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Archive for June, 2010

Association To Set UK Digital Format Standards

The new UK Association for Accessible Formats ( UKAAF: ) is to set national standards next year for accessibility of digital formats such as electronic books and synthesised speech, E-Access Bulletin has learned.

The association, a charity formed last year, refined its work programme for the next two years at its annual general meeting in London earlier this month.

Public-Private ‘Unwillingness to Co-operate’ Over Smart Homes

A coherent national plan is needed to develop integrated systems and services for ‘smart homes’ to meet the needs of disabled and elderly people, overcoming “entrenched behaviours, convention, ego and unwillingness to co-operate” across the public and private sectors, a London seminar heard this month.

Delegates at the ‘smart living’ seminar heard that although many pilot schemes were already testing components of next generation home systems, there was little co-ordination between the sectors involved including architecture, engineering, building, health and care, energy, communications, transport and bodies representing disabled and older people.

Danes Are Latest To Miss EU Web Access Target

Some 52% of Danish government websites are not fully accessible to citizens with disabilities, new research has revealed, in the latest blow for hopes of Europe-wide accessibility improvements.

Conducted on behalf of the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, a survey by Sensus – a Danish consulting company specialising in accessibility, IT and disability – assessed 226 government websites against international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)

Electronic Books: The Right to Borrow

By Guy Whitehouse.

One of the last pieces of legislation passed earlier this year by the UK’s outgoing Labour government was the Digital Economy Act 2010, which, among other things, extended the Public Lending Right to audiobooks and ebooks in libraries.

This transfers out of copyright both physical hardcopy audiobooks in libraries, and audio/ebooks downloaded to an mp3 player or ebook reader on library premises; authors receive a payment from the government for each loan based on a rather complicated formula. The US does not currently have a similar scheme, following a failed attempt to introduce one in the 1980s.