight Pledge campaign,
+launched by the Royal National Institute of Blind People
+(RNIB) and PC Pro magazine, will ask companies to adjust
+their site or app over a period of six months to make it easier to
+use for blind and visually impaired users. The five elements of
+the pledge include: avoiding fixed-size fonts; making sites/apps
+screen-reader compatible; using a constant interface; ensuring
+keyboard-alone accessibility; and testing the site/app with blind
+and visually impaired users. RNIB will offer advice and
+consultancy to the companies throughout the campaign.
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/OMwLXZ
+
+
++07: Job-Share Politics: John McDonnell MP, Labour
+representative for Hayes and Harlington, has recorded a video
+message asking for evidence from people with disabilities who
+might like to become MPs if it were possible to job-share in
+Parliament, Job-shares are not currently allowed for MPs,
+something Mr McDonnell and others feel is one cause of
+under-representation of disabled people and women in
+Parliament. E-Access Bulletin readers are invited to respond:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/LuofRq
+
+[Section One ends].
+
+
+++Section Two: 'The Inbox'
+- Readers' Forum.
+
+Please email all contributions or responses to:
+inbox@headstar.com .
+
+
+++Section Two: 'The Inbox'
+- Readers' Forum.
+
+Please email all contributions or responses to:
+inbox@headstar.com .
+
+
++08: TV Trouble: Following our mention last issue of
+accessible TV set top boxes manufactured by British firm
+TVonics, our regular correspondent Brian Gaff, who is on the
+committee of the Kingston upon Thames Association for the
+Blind, writes in to say: “Are you aware that TVonics has been
+in administration since 12 June? Though the RNIB say the box
+is still available they won’t be drawn on whether it will
+continue to be produced. I guess we must hope that the
+software is generic enough to run on other makes of box in the
+future with minimal conversion.”
+
+In response Tara Alexander, Senior Manager – Innovation at
+RNIB who had initially written in about TVonics,
+acknowledged this “unfortunate situation”, and said: “I can
+confirm that we still have stock of the DTR-HD500 set top box
+and are still selling and supporting that box.”
+
+She also forwarded a holding statement on TVonics going into
+administration from Steve Tyler, Head of Innovation and
+Development at RNIB, which said: “We learned today that
+TVonics has gone into administration. The company has been a
+great support in our bid to bring about a sea change in
+accessibility in the area of TV and related products and
+services.
+
+“We are unable to comment further until we receive more
+information from TVonics; however the set top box is still
+available via the RNIB shop and our customers are able to call
+our Helpline if they need support.”
+
+[Further comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+
++09: Northern Voice: The same reader Brian Gaff has also
+corrected a claim made in our last issue by the makers of the
+“TechDis Jill”, who thought the voice was the first text-to-
+speech tool to possess a Northern English accent.
+
+Brian notes that the voice synthesiser software eSpeak, as used
+by the free open source screenreader software NVDA, has had
+a Northern English voice “for ages” alongside its main English
+and American English voices, as well as a West Midlands voice
+and an old-fashioned Received Pronunciation (RP) voice!
+
+[Further comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+
++10: Airline Struggles: Further to our reporting last issue of a
+legal settlement between the budget airline bmibaby and RNIB
+over the inaccessibility of the airline’s website, regular reader
+Gustaw Kon writes in to say the settlement was: “Doubtless a
+kind of success but since bmibaby is in some kind of terminal
+state (as it looks), not very useful.
+
+“Much more useful would be if RNIB ensured that Ryanair
+and Easyjet were more accessible. I used to find Easyjet easy
+to access but they have changed their layout and their website
+is unsatisfactorily accessible. Ryanair are a waste of time.
+
+“And, while we are about it, what about the big boys... British
+Airways are totally inaccessible. Like practically every airline,
+they use the wonderful idea of presenting a map from which
+you can find and book flights, together with splendid graphical
+representations of timetables. Try hammering them into shape.”
+
+[Comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+
++11: Opera Blocked: Reader Stephanie Leven has contacted E-
+Access Bulletin to describe an experience she had recently in
+attempting to receive a digital text copy of English translation
+“supertitles” due to be displayed during a performance of
+Puccini's Italian language opera la bohème she was due to
+attend at Glyndebourne opera house in Sussex.
+
+As she knew her sight is not good enough to follow these
+surtitles live, Leven contacted Glyndebourne to ask for an
+electronic copy to be emailed her so she could access it in
+advance or convert it into a better format.
+
+Glyndebourne Productions replied that it was unable to send
+her the supertitle script as it is copyrighted material, but
+suggested an alternative free English language libretto to the
+opera which she could access online.
+
+Leven says she does appreciate staff were trying to help, but
+feels the copyright law must be changed as soon as possible to
+allow access to this kind of material for disabled people.
+
+She has since written to the Minister for Disabled People, Maria
+Miller MP, to say: “Management should by now be able to
+circumvent the ‘copyright’ excuse, when it is clear of the
+purpose of the request.
+
+“Although it is now too late for me for Glyndebourne I hope
+we can find a way to move forward so that this does not
+happen to the next visually impaired person. After all, a ticket
+of £215 should include access to the words of the opera in a
+suitable format.”
+
+[Comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+[Section Two ends].
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Adept Transcription
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+
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+customers and staff, call Adept.
+
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+[Sponsored Notice ends]
+
+
+++Section Three: Special Report
+- Paralympics Broadcasting
+
+12: Winning The Accessible Games, Live and Online.
+
+For Channel 4, being the official broadcaster of the 2012
+Paralympic Games comes with a lot of prestige, but there are
+also significant accessibility challenges. If the website and
+other digital services of this event were not accessible to
+disabled people, it would be absurd – not to mention
+catastrophic from a PR perspective.
+
+However, rising to these challenges have helped improve the
+overall standard and awareness of digital accessibility within
+the channel, says Paul Edwards, Channel 4’s online programme
+manager for the Paralympics 2012.
+
+“The fact that we’ve got the Paralympics means that the
+importance of accessibility internally, within the company, has
+been raised. So, people who previously didn’t have much
+knowledge of the challenges of different accessibility needs
+are now learning about it”, Edwards told E-Access Bulletin.
+
+Edwards explained to the recent eAccess ’12 conference in
+London ( http://www.headstar.com/eaccess12/ ) how the
+Paralympics have provided a driver for a number of Channel
+4’s separate divisions to come together to improve
+accessibility.
+
+Although Channel 4 did already have a corporate accessibility
+programme including role-specific training, and a requirement
+that all its projects be independently reviewed before going live
+to ensure they meet accessibility requirements, one of the
+initial challenges of the Paralympics project was considering
+the different levels of accessibility experience within different
+parts of the organisation, said Edwards.
+
+“In TV, the whole issue of accessibility is often something
+commissioners and producers don’t have to worry about,” he
+said. “It’s something that’s done once a programme is made,
+and they can then get it subtitled or add audio description.
+That’s obviously not case with the web, where accessibility has
+to be considered from day one.”
+
+Additionally, for Channel 4’s online operations, a significant
+number of external agencies are used for development work,
+which presents a further challenge dealing with varying levels
+of understanding about creating accessible content.
+
+“In the past, we’ve discovered that there’s a big difference
+between people saying ‘Yes, we understand accessibility’, and
+having their knowledge properly questioned during a selection
+process,” Edwards said. “Now, all prospective suppliers have
+to provide their understanding of accessibility requirements as
+part of the selection process.”
+
+In broadcasting the Paralympics, Channel 4 will be providing
+more than 400 hours of live sports coverage – more than ever
+before in the channel’s history. As part of this task, Edwards
+and his team have created a number of online platforms
+specifically for Paralympic content.
+
+Firstly, a Channel 4 Paralympics website has been designed (
+http://bit.ly/lhBGdx )
+featuring schedules, results and live video throughout the
+Games. The site is supported by mobile apps on iOS and
+Android systems, all of which have been reviewed by the
+Digital Accessibility Centre, a non-profit accessibility
+consultancy, alongside testing by disabled users.
