Television

BBC helps make the Web more accessible

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MUMBAI: BBC, along with computing and disability charity AbilityNet, has launched a new site designed to help people with disability to get the most out of the net.

My Web, My Way (bbc.co.uk/accessibility) equips anyone using their computer with the tools and understanding to enable them to make the most of the Internet, whatever their ability or disability, and regardless of the operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux) they use. The site provides advice and help to all those people who would benefit from making changes to their browser, operating system, or computer by giving advice on a wide range of specialist hardware such as alternative keyboards and mice, and software such as voice recognition, screen reading and word prediction.

BBC digital accessibility editor Jonathan Hassell says, "As a public service Website, bbc.co.uk's goal is to ensure that we serve all of our users. In creating My Web, My Way, our work with AbilityNet helps make this objective a reality."

AbilityNet's Web consultancy team senior consultant Jon Gooday says, "Customising your computer to meet your own needs - whether able-bodied or disabled, is the cornerstone of My Web, My Way. You wouldn't dream of driving a car before you'd adjusted your driving position and mirrors ? this site is a practical guide for doing the same with your computer." The site has already received endorsement from The Disability Rights Commission (DRC), RNIB and RNID.

DRC director of legal services Nick O'Brien says, "We're very pleased and encouraged by this excellent new resource from the BBC and AbilityNet. It explains in everyday language how the Web can be made more user-friendly. This new resource will help plug one of the gaps we identified in our report on Web accessibility, which found that disabled people need better training and greater awareness about the ways that computers can help make the Web easier to us."

AbilityNet is a charity that brings the benefits of computer technology to adults and children with all types of disabilities.

Through its network of eleven centres, it offers a comprehensive range of services to disabled people, professionals, employers and statutory bodies.

It provides free information and advice on any aspect of computer use by disabled people, including individual assessment of technology needs, adapted computer equipment with full training and technical support, a programme of awareness education, and consultancy for employers on system and workstation adaptations, as well as Website accessibility.

AbilityNet is dependent, both nationally and locally, on grants and donations from charitable trusts and companies to carry out its work on behalf of disabled people and those who support them.

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