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Archive for May, 2012

Launch For New National Disability IT Network.

A new network of 51 specialist organisations across England have been funded to help local computer users with a disability or learning difficulty to get online and use government services.

The Disability Network initiative has been launched by the national technology access body UK Online Centres ( http://www.ukonlinecentres.com/ ), with specialist learning providers across England receiving funding of £7,500 each to provide training and support to disabled computer users.

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Price Comparison Sites Excluding Millions, Report Finds

Four out of five leading price comparison websites surveyed are inaccessible to disabled and elderly users, potentially putting them in breach of the Equality Act 2010, a new report has found.

Conducted by ICT access charity AbilityNet, the research presents a dismal picture of accessibility by disabled and elderly users for the websites, which allow people to compare prices of goods and services including online shopping and insurance prices.

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Campaigners Urge Further Changes to Copyright Law

The British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) and RNIB are calling for changes to the copyright law to allow disabled people to copy all legally owned digital books or multimedia into more accessible formats.

The calls come as part of the organisation’s response to consultation on proposed changes to copyright law from the UK Intellectual Property Office in a report by Professor Ian Hargreaves – chair of digital economy at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies – which would allow wider and easier access to a range of materials for disabled people.

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Web Accessibility: Putting People and Processes First

By Brian Kelly

For many web authors, developers and policy makers, the issue of accessibility to disabled people is addressed mainly by trying to ensure that their sites conform with the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) maintained by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium.

For example, the UK Government’s ‘Delivering inclusive websites guidelines’ ( http://bit.ly/3lCReg ), published in 2009, said: “The minimum standard of accessibility for all public sector websites is Level Double-A of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. All new websites must conform to these guidelines from the point of publication.”

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