+
+A series of short video features have also been created,
+including over 200 video diaries from Paralympic athletes and
+individuals involved with the games, showing their build-up to
+the event and “60-second guides” to Paralympic sports. Both
+of these video series are available with closed captions and
+subtitles.
+
+Several accessible online game-simulations of Paralympic
+sports have been developed for the site, including boccia, an
+event which sees players in wheelchairs competing to throw
+leather balls as close as possible to a ‘jack’ ball on a court, and
+wheelchair rugby.
+
+Finally, the online video player used to broadcast live sporting
+events has presented a major challenge for text access. “Live
+video for sport is a real challenge when it comes to
+commentary and subtitles, and the accuracy of live captions in
+this area has been derided for some time”, said Edwards. “The
+speed at which live sport moves often means it’s unfeasible to
+produce accurate captions. People have suggested putting a
+delay in the broadcast, but this is often not acceptable to many
+viewers, particularly if there’s an equivalent radio broadcast
+going on at same time.”
+
+To tackle the problem, Edwards and his team have created an
+online video platform to support text commentary on the right-
+hand side of the screen. “This won’t necessarily be as
+comprehensive as full subtitles, but we’re trying to provide a
+context for what’s happening within the games, while at the
+same time trying to provide a really good viewer experience”,
+said Edwards. “I’ll hold my hands up and say that it’s an
+experiment, but I think it works better than live subtitles for a
+very fast sport like wheelchair rugby. The challenge is to
+balance reporting of every piece of action in a sport with the
+pace of the narrative. We’ve done a lot of tests on that, and
+we’re getting pretty close.”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=746
+
+[Section Three ends].
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Accessify Forum
+- Six Years of Accessibility Discussion.
+
+Accessify Forum has been the number one destination for
+accessibility
+discussion on the web for nearly six years. Celebrating our
+sixth birthday next month, you’ll find discussion of
+accessibility at all levels, from beginner to guru.
+
+The site has recently been redesigned and the forum system
+improved. This is still ongoing and you can join in the
+discussions.
+
+So whether you’re looking to learn more about accessibility,
+want to help others and improve on your own knowledge, or
+just to browse the archives, come and join us at:
+http://www.accessifyforum.com/
+
+[Special notice ends].
+
+
+++End Notes.
+
++How to Receive the Bulletin.
+
+To subscribe to this free monthly bulletin, email
+eab-subs@headstar.com
+with 'subscribe eab' in the subject header. You can list other
+email addresses to subscribe in the body of the message. Please
+encourage all your colleagues to sign up! To unsubscribe at any
+time, put 'unsubscribe eab' in the subject header.
+
+Please send comments on coverage or leads to Dan Jellinek at:
+dan@headstar.com .
+
+Copyright 2012 Headstar Ltd http://www.headstar.com .
+The Bulletin may be reproduced as long as all parts including
+this copyright notice are included, and as long as people are
+always encouraged to subscribe with us individually by email.
+Please also inform the editor when you are reproducing our
+content. Sections of the bulletin may be quoted as long as they
+are clearly sourced as 'taken from e-access bulletin, a free
+monthly email newsletter', and our web site address:
+http://www.headstar.com/eab
+is also cited.
+
++Personnel:
+Editor: Dan Jellinek.
+Reporter: Tristan Parker.
+Editorial advisor: Kevin Carey.
+
+ISSN 1476-6337.
+
+[Issue 150 ends.]

eab/issues/2012/jun2012.txt

+++E-ACCESS BULLETIN
+Access To Technology For All, Regardless Of Ability
+- ISSUE 149, June 2012.
+
+A Headstar Publication.
+http://www.headstar.com/eab/ .
+
+Please forward this free bulletin to others (subscription details
+at the end). We conform to the accessible Text Email
+Newsletter (TEN) Standard:
+http://www.headstar.com/ten/ .
+
+
+++Issue 149 Contents.
+
+01: Launch for National Accessibility Awareness Campaign
+- All organisations urged to embed videos and spread the word.
+
+02: New Resources Promote Inclusive e-Learning
+- Text-to-Speech Tools and Guidance Free To Use.
+
+03: Appeal Court Upholds Canadian Woman’s Web Access
+Case
+- Government loses challenge to 2010 ruling.
+
+News in Brief: 04: Case Resolved - low-cost airline settles over
+website; 05: Prize Apps - smartphone innovation awards; 06:
+Parliamentary Briefing - Westminster event; 07: Inaccessibility
+Blacklist - Italian sites named and shamed.
+
+Section Two: The Inbox. 07: TV News - cost of talking sets;
+08: Education Law - schools access query; 09: Political
+Problems - access to Parliamentary correspondence.
+
+Section Three: Conference report: eAccess ’12.
+10: Time To Be Creative: Following accessibility guidelines is
+not enough – organisations must instil an inclusive approach
+throughout everything they do, delegates heard at this year’s
+eAccess event. Tristan Parker reports.
+
+[Contents ends].
+
+
+++Section One: News.
+
++01: Launch for National Accessibility Awareness Campaign.
+
+Go ON Gold, a new national campaign to raise awareness
+about the barriers faced by disabled people in accessing
+modern technologies, from the internet to smartphones and
+digital TV, was launched this week by a consortium of partners
+lead by Headstar, the publisher of E-Access Bulletin.
+
+Running for a year from summer 2012 to summer 2013, Go
+ON Gold is being launched ahead of the London Paralympics
+to capitalise on a stronger- than-usual public focus on disability
+issues.
+
+At the project’s core is a partnership between the UK’s major
+e-accessibility players including the new national digital
+inclusion charity Go ON UK led by Martha Lane Fox, the UK
+government’s Digital Champion. Other partners include
+Headstar; AbilityNet, the UK’s leading charity on access to IT;
+BCS; the UK’s national blindness charity RNIB; Disability
+Rights UK (formerly RADAR), an umbrella group of other
+major charities; and the Equality and Human Rights
+Commission. The project is funded by Nominet Trust.
+
+A series of video interviews with leading figures in the
+disability community – including Paralympic athletes – are
+being created for the campaign, about how access to new
+technologies has transformed their lives. All organisations and
+individuals invited to embed the videos in their own site. The
+Go ON Gold website also intends to act as a signpost to all the
+best accessibility resources elsewhere on the web.
+
+Any organisation can sign up to become a Go ON Gold
+partner. For more information, see:
+http://www.go-on-gold.co.uk .
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=734 .
+
+
++02: New Resources Promote Inclusive e-Learning.
+
+Two free new learning resources have been released by JISC
+TechDis, a education advisory service on accessible and
+inclusive technology, to boost skills for learners with and
+without disabilities.
+
+The first resource will help learners who use text-to-speech
+applications: two new voices for text-to-speech were
+commissioned from specialists CereProc available for free to
+learners and learning institutes.
+
+The male and female voices – named “TechDis Jack” and
+“TechDis Jill” – are designed to be easy to understand,
+“youthful and modern”. TechDis Jill possesses a Northern
+English accent, which its creators believe is a first in text-to-
+speech.
+
+According to the TechDis website, “all staff and learners over
+16 in every publicly-funded learning provider in England
+should be eligible for the TechDis Voices”, which can be
+downloaded after registering: http://bit.ly/LfKoz3 .
+
+The second project to be launched was the JISC TechDis
+Toolbox ( http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/tbx/ ), with information
+to help people use ICT and online technologies more
+effectively in employment.
+
+This information is divided into five main categories: ‘using
+technology’, ‘planning and organisation’, ‘communicating’,
+‘teamworking’, and ‘different needs?’ It includes guidance on
+how to carry out effective Google searches; and how to operate
+text-to-speech on some mobile devices.
+
+The resources were launched at ND’12, the seventh national
+digital inclusion conference, held in London last month. In a
+launch video, Alistair McNaught of JISC TechDis said: “We
+spent eight years working with learning providers from the top
+down, helping to influence senior management teams,
+librarians, learning support staff, tutors, etc, and telling them
+about the kinds of tools and technology that could make a
+difference to their learners.
