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NV Access: Our Mission (Developers of free screen reader NVDA)

Two blind computer programmers from Australia are changing the lives of blind and vision impaired people all over the world with their free screen reader, NVDA.

Without a screen reader, blind and vision impaired people cannot use a computer. However, the cost of screen reading software puts computers out of reach for many people. That's where not-for-profit organisation NV Access comes in. Led by Michael Curran and James Teh, NV Access has developed the free, open source screen reader NVDA, or NonVisual Desktop Access.

For many blind and vision impaired people, NVDA is the only option they have for gaining access to computers, and therefore to education, employment and independence.

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Ebook for children with vision disabilities

Ebook for children with vision disabilities | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

NEW YORK: Here comes the first ebook for children with vision disabilities which would soon be available at Apple’s iBook store and can be downloaded for free on iPads.

 

The book, titled ‘Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn,’ is inspired by a latest Hubble Space Telescope image of the colourful ’30 Doradus Nebula’ – a giant star-forming region.

 

“We want to convince children that science is cool, is fun and that anybody could be a scientist, if they want to,” said astronomer Elena Sabbi of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland and the inspiration behind this project.

 

 

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Technologies for AIM and NIMAS | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

Technologies for AIM and NIMAS | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

These resources focus on the production and use of AIM in a variety of formats and include information on content development, creating NIMAS files, conversion services, digital talking books and other output formats, and hardware and software for AIM.

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S.C. Charters Agree to Accessibility Changes After Federal Investigation | Ed Week

S.C. Charters Agree to Accessibility Changes After Federal Investigation | Ed Week | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights has entered into an agreement with the South Carolina Public Charter District to make the district's Internet-based schools accessible to students and parents with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments. 


The district enrolls about 14,000 students in all, 9,000 of whom are in seven Internet-based schools: Palmetto State e-Cademy, Provost Academy South Carolina, South Carolina Virtual Charter School, South Carolina Calvert Academy, South Carolina Connections Academy, South Carolina Whitmore School, and Cyber Academy of South Carolina.

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AIM Videos | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

AIM Videos | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Meet Juna: Leveling the Playing Field with AIM


Explore the story of Juna Gjata who has a visual impairment which prevents her from reading standard print materials; and how she—with the help of supportive teachers, assistive technology, and accessible instructional materials—excels academically.

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The Provision of AIM to Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

The Provision of AIM to Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

This brief discusses two issues associated with the provision of accessible instructional materials (AIM) to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The first section describes the physical basis of reading challenges experienced by many students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The second section focuses on research pertaining to the use of sign language representations in conjunction with print and digital text for this population of students.

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ETSI - New European Standard on accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services

ETSI - New European Standard on accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

The European Standardization Organizations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI – are pleased to announce the publication of a new European Standard on accessibility requirements for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) products and services. This new standard (EN 301 549) is the first European Standard for accessible ICT. It is intended in particular for use by public authorities and other public sector bodies during procurement, to ensure that websites, software, digital devices are more accessible – so they may be used by persons with a wide range of abilities.

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EPUB Makes Mobile Content Inclusive & Accessible

EPUB Makes Mobile Content Inclusive & Accessible | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

By Rich Schwerdtfeger, IBM Software Group

 

Throughout the history of computing, software has typically advanced more quickly than the hardware on which it runs. But that’s not the case when it comes to documents and mobile devices. All too often, things like PDF documents and HTML pages are laborious to operate on a mobile device or limited in capability. When you consider the widespread and unrelenting proliferation of mobile devices, from smart phones to tablets, the problem was only going to get worse.

 

At IBM we viewed the challenge as an accessibility issue, one that was preventing consumers from viewing their desired content. So we set out to collaborate to create a solution that would help the literally billions of mobile users access and consume documents easily and without degradation of performance.

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FCC grants waiver of accessibility rules to e-readers | Digital Journal

FCC grants waiver of accessibility rules to e-readers | Digital Journal | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Devices to read electronic books have been a new way to consume information or enjoy a vast fantasy novel but to the blind and visually impaired they have been inaccessible, with few improvements.

 

FCC rules implementing the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) require equipment used for advanced communications services (ACS) to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. The FCC may waive these ACS accessibility requirements for devices that are capable of accessing ACS, but are designed primarily for purposes other than using ACS.

