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Will Kindle Fire be more accessible for blind readers?

I was excited by the thought that I could finally afford a tablet computer. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is $199, just about within reach of a poor freelancer – and a lot more tempting than the $500+ iPad2. The American Council for the Blind are less excited, denouncing Kindle Fire as inaccessible for blind people. Google+

 
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Voice Banking: Technology to help people like Stephen Hawking

Wherever Stephen Hawking goes he carts around a huge, heavy black box that looks a little like a bomb but is in fact his voice. Stephen has lived with ALS (motor neurone disease) since his early 20s and hasn’t been able to use his natural voice for many years. When he first switched to a

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21st Century Communications Act: possibilities and limitations

Back in October I reported the signing of the 21st Century Communications Act, which is aimed at making emerging technologies more accessible to blind and deaf people. It was brought in mostly thanks to the good people at the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT). But the exact details of the Act have been

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Mobile technologies for blind readers

I was chatting to an almost totally blind gentleman today at a symposium organized by the ALS Association of Connecticut. It struck me that the move towards mobile technologies that the e-world is currently experiencing works in favor of many blind and partially sighted people. Google+

 
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iPad helps people with communication disabilities

One great – unforeseen – side effect of the Apple revolution is that iPads and iPhones are helping people with communication disabilities communicate. Apps such as Proloquo2Go offers kids and adults with speech and learning disabilities the ability to communicate through text-to-speech functions and buttons that, when pressed, speak out a word or phrase. Google+

 
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21st Century Communications Act Becomes Law

Tomorrow, October 8, 2010, President Obama will sign into U.S. law the shiny new Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act (S.3304). The law is a step on the way to recognizing the huge importance of making emerging technologies accessible to everybody. It encompasses, for example: Telephone services via the internet must be compatible with

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WordPress accessibility plugins

In an effort to find a shortcut to website accessibility, I’ve been checking out some WordPress “accessibility” plugins. I was hoping that some helpful techies would come up with a few easy-use plugins to help the rest of us out. Google+

 
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Using a screenreader isn’t easy

Sighted users who are in any doubt about the difficulty of using a screenreader to browse the internet should check out this home video demo of the JAWS screenreader from YouTube: Google+

 
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Should we test websites using screenreaders?

Interesting question being flung around Twitter at the moment is whether web developers should use screenreaders to test websites for accessibility. While it’s valuable to experience your web content as a blind person would, it may not be as easy as it sounds. Using a screenreader takes skill and practice. Even common ones such as

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Second Life via brainwaves?

Following on from previous posts about brain computer interface technologies, I’ve just found a fascinating video of a Japanese student controlling his Second Life avatar with the power of thought alone. Google+

 
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