+
+“But while that was fantastic in some areas, in many places it
+just wasn’t trickling down to the learner, so we decided to flip
+it over and work form the learner upwards. The whole point of
+the Toolbox is to take all the things you wish your tutor might
+have told you about but never did, and take that to learners
+directly.”
+
+The work was funded by the Department for Business,
+Innovation and Skills.
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=736 .
+
+
++03: Appeal Court Upholds Canadian Woman’s Web Access
+Case.
+
+A blind accessibility consultant who took the Canadian Federal
+Government to court over the inaccessibility of its websites has
+won a second victory, after the Canadian Federal Court of
+Appeal upheld an initial decision in her favour.
+
+Canadian citizen Donna Jodhan, who is blind, won her first
+case against the government in 2010, after claiming that her
+rights were breached when she could not apply for a
+government job online or complete an online census form
+using screen-reader technology. The government then appealed
+the decision (see E-Access Bulletin issue 133:
+http://bit.ly/hNcwT4 ), continuing a long legal battle.
+
+In its defence, the Canadian Government had claimed the case
+should be thrown out since the information was available to
+Jodhan by other means – by telephone, post or in person.
+However, the appeal court has now upheld Jodhan’s 2010
+victory, which included a ruling that the Canadian Government
+must make its websites accessible for blind and visually
+impaired citizens within 15 months.
+
+Jodhan told E-Access Bulletin she was “absolutely delighted,
+humbled, and relieved that this decision has been handed
+down.” She said: “It is my sincere hope that the Canadian
+government will now take the initiative to work with our
+community to ensure that the court’s ruling is adhered to in full
+and in the spirit that it was meant to be. Now we need to build
+on this and use this as a launching pad for creating more
+awareness and to encourage all stake holders to work together
+for a common goal.”
+
+In a press statement about the ruling, a spokesperson for the
+Federal Government said: “Our government is continuing to
+implement the Federal Court decision from 2010. We are
+committed to web accessibility and to date over 100
+government institutions are converting their content in line with
+the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=738 .
+
+
+++News in Brief:
+
++04: Case Resolved: A legal dispute between the Royal
+National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and bmibaby over
+the alleged inaccessibility of the low-cost airline’s website to
+visually impaired customers has been settled. The legal action
+was taken by RNIB earlier this year, after the organisation had
+audited bmibaby’s websites following complaints from blind
+and visually impaired customers and made recommendations
+which were not acted on. In a statement approved by both
+parties, bmibaby apologised to its blind and visually impaired
+customers and said it is committed to rectifying remaining
+accessibility issues on its website:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/KDlcl5
+
+
++05: Prize Apps: The second annual Smart Accessibility
+Awards have been launched to find the best smartphone
+applications catering for the elderly and those with disabilities.
+The awards, supported by the AGE Platform Europe network
+and the European Disability Forum, were launched by the
+Vodafone Foundation, which supports mobile technology
+projects to drive social change. Apps will be rewarded in four
+categories: social participation; independent living; mobility;
+and wellbeing, with entries invited by 15 October:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/KVMO3Z
+
+
++06: Parliamentary Briefing: A briefing for UK
+Parliamentarians on the barriers disabled people face in
+accessing and using ICT, and what can be done to remove
+some of these barriers, has been published by the
+Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. To support
+the document a seminar, ‘ICT for Disabled People’, will take
+place in the Houses of Parliament on 5 July, featuring field
+experts talking about the transforming potential of technology,
+and how ICT can be made more accessible. All are welcome:
+
+Quick link to event information: http://bit.ly/NUhuab
+
+Quick link to the document: http://bit.ly/MtAwDA
+
+
++07: Inaccessibility Blacklist: A new Italian web portal is
+naming and shaming websites and applications throughout the
+country that are inaccessible to blind and visually impaired
+computer users. The project, called ‘Titengodocchio’ in Italian
+(translated as “I am keeping an eye on you”) has been created
+by a 17-year-old blind technical student, Vincenzo Rubano,
+who collects reports from users, verifies them and enters
+upheld claims onto a ‘blacklist’ of inaccessible websites. Sites
+featured so far include the Italian National Institute for
+Statistics; the iPad version of Google Analytics; and the iPhone
+version of Skype:
+
+
+Quick link (note the site is in Italian): http://bit.ly/wOLUmo
+
+[Section One ends].
+
+
+++Section Two: 'The Inbox'
+- Readers' Forum.
+
+Please email all contributions or responses to:
+inbox@headstar.com .
+
+
++07: Commission Responds: Clive Lever, Diversity and
+Equality Officer at Kent County Council, wrote in to bemoan
+the apparent inaccessibility of aspects of an email newsletter
+from an organisation that should be setting the standard:
+“Please can you advise on the best way that we may be able to
+persuade the Equality and Human Rights Commission (of all
+people) to send out newsletters that conform to accessibility
+standards? For instance, three links in a row that say "read
+more" doesn't seem the best example to be setting.”
+
+After receiving the query from E-Access Bulletin, Jean Irvine
+OBE, Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, raised the
+matter internally and writes back to inform us of progress.
+
+She writes: “I have checked this with the web site manager who
+has asked me to thank you for bringing this to our attention
+[and we are] working to resolve this. We now provide an
+alternative plain text version, as the e-newsletter is sent out as a
+MIME message, in otherwords it contains a message sent in
+both plain text and HTML. Recipients receive one version or
+the other depending on how their mailbox is set up.
+
+“We also publish the newsletter on our website in an accessible
+format:
+http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/publications/email-
+newsletter/previous-editions/
+Short link: http://bit.ly/KdvVEw .
+
+“We are now looking at the links themselves, replacing the
+‘read more’ description with more relevant and accurate link
+text descriptions.”
+
+[Further comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+
++08: Television Continuation: Phil Smalley, a reader from
+Leicestershire who is blind, writes in to add to last issue’s
+comments from reader Nigel Timbrell on a move by Panasonic
+to build text-to-speech functionality into 30 of its TV models.
+Nigel had welcomed this move, but said: “My concern would
+be how many people who need this facility are going to go out
+and purchase a brand-new TV set?”
+
+Phil replies: “While I appreciate Nigel’s comments about
+existing users not having the resources to go out and purchase
+£430+ TV sets in order to benefit from the new technology,
+unfortunately, this is the way of technical advances – wouldn’t
+it be good to have “start-stop” technology fitted to your old
+banger rather than going out and purchasing a new model!
+
+“No, the exciting thing about the Panasonic development is that
+it’s mainstream. This means those who need to purchase a new
+TV and require text to speech technology can go to the high
+street for a demonstration or purchase the best price online.
+Additionally, more exciting than a mere set-top box, the
+Panasonic range can enable sight-impaired people to record
+and retrieve programmes.
+
+“Ideally, other manufacturers will follow suit and then when
+you, as a sight-impaired person, want to purchase a TV with
+text to speech, there will be far greater choice in facilities,
+quality and price.”
+
+Phil concludes: “So thank you, Panasonic, for taking the lead.
+Sadly I won’t be rushing out and purchasing at the moment as
+I’ve just given up on my speech-enabled Freeview box as
+stuttering speech, automatic turning off of audio description
+and freezing/locking up have finally got the better of me, and I
+have switched to Freesat.”
+
+Our regular correspondent Brian Gaff, who is on the committee
+of the Kingston upon Thames Association for the Blind, writes
+in to add his perspective to the debate on talking TVs – and
+talking home appliances in general.
+
+“About talking domestic appliances: the history of these is not
+a good one. I recall in the late 1970s or early 1980s, Sharp had
+a talking video. Nobody seemed to buy it so they stopped
+making it. Admittedly, the voice was rather robotic. And what
+happened to the talking DAB radio by Pure?
+
+“I'd like to see the same technology as on the Panasonics used
+on stereo systems and so on. But in a few years’ time, will
+anyone still be making voice-assisted units?”
