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Updated no 10 - 2018

News from Funka
Seminar during Funka Accessibility Days. Photo

Early Bird discount for Funka Accessibility Days 2019

9-10 April 2019, we welcome the world leaders in accessibility and UX to Stockholm to inspire and share knowledge with you – helping you to create solutions that benefit all users. As the European Web Accessibility Directive has now entered into force, it's even more important to keep up to date on what's going on and what's the latest news when it comes to development, content and design. Until 31 December, you will get an Early Bird discount. Register now, so you're sure to get your seat.

Tallinn old town cityscape. Photo

Accessible tourism in Estonia

With a focus on tourism, the built environment and transportation, Funka is providing services to the Estonian Tourist Board.

People walking on a street. Photo

Transposition process of the Web Accessibility Directive is still going on

The Web Accessibility Directive entered into force in all EU member states on September 23rd. But in some countries, including Sweden, the transposition process is somewhat delayed.

People studying. Photo

Oskarshamn municipality wants to communicate in an accessible manner

How do you write in plain language, how do you make correct links and how do you publish in an accessible manner? The municipality of Oskarshamn in Sweden needed for a training session regarding these issues, and hired Funka to learn more about communicative accessibility.

Group meeting. Photo

Practical tests of tools for citizen dialogue in Norwegian municipalities

Funka's assignment for the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation is entering a new exciting phase. Our earlier investigation led us to carry out tests of the implementation of tools for citizen dialogue in Norwegian municipalities.

Two persons in front of a computer. Photo

Värnamo municipality took important steps towards an accessible website

Värnamo municipality let Funka review Word document templates for PDF files to be published on the web. That is one of many important steps towards meeting the new requirements that came with the Web Accessibility Directive.

Several people using smartphones on a street. Photo

Observations from the big city jungle

As more and more people use smart phones, some problems are also created by the users becoming too obsessed with what's on the screen, instead of paying attention to their surroundings. Raouf Sormunen, Accessibility expert with a special focus on assistive technology at Funka, urges all of us to lift our eyes and start talking to each other.

Three questions
Peter Pettersson. Photo

Three Questions for Peter Pettersson, Sales Representative, focusing on Customer Care and Support for BrowseAloud

In times of Siri, Alexa and other AI services, why is BrowseAloud important?

BrowseAloud is so much more than just a tool for reading. It's a real assistive technology tool, not just a listening function. Examples of features are that the word being read is highlighted and gives the reader visual support. You can also customise its look and speed. BrowseAloud works on all websites that are connected to it, and can read html, pdf and word. The text can be enlarged, focused and toned down.

The big target group is users who would benefit from assistive technology but who do not have their own resources. 20 to 25 percent of the adult population in Sweden can not assimilate the content of a regular newspaper. The need for reading tools is very large among people who, for various reasons, have trouble reading. These include persons with reading and writing difficulties, with a mother tongue other than Swedish, who have visual impairments or who have learning and cognition problems. Although Sweden generally has good assistive technology resources, there are still very large groups that do not have access to client-based tools. Then BrowseAloud can be of great help.

BrowseAloud has been on the Swedish market for 11 years, why is it still important to meet users?

BrowseAloud has developed a lot during these 11 years and most of the developments are thanks to feedback from users. Of course, the purpose of the tool is to cater for people’s reading needs and then we need to meet the persons who being helped by it to know how they want Browse Aloud to work. It's always very fun and educational to meet users and hear how much they are benefiting from the tool. We participate in fairs and exhibitions, and also invite organisations and individuals to meetings, focus groups and tests. Every time I sell, I know that the web becomes a bit more accessible to users.

How does Texthelp, the company behind BrowseAloud, work with product development and market intelligence?

Funka took BrowseAloud to Sweden after that individuals and organisations had complained for a long time about existing services. BrowseAloud was launched in Sweden thanks to the disability movement!

Texthelp works, just like Funka, near its users. Basically, there is a great deal of knowledge from dyslexia tools like Read & Write, which is used on a large scale in schools in many countries. For several years, they have specifically worked with built-in tools in Chrome and other platforms, as well as library services for people with reading and writing difficulties.

Not to forget, Funka offers BrowseAloud free of charge to all disability organisations in Sweden. It's a way for us to give back a little bit to the disability movement.

Other news
User fitted with VR goggles, headphones and a gaming controller. Photo

VR is helping people with disabilities conquer overwhelming situations

The Endeavour Foundation program in Australia uses virtual reality to help people living with a disability practise real-life situations.

Glassouse. Photo

These glasses can help you use technology without hands

Glassouse is an assistive device that can be worn like a pair of glasses and allows people with limited mobility to use their smartphones and computers hands-free, for them to get a better chance to interact with technology.

Ricardo Teixeira demonstrates the phone app. Photo

Portugese app helps disabled persons fight for accessibility rights

Fed up with the obstacle course of Lisbon’s narrow footways and stairs in doorways, Portugese wheelchair user Ricardo Teixeira have developed a phone app that makes it possible to instantly report accessibility infringements to authorities.

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