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National Federation of the Blind Commends Microsoft and GW Micro for Groundbreaking Accessibility Partnership | NFB

National Federation of the Blind Commends Microsoft and GW Micro for Groundbreaking Accessibility Partnership | NFB | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Window-Eyes Screen Reader Now Available for Free to Many Microsoft Office Users

Baltimore, Maryland (January 14, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for equal access to technology by the blind, today commended Microsoft Corporation and GW Micro for their announcement of a partnership that makes GW Micro’s Window-Eyes screen reader available for free to users of Microsoft Office 2010 or higher.  More details about this groundbreaking offer are available at www.WindowEyesForOffice.com.

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Electronic book for students with visual impairments reaches for the stars - Science Daily

Electronic book for students with visual impairments reaches for the stars - Science Daily | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

A stunning Hubble Space Telescope image of the colorful 30 Doradus Nebula, a giant star-forming region, is the focal point of an eBook on stellar evolution aimed at children with visual impairments, ages 10 to 12. The book is called "Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn." Its developers have issued the first chapter, which is being previewed at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C. The ebook will available in Apple's iBook store to download for free on iPads in the near future.

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W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: 2013 in review | Access iQ

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: 2013 in review | Access iQ | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

It’s not surprising that the hard work of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) working groups appears to have two trends emerging: the desire to make it easier for people to make sense of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 through developments such as Easy Checks and WCAG2ICT, and the implementation of portable accessibility, be it eBooks, accessible interfaces with IndieUI or mobile As we step through another fantastic year for WAI contributions it’s exciting to note the increasing importance of the mobile web.

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What is it like to use a refreshable braille device with a laptop or tablet?

What is it like to use a refreshable braille device with a laptop or tablet? | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

It helps to understand how refreshable braille displays (RFBDs) get information from the device. Apple has a software called VoiceOver that enables blind and low vision customers to navigate iPads and iPhones. (The actual use of it is slightly different on the laptop, but the basic concept is the same.) RFBs depend on VoiceOver for textual and limited navigational support.

VoiceOver is more than text-to-speech software. It's a way of organizing and displaying visual information into words (spoken or in braille). Using either gestures or RFBD commands, you can navigate between different apps, read text, switch settings (e.g. spelling and grammar and menu features).

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How Can NIMAS Help Students with Print Disabilities? IPAT ND

How Can NIMAS Help Students with Print Disabilities? IPAT ND | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

NIMAS is a technical standard for developing accessible K-12 instructional materials.  It states that all books published after August 18, 2006, must be produced in the NIMAS format in addition to printed versions. This standard was put in place by policy makers to assure that “qualifying students with disabilities receive textbooks and other important materials in an accessible format at the same time as their fellow students.”

 

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Students With Disabilities Meet Challenges in Online Courses - US News

Students With Disabilities Meet Challenges in Online Courses - US News | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Not all online programs are equal when it comes to their accessibility for students with disabilities.

 

Online education can seem like a promising alternative for students with physical and sensory disabilities, some of whom would struggle to navigate a physical campus. But even the most accessible online programs can still pose challenges for students like Taylor.

 

Since not all online programs are equal when it comes to their resources for students with disabilities, experts suggest students do their research before choosing a program and prepare to advocate for themselves once enrolled.

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WebAIM: Accessibility Lipstick on a Usability Pig

WebAIM: Accessibility Lipstick on a Usability Pig | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Applying accessibility techniques to an unusable site is like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how much you apply, it will always be a pig.

 

There are many ways in which a web site might be made inaccessible. Believe me, we’ve seen them all. Occasionally we are asked to conduct an accessibility evaluation on a site that is almost entirely unusable. Such efforts are usually pointless. No amount of technical accessibility can fix something that is not useful or usable.

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iPad Accessibility Options for Special Education Classrooms | HubPages

iPad Accessibility Options for Special Education Classrooms | HubPages | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
The iPad's accessibility features make it a great assistive technology tool for students with disabilities that impede their learning. Here's why special education teachers love the iPad.
Chuck Hitchcock's insight:

Not just for special ed classrooms but for inclusive learning environments as well.

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Audio-Supported Reading | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

Audio-Supported Reading | National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Audio-supported reading (ASR) is a technology-based approach for accessing and working with text presented in either braille or enlarged (magnified) print. This approach allows a user to listen to a spoken version of text while looking at screen-displayed print or touching braille. In ASR, both the rate of information pick up and the portion of attention paid to braille or print—in combination with speech—can be controlled by the user. With sufficient practice, both braille readers and magnified print readers can greatly increase the rate at which they move through text using ASR.