+
+Further comments please to inbox@headstar.com .
+
+[Section Two ends].
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Adept Transcription
+- Alternative Formats At Affordable Prices.
+
+When you want alternative formats for disabled colleagues,
+customers and staff, call Adept.
+
+Formats we produce include audio, audio description, Braille,
+BSL, Easy Read, e-docs for websites, large print, Makaton,
+Moon and sub-titles, at prices from a penny a word.
+
+Whether handling a newsletter, training DVD, equality scheme,
+public service leaflet, contract or consultation, we provide:
+- One-stop shop for all formats
+- Products quality-checked by users
+- Corporate presentation including your house style
+- Fast turnaround of one document or thousands
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+
+Contact us at:
+Tel: 0208 133 5418 (precede with 18001 for typetalk)
+Email transcription@adept-uk.org
+
+[Sponsored Notice ends]
+
+
+++Section Three: Conference report
+eAccess ’12.
+
++10: Time To Be Creative
+by Tristan Parker.
+
+A more creative, inclusive approach to accessibility is needed
+than simply following technical guidelines, delegates heard at
+the eAccess 12 conference co-hosted this week by E-Access
+Bulletin publisher Headstar.
+
+David Sloan of the Digital Media Access Group at Dundee
+University said his university’s School of Computing had
+integrated user feedback into all aspects of its work, from the
+building’s open design to recruitment of local elderly people to
+come in and participate in research.
+
+“Involving people who benefit from the skills you’re teaching
+is critical, rather than just presenting people with guidelines like
+WCAG and using that in an assessment”, Sloan said.
+
+Paul Edwards, programme manager for Channel 4’s online
+coverage of the upcoming Paralympic Games, agreed that
+sticking too rigidly to accessibility guidelines can have a
+detrimental effect on your audience. Flexibility is crucial: “The
+most important thing we’ve been trying to do is make sure our
+process is flexible enough to react when a situation occurs.
+When you’re looking at guidelines like WCAG, sticking too
+closely to them actually blinkers you to what’s happening to
+your users.”
+
+Henny Swan, senior accessibility specialist for iPlayer and
+mobile at BBC Technology, said modern developers should
+ensure a website responds to the device it is being viewed on,
+including smartphones and mobile devices: “responsive
+design”.
+
+However, designing accessible content for mobile devices is
+still tough due to a lack of authoritative guidelines on the
+subject, Swan said. This led to Swan and her team at the BBC
+developing their own specialist guidelines for accessible BBC
+mobile content: “We decided to write guidelines for HTML,
+Android and iOS (the iPhone operating system), because those
+are our three biggest areas. We needed ‘device-agnostic’
+guidelines, rather than writing three different sets.”
+
+The result is ‘Mobile and tablet accessibility guidelines and
+techniques’ – an internal BBC guide for developers, designers
+and project managers when creating mobile content. Guidance
+includes ‘supporting device capabilities’, which states that
+content must try not to break specific device accessibility. An
+example of this is the ‘pinch’ zoom function on the iOS, said
+Swan, which allows users to magnify content with a small
+finger gesture on the screen. “If you’re coding in HTML you
+can suppress ability for user to do that, immediately preventing
+a lot of people being able to read content quickly and easily.
+Don’t suppress what the device allows you to do.”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=741 .
+
+[Section Three ends].
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Accessify Forum
+- Six Years of Accessibility Discussion.
+
+Accessify Forum has been the number one destination for
+accessibility
+discussion on the web for nearly six years. Celebrating our
+sixth birthday next month, you’ll find discussion of
+accessibility at all levels, from beginner to guru.
+
+The site has recently been redesigned and the forum system
+improved. This is still ongoing and you can join in the
+discussions.
+
+So whether you’re looking to learn more about accessibility,
+want to help others and improve on your own knowledge, or
+just to browse the archives, come and join us at:
+http://www.accessifyforum.com/
+
+[Special notice ends].
+
+
+++End Notes.
+
++How to Receive the Bulletin.
+
+To subscribe to this free monthly bulletin, email
+eab-subs@headstar.com
+with 'subscribe eab' in the subject header. You can list other
+email addresses to subscribe in the body of the message. Please
+encourage all your colleagues to sign up! To unsubscribe at any
+time, put 'unsubscribe eab' in the subject header.
+
+Please send comments on coverage or leads to Dan Jellinek at:
+dan@headstar.com .
+
+Copyright 2012 Headstar Ltd http://www.headstar.com .
+The Bulletin may be reproduced as long as all parts including
+this copyright notice are included, and as long as people are
+always encouraged to subscribe with us individually by email.
+Please also inform the editor when you are reproducing our
+content. Sections of the bulletin may be quoted as long as they
+are clearly sourced as 'taken from e-access bulletin, a free
+monthly email newsletter', and our web site address:
+http://www.headstar.com/eab
+is also cited.
+
++Personnel:
+Editor: Dan Jellinek.
+Reporter: Tristan Parker.
+Editorial advisor: Kevin Carey.
+
+ISSN 1476-6337.
+
+[Issue 149 ends.] 

eab/issues/2012/nov2012.txt

+++E-ACCESS BULLETIN
+Access To Technology For All, Regardless Of Ability
+- ISSUE 153, November-December 2012.
+
+A Headstar Publication.
+http://www.headstar.com/eab/ .
+In Association With Go ON Gold:
+http://www.go-on-gold.co.uk/ .
+
+Please forward this free bulletin to others
+So they can subscribe directly, at no cost.
+(sign-up details at the end).
+
+
+
+++Issue 153 Contents.
+
+01: Accessible Design Event Fuels User-Focused Innovation
+- Event aims to change mindset of “retrofitting” products.
+
+02: Call For New Task-Based Approach To Digital Inclusion
+- “Change in mind set” needed by organisations, says report.
+
+03: Personalisation Is Key To Draft E-Learning Standard
+- Comments invited by educational bodies and tech companies.
+
+News in Brief: 04: Shock Stats - One third of disabled adults
+have never used internet; 05: Nudge Online - report tackles
+elderly exclusion; 06: Directive Proposed - European web rules
+drafted.
+
+Section Two: Inbox.
+07: Career Opportunity? Video captioning – stenographer
+suggestion.
+
+Section Three: Profile Feature: Ro O’Shay
+08: The World at My Fingertips: When Ro O’Shay lost her sight
+in 2008, her MacBook and iPhone quickly became invaluable
+to her, and she is now a prolific blogger, Tweeter and online
+advocate. She talks to Tristan Parker about her passion for
+technology.
+
+[Contents ends].
+
+
+++Section One: News.
+
++01: Accessible Design Event Fuels User-Focused Innovation.
+
+Sensors to help people secure their home and an accessible
+kettle were the winning entries in a recent event that
+encouraged participants to design and build products that are
+usable by everyone.
+
+Created by accessible design social business and community
+Enabled by Design ( http://enabledbydesign.org/
+), the “Enabled by Design-athon” featured 13 teams designing
+and modifying innovative items.
+
+“If you have design-for-all as your starting point, it was about
+asking how we can modify things and customise things – how
+can we take advantage of new technology, materials and new
+ways of working to make things more accessible to people?”
+Denise Stephens, Founder of Enabled by Design, told E-Access
+Bulletin.
+
+Running over two days, the event began with sessions to help
+participants understand some of the challenges faced by people
+living with particular impairments, and how they might account
+for these challenges when designing a product.
+
+Given access to a range of materials and equipment, including
+3D printers, the teams then set about designing their own
+products. Two winners were picked. The first was
+‘SafeHouse’, a project which tells homeowners if all their
+windows and doors are closed using sensors to complete
+circuits. “Rather than having to go round your whole house and
+check that everything is secure and closed, you could have a
+central panel, which can tell you if there’s a window or door
+open”, said Stephens. “Although SafeHouse could be used by
+anyone as a security feature, it may be particularly useful for
+older people or those with memory difficulties”, she said.
