The DAT is a dedicated accessibility ribbon menu for Microsoft Word 2010 or later that makes it quicker and easier to create accessible documents. It features a range of functions to optimise and validate a document for accessibility. The DAT is available for Windows and is free to download.
Other free tools provided by Vision Australia include the Colour Contrast Analyser, and the Web Accessibility Toolbar (WAT) for Internet Explorer. 😎
Event organiser and Cork CIL Community Employment Supervisor Nicola Meacle was MC for the evening. She screened four short films on the theme of “A Visual Exploration of Disability and Independent Living” and gave a brief introduction to each one. Nicola prefaced I’m Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much (a talk given by Stella Young at TEDxSydney in April, 2014) by breaking the sad news that Stella had recently passed away.
GW Micro, developers of Window-Eyes, launched a free and accessible Skype client called GWConnect (originally GWSkype) for blind/visually impaired Windows users in January, 2012. The program became hugely popular and regular updates followed.
The BBC Technology News reporter asks why there isn’t an affordable Braille e-book reader available despite several attempts to make one. The depressing answer is that giants like Amazon aren’t interested in such a specialised niche market.
Small players have tried to fill this innovation gap, but these groups are invariably heavily reliant on government grants and charitable donations. All too often, the funds dry up at the prototype stage and the project stalls.
Chris Hofstader posted this essay on the New Hofstader.com blog in which he argues that screen reader innovation has ground to a halt. The article struck a chord with readers and solicited a huge response. The 50+ mostly positive comments are worth reading. Some strong opinions are expressed. Chris posted a follow-up piece, Screen Reader Failure: Innovation, Deterioration, Despair, 8 days later.
Jaw-dropping article from Accessibility NZ about Google’s autocomplete predictions for the search query disabled people should.
Predictions are derived from a number of factors including how often users search for a particular term. So if Google suggests something offensive, it’s a strong indicator that an awful lot of people are typing that particular phrase into the search box. 😦
PS: It should be noted that Google no longer suggests the predictions mentioned in the article and it is now possible to report offensive predictions. I guess someone tipped them off!
What sets this piece apart, however, is the tone of the 169 comments submitted by readers. (Search for Archived Comments and click on Oldest with the mouse pointer/JAWS Cursor to get started.) Some of the ignorant attitudes expressed are truly breath-taking. Set your talking watch back 100 years. 😦