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An Open Letter to Textbook Publishers | Inside Higher Ed

An Open Letter to Textbook Publishers | Inside Higher Ed | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Dear Textbook Publishers, I have a question for some of you. Having been in administration for quite a while now, I know that sometimes things that seem easy and obvious from the outside, aren’t. So I’m wondering if there’s a smarter answer to this than anything I can figure.

 

Why aren’t all of you issuing all of your major textbooks in formats that are accessible to students with disabilities?

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Industry Standards at Work: Improving Closed Captioning of Internet Video - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Industry Standards at Work: Improving Closed Captioning of Internet Video - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it
Microsoft Accessibility blog on accessible technology, UI Automation and disabilities

 

Today, the industry is working hard on standards that will enable captions to flow from content creator to consumer. The World Wide Web Consortium, for example, is improving its TTML standard. Earlier this year, it published a subset of the standard, known as a profile, tailored to deliver closed captions on the web. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers continues to develop ways to transform common television caption formats into SMPTE Timed Text to deliver existing television content on the Internet. The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem defined a profile of SMPTE-TT to deliver captions and subtitles in the UltraViolet™ digital media format. And the Moving Picture Experts Group recently updated its standards to enable timed-text captions in MP4 files.
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New Zealand Based Company Making Mobile Apps Accessible to All - GAATES

New Zealand Based Company Making Mobile Apps Accessible to All - GAATES | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

WELLINGTON, NZ: A new tech start-up, staffed entirely by people with vision disabilities, hopes to help increase revenue for app developers while making the world of mobile devices a more accessible place.

 

For the average iPhone or Android user it might be difficult to imagine how a person without sight or with limited sight can navigate the flat surface of a touch screen. The fact is, they do, in large numbers. Blind people use VoiceOver – the screen reading software built into Apple’s iOS, and Talkback – the screen reader built into Android, to perform the same tasks as their sighted counterparts.

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How to create an accessible infographic | Access iQ

How to create an accessible infographic | Access iQ | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

As social media continues to grow as a powerful medium for sharing information and ideas, the need for accessible infographics has become more critical.

 

An infographic is a visual representation of data that turns complex information into bite-sized pieces that can be read at a glance. Because it can make a large amount of information easier to digest, perhaps the most valuable function of an infographic is the ease with which it can be shared across different social media platforms.

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Greg Alchin's curator insight, February 16, 9:35 PM

Making information accessible and usable to all learners enables 

all learners to participate in learning on the same basis.

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Effective Color Contrast - Lighthouse International

Effective Color Contrast - Lighthouse International | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Designing for People with Partial Sight and Color Deficiencies
by Aries Arditi, PhD

 

This page contains three basic guidelines for making effective color choices that work for nearly everyone. Following the guidelines are explanations of the three perceptual attributes of color -- hue, lightness and saturation -- as they are used by vision scientists.

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Print disability? Library has the key - UC Berkeley News Center

Print disability? Library has the key - UC Berkeley News Center | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Campus students with print disabilities now hold keys to the campus’s vast library collections, under a landmark agreement finalized last month. The negotiated agreement between UC Berkeley and Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit legal group, establishes a system for providing more timely access to print materials converted to alternative-media formats. 

 

The new system, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, allows students with print disabilities — conditions such as blindness, dyslexia, even paralysis that prevents them from turning the pages of a book — to request free conversion of a specific library book or journal. The library has agreed to convert the text to alternative-media format within an average of five business days.

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Microsoft Will Help Launch a New Association for Accessibility Professionals - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - MSDN Blogs

Microsoft Will Help Launch a New Association for Accessibility Professionals - Microsoft Accessibility Blog - MSDN Blogs | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

Last month, I joined the founding members of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) in a meeting where we discussed the next steps to create an association and transform accessibility into a globally recognized and respected profession.

 

In March, we will take one of our biggest steps by formally launching the Association. So far, accessibility has developed at a grassroots level, hindered by an inconsistent approach to training as well as the absence of certifications and an established career path for engineers to follow from higher education into the workplace.

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Highlights of 2013: Accessibility in mainstream devices | Media Access Australia

Highlights of 2013: Accessibility in mainstream devices | Media Access Australia | Accessible Instructional Materials | Scoop.it

In 2013 people with disability have been offered more choice in smartphones and tablet computers. While Apple still dominates this market, this year saw its competitors offer affordable and accessible alternatives. Here, Media Access Australia looks at a selection of mainstream electronic devices and how they have been improved for accessibility.

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