+
+The second winner was ‘Paul’s Kettle’, a device designed for
+an attendee at the event who was born without lower limbs. A
+team designed a lightweight kettle with a jug shape, modified
+handle and pivot, allowing someone with limited mobility to
+easily pick up and pour the kettle.
+
+The design consultancy and event partner IDEO, will now run
+a session to help the winning groups develop their ideas and
+examine possible methods of acquiring funding for their
+designs. Other partners included: the government’s Technology
+Strategy Board; Ravensbourne, a digital media and design
+higher education institution and the location of the event; the
+public service consultancy FutureGov; and sugru – a self-
+setting rubber which can be moulded and added to items to fix,
+modify and make them easier to use.
+
+Stephens said that the event had proved particularly useful for
+designers, who found it useful to speak directly to people
+about potential ideas and developing their products. “A
+message [from the Design-athon] would be to really involve
+people from the beginning of the design process. Rather than
+retrofitting something for somebody, why not speak to people
+throughout and use that information to help inspire and
+influence your design?”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=792
+
+
++02: Call For New Task-Based Approach To Digital Inclusion.
+
+A “change in mind set” on digital inclusion is needed by
+organisations in all sectors after a general failure to create
+accessible digital systems – particularly for those with a
+disability or the elderly – a new report by technology access
+charity AbilityNet says.
+
+“Mind the Digital Gap: It’s bigger than you think” says that
+although there has been much discussion on accessibility and
+inclusive digital systems over the past 15 years, this has not
+yielded significant results. “The reality is … that apart from a
+small number of good examples, many digital systems and
+content are inaccessible to the majority of disabled and older
+people. The current methodology … has failed and we need a
+change in mind set on how we approach digital inclusion,” it
+says.
+
+The paper proposes a six-part strategy to help organisations
+develop a more inclusive digital environment and economy.
+This includes the creation of a “support service” to help
+disabled and older people use technology effectively; and
+encouraging business, government and the third sector to work
+toward digital inclusion together through a new forum.
+
+The paper also stresses the importance of task-based testing –
+examining the achievability of individual tasks – in designing
+inclusive digital services. As an example of how not to do this,
+the report uses the example of an airline website where a user
+is sent back to the beginning of the ticket-buying process if the
+required information is not completed in a certain time. This
+security feature may make it difficult for someone with a
+learning or cognitive impairment to complete the process, and
+an adjustment to the cut-off time would increase usability for
+these groups, it says.
+
+“We have to recognise that people use technology to complete
+a task, whether that is filling in an online form, buying
+something, looking for information and so on,” Nigel Lewis,
+chief executive of AbilityNet, told E-Access Bulletin. “The
+approach to inclusion and accessibility has [so far] focused on
+piecemeal elements such as alternative text for images rather
+than thinking of what the user is actually trying to achieve”, he
+said.
+
+The new report builds on suggestions made by Kevin Carey,
+chairman of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, in a
+separate discussion paper commissioned by AbilityNet on
+improved consumer access to digital information, “Universal
+citizen and customer access”. Both papers can be downloaded
+at:
+http://bit.ly/R2ZqQM
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=790
+
+
++03: Personalisation Is Key To Draft E-Learning Standard.
+
+Public comment is being invited on a newly updated
+accessibility standard for students and learners, which focuses
+on personalising digital learning resources as a method of
+maximising accessibility for each learner.
+
+The standard, Access for All version 3.0 (AfA v3.0), is
+produced by IMS Global Learning Consortium, a non-profit
+body whose members include more than 180 leading
+universities, educational organisations and technology
+companies worldwide. It aims to give a personalised
+experience for learners through use of a “common language”
+which describes a learner’s needs and preferences.
+
+This information is not based around specifics of a learner’s
+medical condition or history, but how the learner interacts with
+digital resources, such as computers. Any specific needs of a
+user – if someone can only operate a computer using a
+keyboard, for example – are recorded, so resources can be
+adapted accordingly.
+
+Although AfA v3.0 states that “no single resource has to be
+100% accessible to all learners”, flexibility and the potential to
+alter a resource are important to the standard, as they increase
+the chances for personalisation.
+
+The constituent sections of AfA v3.0 can be viewed on the
+IMS Global website: http://www.imsglobal.org/accessibility/ .
+Comments about the standard can be left in an IMS public
+forum: http://bit.ly/QvdjGb
+
+A free webinar on AfA v3.0, hosted by EASI (Equal Access to
+Software and Information), an organisation that provides
+online training on accessible IT, will take place on 17
+December. To register, visit: http://easi.cc/clinic.htm#december
+.
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=788
+
+
+++News in Brief:
+
++04: Shock Stats: One third 33% of disabled adults in the UK
+(3.89 million people) and 70% of people aged 75 and over
+(3.24 million people) have never used the internet according to
+the Office of National Statistics’ latest ‘Internet Access
+Quarterly Update’. According to report, which contains figures
+for the third quarter of 2012, “individuals with a disability are
+just over three times more likely never to have used the
+Internet than individuals with no disability:”
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/TjgocL
+
+
++05: Nudge Online: A new report has made a number of
+suggestions for tackling the digital exclusion of elderly people,
+including for government and the private sector to put more
+emphasis on “co-design” in the technology sector – that is,
+involving older people in the design of online services. The
+report, “Nudge or compel: can behavioural economics tackle
+the digital exclusion of older people?” was produced by the
+International Longevity Centre, a think-tank specialising in
+ageing and population change:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/VfEzer
+
+
++06: Directive Proposed: A directive to increase the
+accessibility of public sector websites across Europe has been
+proposed by the European Commission. The proposal would
+introduce mandatory accessibility standards from the end of
+2015, for 12 different types of website, based on Level AA of
+version 2.0 of the international Web Content Accessibility
+Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). The proposal complements the
+European Accessibility Act to improve the accessibility of
+goods and services in the European market, which the
+European Commission is also preparing:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/SryMy4
+
+[Section One ends].
+
+
+++Section Two: 'The Inbox'
+- Readers' Forum.
+
+Please email all contributions or responses to:
+inbox@headstar.com .
+
++07: Career Opportunity? Our regular correspondent Clive
+Lever, Diversity and Equality Officer at Kent County Council,
+writes in to respond to the online comment published in our
+last issue from a reader using the pseudonym “Deaf”.
+Following our earlier piece commenting on Channel 4’s failure
+to caption paralympic TV coverage, “Deaf” had written in to
+point out: “There are many qualified stenographers who can
+type at the minimum of 200-220 words per minutes with at
+least 98% accuracy.”
+
+Now Clive writes in to add: “In the days before word
+processors, many of those stenographers would have been
+blind audiotypists.
+
+“In these times, when only half of disabled people of working
+age, and only one-fifth of people with visual impairments of
+working age have jobs, is there not potential for a career
+opportunity for blind typists?”
+
+[Comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+
+[Section Two ends].
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Adept Transcription
+- Alternative Formats At Affordable Prices.
+
+When you want alternative formats for disabled colleagues,
+customers and staff, call Adept.
+
+Formats we produce include audio, audio description, Braille,
+BSL, Easy Read, e-docs for websites, large print, Makaton,
+Moon and sub-titles, at prices from a penny a word.
+
+Whether handling a newsletter, training DVD, equality scheme,
+public service leaflet, contract or consultation, we provide:
+- One-stop shop for all formats
+- Products quality-checked by users
+- Corporate presentation including your house style
+- Fast turnaround of one document or thousands
+- Multi-format discounts
+- Accessible packaging
+
+Contact us at:
+Tel: 0208 133 5418 (precede with 18001 for typetalk)
+Email transcription@adept-uk.org
+
+[Sponsored Notice ends]
+
+
+++Section Three: Profile Feature
+Ro O’Shay
+
++08: The World at My Fingertips
+
+After training as a clinical support worker, US-based blogger
+Ro O’Shay was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006,
+before losing her sight in 2008. Since then, the internet and
+new communications technologies have gradually become a
+lifeline for her, and she is now a keen writer and technology-
+user. Tristan Parker talks to her about her passion for
+technology.
