By Katie Ellis & Mike Kent
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Additional resources for Disability and New Media
0 Particularly in light of the expanding ethos of user-generated content, the spotlight on web accessibility must move beyond the domain of government regulation. ” We use this term to refer to the capacity to access information in the format of choice when working within the largely unstructured environment of user-generated content. 0 is to relinquish control by sharing ideas and building on what came before. 0 invites collaboration and participation, with the only barrier to full democratic engagement being a problem of access.
Students with hearing impairments can connect the recordings to hearing aids and microphones at home or use note-taking services to access the lectures at times convenient to the note-taker. As lecture-recording software such as the Lectopia platform moves into providing transcripts of lectures, people without any impairment will benefit by being able to search for keywords while people with disability will be able to access the material independently. In 1998, the same year that the first portable MP3 player was being launched, the Lectopia (or iLecture) lecture-recording and distribution system was introduced in Australia to enable students with disability better access to lecture materials.
Unfortunately, compliance with the standards suggested by the W3C is voluntary and there is no fully effective way to enforce it. The differing interpretations of legislation amongst judges and jurisdictions make it doubly problematic, with some areas recognizing disability discrimination acts and others arguing that online spaces do not fall within the definition of public spaces and are therefore deemed to be exempt. Further, most disability discrimination acts were established prior to the advent of the World Wide Web era and their concepts do not easily translate.