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Archive for September, 2010

Volunteer Pool To ‘Crowd-Source’ Web Accessibility

An online service helping web users with disabilities report accessibility problems by linking them with thousands of tech-savvy volunteers is to be launched later this year by digital inclusion charity Citizens Online.

A trial version of ‘Fix the Web’, sub-titled ‘crowd-sourcing e-accessibility’, was unveiled at this week’s Web Accessibility London Unconference 2010 by Dr Gail Bradbrook, the charity’s lead consulant.
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Kindle 3: Better Accessibility, But Still Not Perfect

Improved accessibility features on the new Kindle 3 electronic book reader will help vision-impaired users, but do not yet go far enough to make the device fully accessible, a leading analyst said this month.

The Kindle 3, developed by the online retailer Amazon, features a display with improved contrast and an audible menu facility, ‘Voice Guide’, enabling users to select an e-book using sound and activate the device’s text-to-speech ‘Read to Me’ feature. The Kindle 3 also features a display with 50% improved contrast between the text and background, improving the readability of text for partially sighted users.

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Inclusive Island ‘Discovered’ In Second Life

A new island themed around disability and inclusion has been ‘discovered’ in Second Life, by the man whose online character or ‘avatar’ was the first to use a wheelchair in the virtual world.

Llamdos (try reading the name backwards) was created by Simon Stevens, a consultant who in 2006 created Wheelies, the first virtual night-club in Second Life aimed at both disabled and non-disabled users.

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Web Accessibility Unconference: Open For Access

Delegates at this month’s ‘Web Accessibility London Unconference 2010’ ( http://www.a11yldn.org.uk ) were treated to a run-through of the state-of-the-art for open source accessibility solutions by one of the world’s leading experts in the field.

Steve Lee, of consultancy Full Measure ( http://www.fullmeasure.co.uk ), is the driving force behind many open source accessibility projects and is also a contributor to ‘OSS Watch’ ( http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/ ), a service advising higher and further education institutions on use or development of free and open source software. It is funded by higher education IT support agency JISC.

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