+
+TP: Please give us some background on yourself.
+
+ROS: I grew up sighted in Arizona, without the kinds of
+technology young people grow up with today. I lived at home
+and went to college and eventually decided on phlebotomy [the
+process of collecting blood from patients for examination] as a
+career. In 2006 my right eye went blind and I was diagnosed
+with multiple sclerosis. The internet and my PC quickly
+became my link to the world as I adjusted to suddenly being
+disabled. I became a moderator on a mental health forum and
+that was a huge sense of pride and accomplishment for me.
+When I suddenly became completely blind in 2008, all that
+was taken from me.
+
+TP: How do you use technology and how does it benefit you?
+
+ROS: I was without technology for eight months when a friend
+gave me an iPod nano. It had spoken menus! I called Apple,
+wondering what else they might have. It was explained to me
+that all their computers had built-in screen readers. I had heard
+about screen readers for Windows but the cost made me ill. I
+went to the Apple store and was able to log in and post on the
+mental health forum using the Mac screen reader, Voiceover. I
+could just afford the least expensive MacBook and began to
+painstakingly teach myself how to use it.
+
+TP: Do you use other technologies - online tools, screen-
+readers, anything else?
+
+ROS: I have an iPhone 4 that, next to my MacBook, is the most
+important piece of technology in my life. I have a typing app
+called Fleksy that really made using my iPhone all the easier
+and I have since gotten an app that scans and reads text, an app
+that scans barcodes and gives me product information, I am
+able to access my bank account with an app, I can listen to
+baseball games when I’m out of the house, I have a GPS app
+that helps me know where I am – the list goes on.
+
+I’m able to read books with iBooks and I keep audio books
+with me as well, and the calendar app has been a lifesaver. Just
+about every app that comes with an iPhone is accessible and
+even most third party apps are. App developers are becoming
+more and more familiar with Voiceover on all iDevices and a
+lot of them are receptive when the blind and low vision users
+have suggestions for accessibility.
+
+TP: You seem a very prolific writer on your blog. Is this one of
+your main activities when you’re online?
+
+ROS: Blogging used to be one of my main activities online. I
+started my blog after I decided to begin the journey of getting a
+guide dog and that was just another way I began meeting
+people. I met one of the close friends I mentioned earlier
+because of the blog.
+
+I found other blogs written by people who had lost their vision
+later in life and it helped me feel connected and find others
+like me. I was also helping people without even knowing it,
+and I had this entire fellowship of blind and low-vision people
+grow up around me, as well as puppy raisers and other dog
+people who helped me prepare for my life with a guide dog.
+My blog is very important to me and I recently had to move it
+to WordPress because Blogger made some changes that deeply
+impacted accessibility negatively. I was resistant to the move
+but am now grateful for it.
+
+While my blog is still active I spend most of my online time on
+Twitter using an accessible Mac client called YoruFukurou. It
+has become another hugely important window to the world for
+me. Twitter leads me to websites I want to read and my blog
+friends link their new posts there. It has become a sort of one-
+stop-shop for the internet, putting all my interests into one
+easy-to-access place. One of my fears is that Twitter will
+change things so that my client will no longer work and then
+Twitter will not be nearly as easy to use as it is now.
+
+TP: What are the main usability aspects you look for in a
+computer, and on a website?
+
+ROS: I’m spoiled since the only computer I’ve used since
+going blind is a Mac. If it’s not a Mac, I’m not interested. The
+built-in screen reader and the fact that it works so well with
+Mac software has me a loyal customer. When it comes to
+websites, I like a nice headings structure I can use to quickly
+“glance” at the page and get an idea of the layout. Plain text is
+my friend since obviously image-based content is something
+Voiceover can’t read to me. Image descriptions are nice and
+clearly labelled buttons and links are a must.
+
+Embedded media is a problem, since Voiceover and Flash
+aren’t always friends, so I like direct links. YouTube is great
+since content plays automatically, though I don’t like content
+that plays automatically on a page I’m not expecting. It drowns
+out my screen reader and makes it difficult to navigate. Pages
+that are pretty for the sighted might be completely inaccessible
+to screen readers.
+
+TP: Do you think that more organisations are now making their
+websites accessible to blind and visually impaired computer
+users?
+
+ROS: Yes. I think screen reading technology information is
+becoming more widespread, but technology changes so
+incredibly quickly that one site I visit today might go through
+an overhaul and be completely inaccessible the next. Here in
+the States it is law that government sites be accessible, which is
+great, but those laws haven’t expanded beyond government,
+that I know of.
+
+Commercial sites such as Amazon are fairly accessible now
+and have been open to suggestions. I use Amazon a lot, and so
+I worry that one day when I visit, something will suddenly
+have changed. Lately, I have found that restaurants pose the
+biggest problem, either using images for their menus or putting
+the menus into a jumbled PDF file. It can be infuriating but it
+seems to me to be rarer and rarer that I am turned away from a
+website due to inaccessibility.
+
+TP: What benefits can using technology and getting online
+bring to people with disabilities?
+
+ROS: The benefits are endless. For me, the biggest benefit is
+the fellowship. The fact that I never have to be alone is huge. I
+can just jump on Twitter or read blogs or carry on a
+conversation with someone clear across the pond over email.
+For me, information is secondary to the people I get to interact
+with. From blind friends in Canada or Texas or New York or
+Ireland to fellow Tampa Bay Rays baseball fans in Florida, I
+am never alone. The world is at my fingertips, just like it was
+when I could see.
+
+
+Ro O’Shay’s blog, In The Center of The Roof, can be found at:
+http://www.centerroof.com/ .
+
+Her Twitter profile is: @Raynaadi
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=786
+
+
+[Section Three ends]
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Accessify Forum
+- Accessibility Discussion.
+
+Established in 2003, Accessify Forum is a popular destination
+for accessibility discussion. The “site critiques” section has
+helped hundreds of people improve their websites, with
+members offering friendly, no nonsense advice.
+
+You'll find discussion of accessibility at all levels, from
+beginner to guru. So whether you’re looking to learn more
+about accessibility, want to help others and improve on your
+own knowledge, or just to browse the archives, head over to:
+
+http://www.accessifyforum.com/ .
+
+[Special notice ends].
+
+
+++End Notes.
+
++How to Receive the Bulletin.
+
+To subscribe to this free monthly bulletin, email
+eab-subs@headstar.com
+with 'subscribe eab' in the subject header. You can list other
+email addresses to subscribe in the body of the message. Please
+encourage all your colleagues to sign up! To unsubscribe at any
+time, put 'unsubscribe eab' in the subject header.
+
+Please send comments on coverage or leads to Dan Jellinek at:
+dan@headstar.com .
+
+Copyright 2012 Headstar Ltd http://www.headstar.com .
+The Bulletin may be reproduced as long as all parts including
+this copyright notice are included, and as long as people are
+always encouraged to subscribe with us individually by email.
+Please also inform the editor when you are reproducing our
+content. Sections of the bulletin may be quoted as long as they
+are clearly sourced as 'taken from e-access bulletin, a free
+monthly email newsletter', and our web site address:
+http://www.headstar.com/eab
+is also cited.
+
++Personnel:
+Editor: Dan Jellinek.
+Reporter: Tristan Parker.
+Editorial advisor: Kevin Carey.
+
+ISSN 1476-6337.
+
+[Issue 153 ends.]

eab/issues/2012/oct2012.txt

+++E-ACCESS BULLETIN
+Access To Technology For All, Regardless Of Ability
+- ISSUE 152, October 2012.
+
+In Association With Go ON Gold:
+http://www.go-on-gold.co.uk/ .
+
+A Headstar Publication.
+http://www.headstar.com/eab/ .
+Please forward this free bulletin to others (subscription details
+at the end).
+
+
+++Issue 152 Contents.
