Ofcom publishes research on visually impaired people’s use and awareness of communications services

July 25, 2008

Ofcom has today published qualitative research on how visually impaired people use communications services and some problems commonly experienced.


The research revealed that factors such as age and degree of independence influenced people’s experiences and attitudes to communications services.  It also revealed that visually impaired people often hold low expectations of service providers. Some respondents cited bad experiences with call centre staff who were not able to deal with callers who could not see to read out information on a mobile phone or TV screen.


Equipment that ‘talked’, for example a radio that announced the channels, was valued, as was audio description on television. Awareness of services that could benefit visually impaired people varied and word of mouth was a key source of information.


An audio version of this text can be found here:



The full research, including illustrative anecdotes, can be found here:


Online Office productivity and accessibility

June 4, 2008

Adobe have recently launched http://www.acrobat.com their competitor to Google Docs, MS Office live, and multiple other online productivity suites but what is the accessibility of such tools?  Must admit that I haven’t tried any of them myself as yet but a quick look at the Acrobat.com front page didn’t look promising as I am unable to progress beyond it.

Acrobat 9 is out

June 4, 2008

and with promise of new and improved accessibility features – I wonder what’s in store. http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/2008/06/announcing_acrobat_9.html 

UN secretary general calls for universally accessible technology

May 15, 2008

Impressive headline – more so when you consider that E-gov monitor is reporting the speech 3 days before it happens.



WebAnywhere, another free screenreader

April 23, 2008

Thanks to Henny over at the RNIB Web Access Centre Blog for

this piece of news

and see my comment for my positive but garded reaction.


is accessibility of local authority sites really getting worse?

April 21, 2008

I see lots of interesting news items on the Web but try to avoid the temptation of re producing articles that I see on multiple other sites and Blogs, that’s my excuse for the scarcity of postings anyway… But so far I haven’t seen this interesting supplementary report from SOCITM doing the round.  a world denied explores possible reasons for the apparent backward step in the accessibility of local authority Websites.  So far I haven’t looked beyond the headline myself but you can bet it’s a critique of technical conformance methodologies.  But if you will measure conformance to a benchmark that is 9 years old …

that said, I look forward to coming back to edit this post when I’m proved wrong.

create accessible PDFs from Word 2007

March 10, 2008

Excellent step by step article on the AbilityNet site on how to make sure that PDFs created in MS Word 2007 using the free plug-in are accessible:



new accessibility metadata standard a step closer

March 6, 2008

A long time coming but it looks like an update to the oft quoted but never (well rarely anyway) used IMS accessibility metadata schema is now very very close. http://www.imsglobal.org/pressreleases/IMSPR-AccessForAll.pdf


braille beer cans in Japan

March 3, 2008

According to this article its hard to tell the difference between softdrinks cans and beer cans in Japan.  How silly – why don’t they just follow our example and make the beer cans bigger.  mind you, Beer vending machines – they’ve got some things better.


March 3, 2008

good site for keeping an eye on assitive technology with a Mac – tips tricks and product news http://ATMac.org