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Archive for April, 2009

Web Accessibility Statements – The Best Of Intentions, Clearly Stated.

Just 10 per cent of accessibility statements on local government websites are ‘excellent’, with a further 37 per cent deemed ‘satisfactory’, according to new research from the Society of IT Management (Socitm
http://www.socitm.gov.uk ).

The research is published this week as a special supplement to Better Connected 2009, the society’s annual snapshot review of all UK council websites.
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Finnish Trial For Touch-Screen Braille On Mobiles

A method for presenting Braille characters as a sequence of strong and weak pulses on the touch-screen of a mobile device has been developed by a research team at the University of Tampere in Finland.

The most successful method tested by the team involved sending sequences of pulses about a third of a second apart to a single point of the screen of a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. Almost all participants could accurately recognise individual characters sent in this way, though faster speeds reduced the recognition rate.
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Concerns Raised Over Australian Mobile News Service

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has failed to adequately address accessibility problems with its new mobile web news service, one of the country’s leading accessibility analysts has told E-Access Bulletin.

Tom Worthington, a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University, examined ‘ABC Mobile’ (
http://www.abc.net.au/innovation/mobile/ )
for accessibility on its launch. In a report posted to his blog, he said: “The home page does not appear to have been designed in accordance with guidelines for web accessibility for the disabled, and may be unlawful. The site also fails several mobile phone and other web guidelines.” One of the key faults had been with a lack of proper alternative text tags for information conveyed as images, he said.
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Disability Redefined As E-Learning ‘Mismatch’

An attempt to redefine or reframe the term ‘disability’, in the context of online learning as a mismatch between a learner’s needs and the education process delivered, is enshrined in a new international e-learning standard.

ISO/IEC 24751:2008, ‘Information technology – individualised adaptability and accessibility in e-learning, education and training’ (
http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1217 )
has been published by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
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