+
+01: “Finish Line In Sight” for Accessible Copyright Treaty
+- Five-year negotiations head for positive outcome in 2013.
+
+02: Go ON Gold Supporter Diane Mulligan Elected to UN
+Committee
+- UK campaigner to sit on global disability rights body.
+
+03: Long Legal Battle Ends for Blind Accessibility Advocate
+- Donna Jodhan accepts Canadian government action on
+websites.
+
+News in Brief: 04: Caption Reports – YouTube to help police
+accessible TV content; 05: Everybody Technology –
+November meeting in London; 06: Learning Loads – adaptable
+materials for students; 07: Mobile Matters – “apps” and
+usability.
+
+Section Two: Inbox.
+08: Blue Sensitive – text colour issue; 09: Paralympics
+Challenge – Channel 4 YouTube captions complaint.
+
+Section Three: Profile - Martyn Sibley, Co-Editor, Disability
+Horizons.
+10: From LA To Australia: Travels Around Technology. Tristan
+Parker meets a
+pioneer of online journalism whose travel adventures and
+innovative instincts are
+opening new horizons for disabled people all over the world.
+
+[Contents ends].
+
+
+++Section One: News.
+
++01: “Finish Line In Sight” for Accessible Copyright Treaty.
+
+After what will have been five years of negotiations, an
+international treaty to allow the sharing of accessible
+copyrighted material across borders for use by blind and
+visually impaired people could finally be signed in 2013, E-
+Access Bulletin has learned.
+
+A “roadmap” for formalising a treaty, which would increase
+book access for disabled people including blind and visually
+impaired people, has finally been approved at this month’s
+World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) general
+assembly in Geneva ( http://bit.ly/OqkKxp ).
+
+The roadmap was first presented to a WIPO Copyright
+Committee meeting in July, but general assembly support was
+not a foregone conclusion after earlier interventions by the
+European Union delegation threatened to block progress. Last
+December, EU negotiators attempted to add clauses requiring
+rights-holders to pre-approve all copyright exceptions, a
+condition the World Blind Union (WBU) – a key player in
+WIPO negotiations – had warned would render the whole
+exercise “close to pointless” (see E-Access Bulletin, December
+2011: http://bit.ly/rWAIrV ).
+
+Speaking to E-Access Bulletin about the latest developments
+WBU Vice Chair Dan Pescod said: “[This] points to a clear
+finish line and provides the means to get there, and we’ve
+never had that before. This is fairly significant in terms of the
+seriousness that it demonstrates from pretty much all WIPO
+member states in saying, ‘all right, let’s now get this done.’”
+
+Crucially, the roadmap identifies a timeline for finalising a
+treaty, with further work set to take place at WIPO’s Standing
+Committee on Copyright and Related Rights session in
+November and an extraordinary meeting of the general
+assembly set for December, as needed to call a diplomatic
+conference in 2013.
+
+The next step is to create a text that can become an effective
+full treaty, said Pescod. “We don’t want a ‘trophy treaty’ which
+we couldn’t use on the ground. When all of this is said and
+done, the point wasn’t to have lots of negotiations, it was to get
+a law which allows more books to get into the hands of blind
+and other print-disabled people”, he said.
+
+Two issues are now key, Pescod said. “One, that it should be a
+binding treaty; and two, that the content of the treaty we get is
+simple and workable, so that we can actually get people to
+receive more books, otherwise the whole thing is futile. We’ll
+be working really hard with member states to try and make sure
+we get the right provisions in this text, so we can really use it
+meaningfully.”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=776
+
+
++02: Go ON Gold Supporter Diane Mulligan Elected to UN
+Committee.
+
+Diane Mulligan OBE, one of the UK’s leading national and
+international disability rights campaigners and advisors, has
+been elected to the United Nations Expert Committee on the
+Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
+
+The committee, of 18 independent experts, monitors
+implementation of the convention by “states parties” –
+countries who have signed up to it. Its work includes assessing
+individual country’s reports on how they have implemented the
+measures of the convention, taking into account what
+improvements have been made and difficulties faced since the
+last report.
+
+The 2012 committee elections for the term 2013-16 took place
+in New York on 12 September at the fifth conference of states
+parties to the convention. Mulligan was elected with 84 votes
+as one of nine members newly elected or re-elected to the
+body, and will sit as the only UK member.
+
+In a written statement on Mulligan’s appointment, Maria Miller
+MP, formerly Minister for Disabled People and more recently
+appointed as Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport
+and Minister for Women and Equality, said: “Diane is in every
+respect an outstanding candidate: experienced in advocating
+for disability rights, familiar with the expert committee, and a
+consummate professional who has advised more than 20 states
+on disability and human rights issues.”
+
+This is not the first time Mulligan has been involved with the
+UN, as she currently co-chairs the organisation’s Task Group
+with the International Disability and Development Consortium,
+and is a member of the Task Force on Accessibility for the UN
+Human Rights Council. She is also a member of the UK
+Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Disability
+Committee, and of Equality 2025, an independent non-
+governmental body which advises the UK government on
+disability issues.
+
+Mulligan was the subject of a recent video interview for the Go
+ON Gold campaign ( http://bit.ly/L88fjB ), a national
+awareness-raising campaign on access to new technologies by
+disabled people led by E-Access Bulletin publisher Headstar.
+In a previous interview with the bulletin, she spoke about how
+technology has assisted her in both working and personal life:
+http://bit.ly/hlycAq .
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=773
+
+
++03: Long Legal Battle Ends for Blind Accessibility Advocate.
+
+The long legal battle between Donna Jodhan, a blind
+accessibility advocate from Canada, over the inaccessibility of
+government websites – as chronicled by E-Access Bulletin over
+several years – is over. With the Canadian government having
+now taken satisfactory remedial action, Jodhan has decided not
+to take any further legal action, declaring her victory “an
+opportunity to create a more accessible environment for all
+Canadians”.
+
+Jodhan first noticed that she was unable to use government
+websites due to her impairment in 2006. She sued, with a judge
+initially ruling in her favour, stating that the Government had
+infringed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and
+giving a time period for the government to make its websites
+accessible to blind and visually impaired users. The
+government appealed this decision in 2011, but in May 2012
+the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal upheld Jodhan’s initial
+victory
+(see E-Access Bulletin issue 138: http://bit.ly/QHacrm ).
+
+The appeal court also ruled that the judge who had required the
+government to improve its website accessibility was not in a
+position to oversee this task. This meant it was left to Jodhan to
+determine whether the government had complied with its order
+to improve its websites – a difficult, time-consuming and
+expensive task, requiring auditing of millions of website pages
+– and then decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court of
+Canada if she felt the government had fallen short.
+
+Jodhan sought the help of the Canadian National Institute for
+the Blind (CNIB), who agreed to conduct a full accessibility
+audit. CNIB concluded that the Canadian government had
+“done well in remediating and addressing many of the issues”,
+and “has largely met compliance obligations.” After several
+other smaller-scale audits which revealed similar findings,
+Jodhan has now decided not to take any further action.
+
+Jodhan, who is president of the Alliance for Equality of Blind
+Canadians, told E-Access Bulletin she was “delighted and
+humbled” that the case could finally be closed, but also said
+that this signals the beginning of a further drive towards
+accessibility. “The real work begins now, because we now
+need to monitor the Canadian Government to ensure that they
+do indeed live up to what they have been mandated to do”, she
+said. “As I have said in the past and continue to say, this is not
+just my victory but one for all blind Canadians, and one for
+our kids of the future. It is my cherished hope that the
+Canadian Government would look at this as an opportunity to
+create a more accessible environment for all Canadians.”
