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‘Podcasts From Past’ On Cultural Access Prize Shortlist.

A Museum of London project recruiting and training unemployed people to describe objects in its collections and relay historical information into a series of podcasts, opening up some of the museum’s collections to visually impaired visitors, is among shortlisted nominees for the 2009 Jodi Awards, which recognise best use of digital technology for disabled people in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors.

‘Podcasts from the past’ ( ) is joined on the shortlist by (among others) Leeds Library and Information Service, for its ‘Across the Board’ project ( ). The library offers a series of services and digital communication tools for autistic children and their parents, making it a more natural environment for those affected by autism.

Nominated websites are subject to user testing and automated testing to assess their value, while disabled assessors will visit shortlisted ‘onsite’ projects. Marcus Weisen, director of the Jodi Mattes Trust, told E-Access Bulletin that this year’s nominations were “unusually strong and varied”. Speaking about the International Award, he said: “An impressive project on the shortlist … is Aangepast Lezen  ( ), a Dutch project, which is a European pioneer for accessible digital libraries for print-impaired people.”

The annual awards are named in honour of Jodi Mattes, who worked at the British Museum and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, championing wider cultural access for disabled people. The 2009 Jodi Awards will be presented by Martha Lane Fox, the government’s champion for digital inclusion, on 2 December at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


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