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Archive for September, 2008

Call For Research Into Elderly Access To Mobile Phones.

Mobile phones and other mobile technologies have great potential to help older people, but existing methods of evaluating older people’s access requirements for such technologies are inadequate, according to a paper presented at last week’s British HCI (human-computer interaction) 2008 conference at Liverpool John Moores University (http://www.hci2008.org/).

The paper, by Sofianiza Malik and Alistair Edwards from the Department of Computer Science, University of York, was presented at a workshop on HCI and the older population.
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Target Agrees Six Million Dollar Accessibility Case Settlement.

Following a two-year legal battle, US superstore chain Target has agreed to pay six million dollars to settle a class action brought against it for the inaccessibility of its website.

The company also agreed to make changes to its site to ensure it is accessible, to pay for regular independent accessibility testing of its site, and to pay the legal fees of those who brought the case, although it does not accept liability or agree that the website is inaccessible (http://fastlink.headstar.com/target1 ).
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Navigation Aid Among Insight Radio’s ‘Vision 2008′ Reports.

A new device called STEP-HEAR (http://stephear.com/), enabling blind and partially sighted people to navigate in public places,
is among technologies reviewed by the RNIB’s radio station Insight Radio as part of its reporting from Vision 2008 (http://www.vision2008.ca/).

Vision 2008, held this summer in Montreal, Canada, is the world’s biggest conference on low vision.

STEP-HEAR is a relatively low cost device consisting of two parts. A base station includes a speaker and a small recording device onto which the user can record, re-record or store sounds and messages. The second part, a remote control, can be worn as a pendant, strapped to the wrist or carried in a pocket. When a blind person carrying the remote control walks within range of the base the remote vibrates, prompting the user to press a button to hear the message or sound recorded.
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Analysis – Target Web Lawsuit: The Six Million Dollar Question

By Majeed Saleh and Dan Jellinek
For years the web accessibility community has been waiting for clear legal precedent to be set enforcing the accessibility of websites for people with disabilities, but to date the wait has gone largely unrewarded.

The ruling cited most often dates back to 2000, when blind web user Bruce Maguire won 20,000 Australian Dollars from the organisers of the Sydney Olympics for failing to address the inaccessibility of the games’ website (for case details see http://contenu.nu/socog.html and E-Access Bulletin back issues including August 2008). But the ruling was that of an equal opportunity commission rather than a full court, and has little resonance outside that country.

Since then, a series of cases brought in the UK and elsewhere have been settled out of court with payments made to plaintiffs, often in secret. Such settlements are frustrating: for while it is understandable that complainants, many of whom are people with disabilities, are inclined to accept offers of financial compensation in return for dropping their claims, only completed court cases can set a legal precedent.
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YouTube Captioning

Here’s a new development at YouTube that could prove very useful for many – if its implementation catches on.

http://www.youtube.com/blog?entry=mi8D3ntPgFQ