The blossoming of multimedia content on the Internet in recent years has revolutionised personal interactions, business communications, and other online services. But for millions of Internet users with sensory disabilities, many of the communication tools remain frustratingly out of their reach.

Arnoud van Wijk, disability projects coordinator for the Internet Society (ISOC), who was born deaf, knows only too well the frustration Internet users with a disability experience from many current Internet services.

"During the past few years, the use of the Internet as a modern replacement for telephony has accelerated," said van Wijk. "The ability to include more media in calls provides an excellent opportunity to include people with disabilities in online conversational services. But too often discriminatory voice telephony services are simply re-created."

With this motivation, van Wijk and other researchers have documented a technique for "real-time text" combining existing Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards to enable text streaming over Internet Protocol networks.


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