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Archive for January, 2011

Canadian Government Appeals Landmark Accessibility Ruling

The Canadian Federal Government is appealing against the recent court ruling which branded its websites not fully accessible to disabled citizens and ordered it to remedy the problem.

As previously reported in E-Access Bulletin ( see issue 132: http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=511 ), Donna Jodhan, a blind accessibility consultant, successfully sued the government over the inaccessibility of its websites after she was unable to apply for a government job online or access certain other information.
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‘Wayfinding’ Systems Not Yet Cost-Effective, Report Finds

The installation of digital ‘wayfinding’ technologies to help blind people find their way around railways stations and other public spaces might not be cost-effective for five years or more, a leading expert has told E-Access Bulletin.

Dr John Gill, a consultant and former RNIB chief scientist, was speaking following the publication of a report on the operation and management of wayfinding systems by the Rail Safety and Standards Board, a non-profit rail industry body ( http://bit.ly/fQIyeW ).
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European Accessibility Act To Be Unveiled in 2012

A proposal for a ‘European Accessibility Act’, which will include accessibility measures on ICT and websites, will be put forward during 2012, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding has confirmed.

The act, part of actions following on from a wider European Disability Strategy ( http://bit.ly/fDCRlP ) unveiled last year, will be based on an upcoming commission study of accessibility barriers for disabled citizens across Europe. The study will cover access to public services, public buildings and transport, as well as other areas.
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The future of accessibility – New Year, New Dreams

By Donna Jodhan

As I sit here in my favourite chair listening to the cold Canadian winter wind beat softly against my windows, I am aware that snowflakes are falling gently outside, and I can hear the crunch of boots against firmly-packed snow on the ground. It’s time for me to start imagining and dreaming; maybe it’s the time of year that does this to me, but boy, is it fun to do.

This evening, I am going to use the flickering lights of my Christmas tree to help put me in the mood and I would like to dream a bit about what it could be like for blind people if access technology were able to communicate more effectively with mainstream technology, as well as with websites.

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