+
+And you can comment on this story now, on EAB Live:
+http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=770
+
+
+++News in Brief:
+
++04: Caption Reports: The online video site YouTube has set
+up an online form for users to report providers of US television
+content online without subtitles, in contravention of a Federal
+Communications Commission (FCC) regulation. The FCC
+ruling on captions came into effect in October and covers all
+streaming websites such as YouTube and Netflix, although
+clips or short segments are not covered. YouTube has pledged
+to forward any complaints to the relevant broadcaster, and
+send any subsequent response back to the user; though it is not
+known what, if any, further action, such as legal action, may
+be taken:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/Q9b8oW
+
++05: Everybody Technology: The future of access technology
+is the theme for a free afternoon event in central London on 30
+November, to be hosted by IT access charity AbilityNet with
+the Royal London Society for Blind People. The event aims to
+inspire developers and designers to make technology more
+powerful for everybody by making it more accessible, under
+the title: “Everybody Technology”. Speakers include experts
+from IBM, Panasonic and the BBC. For more information and
+to book your free ticket, visit: www.rlsb.org.uk/techevent
+
++06: Learning Loads: An online resource to help
+schoolchildren who have difficulty reading standard printed
+materials by offering learning material to download in a range
+of digital formats, has been launched by Dyslexia Action with
+the Royal National Institute of Blind People. The Load2Learn
+website features more than 1,500 textbooks and 1,000 images
+in formats including Word, EPUB and PDF, which can be
+adapted to suit the student’s individual needs, such as different
+sizes of print, helping learners with dyslexia or visual
+impairments. It is available to schools for an annual fee linked
+to student numbers:
+
+Quick link: http://load2learn.org.uk/
+
++07: Mobile Matters: Mobile device applications or “apps” that
+are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities are
+easier for everyone to use, the BBC’s senior accessibility
+specialist told a recent meeting of the User Experience
+Professionals’ Association. Speaking at the event in London,
+Henny Swan said that the restrictions of mobile devices, such
+as small screens and glare from excess light, cause problems
+for all users, some of which can be solved by accessible
+design. For more details, follow the link below to coverage in
+our sister publication, E-Government Bulletin:
+
+Quick link: http://bit.ly/ONww6q
+
+[Section One ends].
+
+
+++Section Two: 'The Inbox'
+- Readers' Forum.
+
+Please email all contributions or responses to:
+inbox@headstar.com .
+
++08: Blue Sensitive: James Semple, a reader from Devon, has
+posted a comment online to follow up a story originally
+published in our sister newsletter E-Government Bulletin,
+“Accessible Apps More Usable by Everyone”, which reported
+an analyst’s view that mobile apps that are designed to be
+accessible to people with disabilities are more usable by
+everyone.
+
+“On the issue of accessible app displays, one point not covered
+here - or elsewhere to my knowledge - is the misuse of dark
+blue or purple text,” James writes.
+
+“Like many old people (I am 72) the lenses of my eyes have
+yellowed, so blue light transmission is reduced. Also, I have
+macular degeneration - the most common visual disability in
+the developed world - and this further reduces the number and
+activity of the blue-sensitive cones in the retina.
+
+“The end result is that text in dark blue, indigo or violet,
+however bright, is almost the same as black to me. On a dark
+background it is virtually invisible. Even my favourite Twitter
+client, Plume, is sometimes guilty of this.
+
+“Please can this point be more widely disseminated among
+interface designers.”
+
+Further responses to inbox@headstar.com or respond directly
+online at: http://www.headstar.com/egblive/?p=1254 .
+
++09: Paralympics Challenge: Another reader, writing under the
+pseudonym “Deaf”, has responded online to an article back in
+our July issue, "Paralympics Broadcasting: Winning The
+Accessible Games, Live and Online", about the accessibility
+challenges faced by Channel 4 in being the official broadcaster
+of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
+
+The reader writes: “There’s no excuse not to provide good
+quality real time captioning for online streaming videos. There
+are many qualified stenographers who can type at the
+minimum of 200-220 words per minutes with at least 98%
+accuracy.
+
+“Unfortunately, Paralympics streaming video on YouTube did
+not offer any captioning at all and left out many millions of
+deaf and hard of hearing around the world. The games were
+not broadcast on TV in all countries.”
+
+[Comments please to inbox@headstar.com ].
+
+
+[Section Two ends].
+
+
+++Sponsored Notice: Adept Transcription
+- Alternative Formats At Affordable Prices.
+
+When you want alternative formats for disabled colleagues,
+customers and staff, call Adept.
+
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+Moon and sub-titles, at prices from a penny a word.
+
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+public service leaflet, contract or consultation, we provide:
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+- Corporate presentation including your house style
+- Fast turnaround of one document or thousands
+- Multi-format discounts
+- Accessible packaging
+
+Contact us at:
+Tel: 0208 133 5418 (precede with 18001 for typetalk)
+Email transcription@adept-uk.org
+
+[Sponsored Notice ends]
+
+
+Section Three: Profile
+Martyn Sibley, Co-Editor, Disability Horizons.
+
++10: From LA To Australia: Travels Around Technology
+by Tristan Parker.
+
+Co-founder and co-editor of the online disability lifestyle
+magazine Disability Horizons, Martyn Sibley has become an
+influential voice in the disability community. A keen
+technology user and advocate, Martyn has run his own social
+media consultancy, is a frequent blogger, and has developed a
+number of e-learning and e- campaigning projects alongside his
+journalism. Here, he talks to E-Access Bulletin about the
+opportunities new technologies have given him over the years.
+
+E-Access Bulletin: Please give us some background on
+yourself:
+
+Martyn Sibley: Without getting too hung-up on medical
+conditions, I have spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Therefore,
+since day one I’ve relied on a wheelchair, personal care
+assistants and other adaptations. Despite the physical
+limitations and external barriers such as stairs and stereotypes, I
+went to the local school, played football with friends, gained a
+masters degree and travelled to Australia before starting work
+and have enjoyed six years of various work.
+
+My first role was at the disability charity Scope. I worked in
+HR administration and gained valuable skills and experience. I
+then completed my dream move to London and began working
+in their fundraising team. After working my way to a strategic
+role it was time for a change. Compounded with bad health in
+winter and a desire to work for myself, I started my own
+business.
+
+From my blog ( www.martynsibley.com ), I’ve built a vibrant
+online community of people interested in changing the world
+for disabled people. I co-founded the Disability Horizons
+website ( www.disabilityhorizons.com ), run e-learning projects
+(webinars, e-courses and e-conferences on a host of
+independent living tips), speak frequently in the media and
+meet with politicians.
+
+EAB: How have the internet and online tools benefited you
+over the years?
+
+Martyn: First and foremost, online tools helped me personally.
+Google has become my best friend in searching for
+information and contact details for general and disability-
+specific information. More recently, social and new media
+tools underpin my projects on disability issues. Not only does
+this enable the projects, but it also suits my health. Working
+online means I can be in warmer climates during the tougher
+winter time.
+
+EAB: How have you used social media and e-campaigning
+over the years? And how easy is it for people who are new to
+the internet to use these tools?
+
+Martyn: My blog is free on WordPress with a cool design
+“skinned” to it. I used Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to
+connect with people and share my posts. I now have 5,000
+people on my accounts. Disability Horizons used the same
+strategy and receives 20,000 monthly visits.
+
+I’ve also used webinars to bring together professionals and
+people with direct experience of disability. They log in, as do
+the delegates, deliver their PowerPoint presentation and answer
+questions. I chair the sessions, create the interactive polls and
+also promote them to ensure high attendance.
+
+More recently, I’ve launched an e-course on employment and
+an e-conference on use of the internet. You can find all of
+these at: www.martynsibley.com/get-involved . I’ve also
+written an e-campaigning guide for the DisLib project. Online
+campaigning is simple and effective. With free tools and the
+right approach, anything is possible.
+
+EAB: Tell us about Disability Horizons, and why you set up
+the website:
+
+Martyn: Having blogged for two years, seen the power of
+sharing positive stories and engaging with cool people, I was
+being asked to guest-post articles. Chatting with my good friend
+Srin on an LA beach for our California road trip, as you do, we
+discussed a platform for others to write about themselves.
+After a basic WordPress theme and a cool name, we launched
+it on a shoestring. Using social media