Archive for August, 2009

My segment on Radio 5RPH during the Lifestyles program on the 27th July 2009 focused on challenges associated with ensuring Web 2.0 and 3D virtual worlds are accessible. We touched on the Boston conference and also the implications of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2, which were finally approved in December 2008. These revised guidelines take into account the broader range of technology devices used to access the Web as well as the increasing importance of rich media content. I also spoke briefly about our Australian and Learning Teaching Council Grant and our work in creating a more accessible 3D virtual learning environment.

You can download the podcast of the radio segment from http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/3dvle/media/rph_ll2_250709.mp3

We are hoping to have a discussion with Bruce Maguire, project officer with the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee on the Committee’s response to the approval of the W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines in a future segment.

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Denise and the VHH presenting via SL at the Accessing the Future Conference in Boston

Denise and the VHH team presenting via SL at the Accessing the Future Conference in Boston

We presented a poster session at the IEEE-IBM sponsored Accessing the Future Conference in Boston from the 20th-21st July. It was one of those terrific mixed media events with the programmer from our project team, Charles Morris, presenting live, and three of us presenting virtually through Second Life and via Skype. We presented on our collaborative project involving Virtual Helping Hands (VHH) and the assistive technologies under development including Max Voice, a text chat to voice application that functions in Second Life and Max the virtual guide dog. We are incorporating these technologies into the open source environment we are developing through the Australian Learning and Teaching Council grant – our focus at present is on adapting an open source viewer so that these features can be used with Second Life or other emerging 3D virtual worlds such as OpenSim. You can learn more about our ALTC funded project from the project site: http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/3dvle/ and the Virtual Guide Dog project site: http://www.virtualguidedog.com/

After our presentation we were invited to establish a showcase of the assistive technologies under development on the IEEE island in Second Life. We have claimed our virtual space and will begin development soon. I will be posting more news and images from the showcase in coming weeks.

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