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8 August 2004

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Promotional website now accessible by blind and deaf people

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The Positively Peterborough promotional website has adopted world-leading technology to make it accessible to people who are blind, deaf-blind or suffer from limited eyesight.

The site – www.positivelypeterborough.org – now offers visitors the opportunity to switch to a specially created version that offers a range of options to assist communication with people who have impaired vision and/or hearing.

Positively Peterborough

The options range from viewing information at enlarged text sizes and in different text and background colour combinations through to activating specialist equipment that can reproduce information through a voice synthesiser, Braille reader keypad and Braille printer.

The new developments have been funded by national regeneration agency English Partnerships as part of its support for a campaign to promote Peterborough as a dynamic business location with high quality lifestyle benefits.

“This is a significant development,” said Gloria Milne, chief executive of Greater Peterborough Investment Agency, which spearheads the promotional campaign. “It provides a valuable resource for many thousands of unsighted and deaf people while also demonstrating Peterborough’s leadership in adopting latest technology.”

Deafblind UK chief executive Jackie Hicks welcomed the move. “Deafblind UK congratulates English Partnerships on taking the initiative to improve access to its 'positivelypeterborough' website for people with low vision,” she said. “For many visually impaired people, especially those who are hearing impaired as well, accessing information is a major struggle and their quality of life is poorer as a result.

“This new site is a major step forward in demonstrating that, with the appropriate technology and the right approach, deafblind, blind and visually impaired people can be included on an equal basis to anyone else.”

The modifications have been introduced by T2 Studios, the Peterborough-based design consultancy that created the Positively Peterborough website. New media director James Lewis said the high-tech software systems mean the site conforms to the highest triple A rating established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

“Only a small number of websites have to date achieved this level of accessibility. This achievement is especially significant since the national headquarters of Deafblind UK and a major regional centre for the Royal National Institute for the Blind are both located in Peterborough.”

July 2003




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