Dates announced for the NonVisual Desktop Access Virtual Conference, registration open for the M-Enabling Summit, and more.
AFB Applauds Senate Introduction of the Access Technology Affordability Act
On behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind, we applaud Senators John Boozman and Ben Cardin for their introduction of the Access Technology Affordability Act, which would create a refundable tax credit of $2,000 to offset the costs of accessible technologies designed for people who are blind or visually impaired.
The American Foundation for the Blind is very pleased to announce the upcoming launch of its newly redesigned, Drupal 8 format website, which has been optimized for use on tablets and mobile phones. Due to the new, easier to navigate website, AFB will be discontinuing support for the AccessWorld app. We sincerely appreciate your downloading and using the app in past years, and we believe you will have an even smoother experience using the new web version.
IAAP Announces Certification Testing Exam Sites at Upcoming Accessibility Conferences
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) announced the addition of several hosted exam sites in conjunction with accessibility conferences and events. IAAP offers the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) or Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) credentials.
Upcoming exam locations at accessibility events and conferences are as follows:
New Bookshare Site
This month, Bookshare.org launched a new web site. The new site includes features members have been waiting for, such as navigation by headings; skip to content links; drop-down menus for the main navigation; the ability for members with low vision to enlarge text fonts; the ability to change the number of characters per line in a braille book to match your braille display; more search options; and more.
CSUN Highlights Aging Population
The CSUN conference, which takes its name from its sponsoring organization, the California State University at Northridge, has been one of the most revered events showcasing assistive technology for people with disabilities for more than 20 years. At its 2009 event, March 16–21, CSUN will host its first DATE (Design, Access, Technology, and Education) Symposium, examining the particular issues of elderly users of assistive technology.
When Amazon.com announced, on February 9, 2009, the release of its new Kindle 2 handheld e-book reader with the addition of text-to-speech capabilities, people who are blind became interested in this inaccessible device. Unfortunately, the text-to-speech capability does not work in the Kindel 2's menus, so it cannot be operated by a person who is blind. Then, the Authors Guild lodged complaints that the feature would interfere with audiobook rights.
NFB Newsline on Demand or in Your Pocket
NFB Newsline, the popular telephone-based reading system, now offers two new ways of receiving nearly 300 newspapers and magazines. With NFB Newsline on Demand, users can navigate any of the available newspapers or magazines online and select an entire newspaper or section to be directly e-mailed to their e-mail accounts.
Movies at Home for Everyone
A recent partnership between WGBH of Boston and Sony Pictures of California spells good news for movie lovers who have difficulty seeing key elements on the screen. Beginning this September, all Sony theater releases with Descriptive Video Service, when made available in DVD or Blu-Ray formats, will include an additional audio track containing the description. WGBH pioneered Descriptive Video Service in 1990, with the launch of description added to some PBS television programs.
Accessible TV Technology
Obtaining access to television programming information is important to those of us who cannot view on-screen information. Recent and on-going efforts in the United Kingdom may provide a tangible solution to this well-documented problem.