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Archive for March, 2016

Asking the right questions: a tribute to Dan Jellinek

As many readers of e-Access Bulletin will know, the publication’s editor and founder, Dan Jellinek, passed away in October last year. This tragic event was completely unexpected and utterly devastating news for everyone that knew Dan. As well as the immeasurable loss to his family, countless good friends and colleagues, Dan’s passing will also be felt deeply throughout the digital accessibility sector, an area to which he contributed so much invaluable work.

Accessibility was not Dan’s only area of expertise and interest, but it was always a sustained passion and something he felt compelled to cover journalistically. This was probably because he knew that intelligent, informed, progressive coverage – which his always was – could help push forward the important issues and the debates that needed to be had.

To mark his achievements in the sector, some of his many friends and colleagues have paid tribute to Dan, sharing their thoughts about his work and influence on digital accessibility.

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Governments warned not to “exclude millions” by legalising digital barriers

A letter from 20 NGOs has warned European ministers of the severe impact on disabled citizens’ lives that proposed changes to a web accessibility directive would have.

If exemptions to the EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites are adopted, then electronic communication with public organisations, downloading documents and accessing intranets at work will all be affected, and in some cases made impossible for disabled citizens throughout Europe, say the NGOs.

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Innovations for independent living take a step forward

A Braille tablet computer, an online tool to seek out low-cost 3D-printed prosthetics and other projects to assist independent living were showcased earlier this month at the European Parliament.

The projects on display were part of an event in Brussels, ‘Accessible technology for independent living’, organised by the European Disability Forum and Google. Featured projects were supported by $20 million from the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities – a scheme funding non-profit ideas that utilise new technologies.
(Read more at the Google Impact Challenge website: http://eab.li/a .)

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Academia and industry combine forces to push forward gaming accessibility

Research into how video games can be made more accessible is being led by a computer science team from a UK university, who will work with game developers and partners including the BBC.

Dr Michael Heron and Dr Michael Crabb from the School of Computing Science and Digital Media at Robert Gordon University, Scotland, will also explore how academic institutions can help identify problems faced by gamers with disabilities.

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