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Archive for November, 2010

International Law – Jodhan vs Canadian Government

By Tristan Parker

It’s fair to say that Canadian citizen Donna Jodhan knows a thing or two about accessibility. A specialist consultant in the field with more than 16 years’ experience, her company has worked with numerous clients, including financial institutions and the University of Toronto. She has obtained Systems Engineering Certification from Microsoft and won various technical awards from IBM.

So when Jodhan – herself legally classed as blind – brought a case against the Canadian Federal Government, stating that the lack of accessibility of its websites for blind and visually impaired Canadian citizens meant that her rights were being breached, she made a formidable opponent.
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Audio Clips Help Disabled Job-Seekers and Entrepreneurs

A web service offering audio clips to help people with long-term health conditions or disabilities to start their own businesses and become self-employed has been launched in Derbyshire.

The Work for Yourself programme (
http://www.businessability.co.uk )
is funded by Bolsover District and Chesterfield Borough Councils, and has already helped about 30 local people start their own businesses and a similar number find work.

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MP’s Website Wins Award, But ‘Vast Majority’ Inaccessible

The website of Labour MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne East and former Cabinet minister Nick Brown has won the accessibility category in the 2010 MP Web Awards, hosted by BCS – the Chartered Institute for IT (formerly known as the British Computer Society).

The awards are presented to politicians who best use new technologies to engage with their constituents. The accessibility award was judged by representatives of technology charity AbilityNet, who reported a number of features that caused Brown’s website ( http://www.nickbrownmp.com/ )
to stand out, including no unlabelled images; a good default size for text, which can be resized; no distracting or moving images; keyboard access for the whole site; and no issues when using a screen-reader.
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Cautious Welcome For Copyright Law Change Timetable

The RNIB has given a cautious welcome to a World Intellectual Property Organisation decision to agree a timetable for creation of a new international law allowing sharing of accessible versions of copyright works across national borders.

If passed, the law would require the introduction of exceptions in the national legislation of all member states, so that print-disabled people, including blind people, people with impaired vision and people with dyslexia, can make accessible copies of copyright works and share them across international boundaries.
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