MY WEB MY WAYPublic service organizations such as the BBC have to ensure that they serve all of their users. The BBC is supporting web accessibility through its My Web My Way website, which has been developed and is maintained through a partnership between BBC Online and AbilityNet.
As a result, the bbc.co.uk home page is now easy to navigate and more intuitive for users, whatever their access route.
The My Web My Way site caters for those with visuals, hearing , motor , cognitive or learning impairments as well as with minor vision impairments who would not consider themselves to have a disability.
It provides advice and help to people who would benefit from making changes to their browser, keyboard and mouse settings, operating system or computer, in order that they can view BBC online and the wider web in a more accessible way.
Examples of what this means in real terms for users include:
- Enabling people with motor impairments to read broadsheet quality news on news.bbc.co.uk without having to actually turn to broadsheet pages.
- Enabling children with motor and cognitive disabilities to access CBBC online games with "Switch" technology.
- Enabling deaf and hard of hearing people to "listen" to The Archers via transcripts on bbc.co.uk/archers.
The site also provides a guide to getting the most out of accessibility features that BBC New Media is incorporating into BBC Online, as part of the organization's commitment to ensure its services address the needs of disabled users.
Risks from Global Political UpheavalNew research has found that the level of political risk has risen in more countries than it has declined. This comes as no surprise to a world that is still growing accustomed to the recent changes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
The research measured the political risk of 211 countries and territories based on the level of risks such as currency inconvertibility and exchange transfer; strikes, riots and civil commotion. war, civil war, sovereign non-payment, political interference, supply chain disruption and legal and regulatory risk.
The findings demonstrated the negative effects of the global financial crisis on the economies of nations with traditionally low levels of risk. At the same time the continued emergence of several markets in Africa where more international trade and investment is occurring has led to a greater need for political risk insurance cover.
The annual research has seen a nearly 30% increase in the number of countries in the middle of risk rankings- the medium low to medium high categories-as these countries have become more active in the world economy and their prosperity has increased.
In addition, recent research from Coface, a global firm which specializes in trade risk management, pointed to continued tension between sovereign risks in the euro zone and the financing of growth in the emerging countries. In 2011, a key issue for country risk will be private debt monitoring and growth financing.
The Coface research, covering 156 countries (of which 28 are classified as advanced countries) found that the winners of the financial crisis are the emerging countries, which will continue their solid growth trajectory in 2011 with slight slowdown:6.2% compared to 6.7% in 2010.
Tougher US regulation for oil and gas in 2011Despite fears of tougher regulation following the Deepwater Horizon spill, the global and gas industry is optimistic of an upturn in business in 2011, according to a recent report.
Deep Water Ahead? The Outlook for the Oil and Gas Industry in 2011 was written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by GL Noble Denton. The report is based on a survey of almost 200 top level industry leaders including CEOs, other board level executives and policymakers.
The research reveals that price volatility has failed to dent the industry's appetite for investment in new exploration and market opportunities. Nearly one-third of the executives surveyed see South-East Asia as offering the greatest opportunities over the coming year, with that proportion rising to 58% when combined with China and the Far East.
But nearly three quarters of respondents expect regulation to become tougher in North America in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill. The long term impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill will also affect companies' operational strategy , especially as their safety record will become a more important factor in gaining access to global reserves.
John Wishart, president of GL Noble Denton, said: " This report forecasts an upturn in industry growth, with cautious optimism. But key players in the industry will need to find more innovative solutions to mitigate risk, while operating more efficiently and sustainably."