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Get Safe Online.

Get Safe Online will help you protect yourself against internet threats. Advice to help protect your PC, yourself and family and your business.


No Software Patents.

The threat of the EU allowing large corporations to obtain Software Patents is a real danger to any software manufacture and especially to small Assitive Technology providers and Open Source software. Visit NoSoftwarePatents.com to find our more, get the latest news and see how you can help fight this menace.


Links for Accessible IT and Electronic Assistive Technology.

Here are some of the many useful websites. Note that some are UK specific services.


AbilityNet and ITCH Network.

AbilityNet are probably the first place to go in order to find out about IT-focused Assistive Technology and Accessible IT. They provide a wide range of services including advice, factsheets, assessments, training, consultancy and assistive technology. Both individuals and professionals will find a wealth of information on their site and their My Computer, My Way! website gives clear simple instructions on tuning up a Windows PC for easy access.

ITCH - IT Can Help is a network of volunteers who offer Free local computer assistance to disabled people in the UK. This invaluable service helps many including people who rely on their computers. It is a BCS Disability Group project. They also need volunteers to provide the service so why not see how you can help? An online copy of the ITCH leaflet is available on the ITCH web site.

ITCH and AbilityNet have join forces to combine their strengths and now offer a more streamlined service from a single freephone number 0800 269545.


Ability Magazine and the BCS Disability Group.

Ability Magazine is the periodical that is 'Campaigning for Accessible IT' and contains news and articles for users and practitioners. The British Computer Society Disability Group is a specialist group of the BCS focusing on Accessible IT and bring interested parties together.


ACE Centre.

The ACE Centre provides a focus for the use of technology with the communication and educational needs of young people with physical and communication difficulties. They offer a wide variety of services including in-depth individual assessments, information, R&D, and specialist training for parents and professionals. They also started the OATS project.


Windows and Linux Accessibility sites.

The Microsoft Accessibility site has general accessibility resource including step by step tutorials on making Windows and Micrsoft application software accessible to home an business users. For Linux users the Linux Accessibility Resource Site (LARS) looks most useful.


EmpTech and FATStuff.

EmpTech provides the latest news and reviews on a massive range of Assistive Technology kit. It aims to provide information resources on assistive technologies that are designed to help those with specific difficulties or disabilities work and study more effectively. Oh yes it does list PowerTalk. FATStuff provides a directory of Free Assistive Technology Software



Assist-I.T. works in partnership with learning, teaching, training providers and public access centres to provide the best practice in inclusive learning through the use of assistive and adaptive technology. The web site contains a wealth of inofrmation and news on Assitive Technology


FAST - Foundation for Assitive Technology.

FAST 'works with the Assistive Technology (AT) community, to get well-designed useful inventions onto the market faster.'. They have a strong focus on AT in the Health Services and provide a database of UK AT projects and a newsletter.


Drake Music Project.

The Drake Music Project enables disabled folk to perform music with the aid of computer technology. They "passionately believe that everyone should have the opportunity to share the joy of music-making".



Dasher is a totally unique text input method provided by software. Users select letters from a continually changing stream of choices based on the text entered up to that moment. It requires vision and a way of moving a cursor and nothing else. It is also free Open Source software.


Text only web browsers.

The original Lynx is aimed at visually-impaired users but the availability of good screen readers mean it is less popular now. Links is aimed at visual users who prefer a fast text only browsing experience.


Open Source, FLOSS and free software.


General information.

See Open Source Initiative (OSI) for Open Source and Free Software Foundation for free software. AFFS are the main campaigner in the UK and the Open Source Consortium OSC represent community in the UK. The GNU Project develop the GNU/Linux systems based on the Linux kernel.


Software Forges and Indexes.

Many FLOSS projects congregate at 'software forges' of which SourceForge is probably the most popular. Savannah hosts FSF GNU software projects. Freshmeat is a broad index of all kinds of open source software. OSSWin lists FLOSS for windows



Schoolforge is a growing repository of open content resources and FLOSS for use in UK education. It is also a WIKI based community.



The INGOTS are high quality and progressive certificates designed to promote assessment of the technical skills needed to operate popular office software, both Open Source and non Open Source. The goal of the INGOTs is to provide an equivalent in ICT of the high expectations that we take for granted in written communication, and to enable students to learn about global ICT developments from first hand experience, giving them the potential to make useful contributions back to the community


Squeakland and Squeak.

Squeak is an educational delight and a great toy to play with. It is a paint program that you can bring 'alive' with scripts. It is much like Logo but 'with knobs on'. The underlying programming language is squeak, a FLOSS smalltalk so it is not surprising that the inspiring Alan Kay is a leading light.


OSS Watch.

OSS Watch provides unbiased advice and guidance about free and open source software for UK further and higher education.


Government guidelines on FLOSS usage.

This Policy Document provides guidance on using FLOSS within the Government. This DTI Fact Sheet provides guidance to businesses. Becta have produced this report on Schools using FLOSS and reveals how much can be saved, Millions according to TES.


Web hosting.

UKFSN provide free hosting services for FLOSS projects, including this site.


FireFox web browser and Thunderbird mail client.

Firefox and Thunderbird are two related Open Source programs that I would not want to be without. They are free replacements for Internet Explorer and Outlook Express from the Mozilla Foundation that are easier to use, have better features, are smaller and more secure.


Python and Plone.

No not the snakes or british comedy troupe (though both are wonderful) but rather Python is the Open Source programming language that PowerTalk was programmed in.

Plone is a powerful open source Content Management System and is itself based on the ZoPe web application server.


Open Content and Open Collaborative Communities.


Creative Commons.

A similar concept to FLOSS, Creative Commons covers media other than software. It provides protection and freedom for authors and artists. Yahoo have an interesting web search for Creative Commomons content.


Notable examples.

DMOZ is a very useful open directory (PowerTalk is listed on it). In fact DMOZ is the source of Google's directory.
Wikipedia the online encylopeadia that is community edited. It has very broad content coverage having lost its initial 'techy' bias.
Connexions is a rapidly growing collection of free scholarly materials and a powerful set of free software tools for building them.
Demos have many interesting articles on Open Democracy including Wide Open.
Democrotising Innovation by Eric Von Hippel explores Open innovation.


More good things on the web.


Finding general information online.

One hardly need mention Google for searching the web and newsgroups but it appears to have become a little commercial and biased lately.
BBC news is excellent for general news, Guardian Online for technical news and slashdot for ultra nerdy news
DMOZ is a very useful open directory (PowerTalk is listed on it). In fact DMOZ is the source of Google's directory.


Odds 'n' Ends.

South Devon Chilli Farm the name says it all.
Music Thing is a fantastic blog full of fasinating and wacky music technology, both old and new.


Fullmeasure technical introductions.

Introduction to Web Site Features and Development

This Overview of Web Site Features provides an introduction to the kinds of features that can be provided on a web site to make it useful or just more interesting. It also describes the tools and skills needed to create an maintain a website.


RSS feeds.

RSS Feeds are 'web pages' that are designed to be consumed by software and contain lists such as news headlines. Programs call Aggregators can be used to collect the items from all your favorite feeds and then advise you of new entries that you have not yet read. You can usually click-through from the item to a web page with the full story. RSS feed are becoming very popular partly due to the fact that blogging software create them easily. The BBC have a good set of RSS news feeds. See this introduction to RSS feeds for more details.


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