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[Issue starts.]

* ISSUE 34, OCTOBER 2002.


Section one: News.

  1. Free and fair elections? - draft bill of rights on voting.
  2. First description service for analogue TV - BBC launches audio trial in November.
  3. Visugate opens - with ambitions to be the best online blindness resource.
  4. Opening up the arts - Museums and galleries tackle audio description.
  5. Heyanita hits Europe - US web speech firm opens London office.
  6. Copyright bill completes final stages - legal digital copying due to begin next year.

News in brief: 7: Touchy-feely � tactile mouse site; 8: Customer service � buying from high street stores; 9: Open learning � international guidelines; 10: Telly addicts � researchers seek viewers.

11: Special notice: Techshare 2002 Conference - Minister for Disabled People and e-Envoy to speak.

Section two: 'The Inbox' - Readers' forum. - 12: Awards analysed � Bafta reviews; 13: Email crazy � the net by email only; 14: Limited access � cost restrictions; 15: Remote control � accessible TV; 16: Peruvian project � help sought; 17: Generous allowance? - student assistance.

18: Section three: Focus � technology at home. - Smart living: Tamara Fletcher reports on the future for wired-up houses that can talk and help visually impaired people live independent lives.

19: Section four: Viewpoint � the developing world. - Divided we stand: Some 90 per cent of visually impaired people live in the developing world. DPM Weerakoddy describes the frustration many experience in trying to access potentially liberating technologies.

20: Section five: Higher education � course selection. - Many universities seem welcoming to blind people but the reality can be different, says Sabahattin Gucukoglu. Visually impaired students must take extreme care in choosing where to study.

[Contents ends.]



A Bill of Electoral Rights for People with Disabilities (http://fastlink.headstar.com/elec) has been drafted by disability rights activists and election administration officials from more than 24 countries as part of a global initiative to make political processes more accessible.

The bill aims to define and promote the rights of people with disabilities in relation to all aspects of the electoral process, in particular the right to a secret vote and full physical accessibility of polling stations. The content, agreed at a conference in Sweden on September 14 (see pdf document at http://fastlink.headstar.com/conf ), is intended to be a template for reforming electoral regulations in participating countries.

The move will be met with interest by disability campaigners in the UK who are tracking ongoing trials here of electronic voting after concerns about their potential lack of accessibility (see E-Access Bulletin, May 2002). There were also concerns about the reliability and correct use of special new tactile voting templates after the last UK general election (see E-Access Bulletin, August 2001).

According to Sarah Gull of the UK Electoral Commission, the Swedish meeting allowed participants to report progress in their own countries and discover ideas for good practice from others. "For example, there were some interesting ideas about polling stations. In the UK a voter has to go to their nominated polling station, but some countries � such as Australia � have experimented with mobile polling stations. In the Ukraine, they have set them up in hospitals," she said.

The conference was co-organised by International IDEA (http://www.idea.int), the independent institute for democracy and electoral assistance set up by 14 governments, with US-funded advisory body the International Foundation for Election Systems (http://www.ifes.org).


For the first time, UK viewers will be able to access audio-described programmes on ordinary analogue TV when BBC2 screens 'Free wheelers', 'The man who learned to see' and 'One in seven' from the recent 'What's your problem?' season of programmes on attitudes towards disability, on Tuesday 5 November (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/wyp).

Plans to develop further audio-described TV services over the next 10 years are a current bone of contention between blindness groups and those drafting new government regulations in a Communications Bill that will shape access to digital media for the visually impaired (see EAccess Bulletin, July and August 2002).

The RNIB says targets for accessible TV in the current draft of the bill (see http://fastlink.headstar.com/com) are too low, don't scale up fast enough, and aren't backed by a strong commitment by regulators.

According to Caroline Ellis of the RNIB, the November screenings are an opportunity for visually impaired people to experience audiodescribed TV and request more of the services. "People should write to the BBC. If enough people show support for audio-described analogue services it will be difficult for the BBC to resist doing more and increase pressure on the government to set higher targets for digital services," she said.

The RNIB is also targeting the House of Lords to make the necessary changes to the draft Bill. "There is a reasonable chance of a coalition between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories," said Ellis. The Liberal Democrats unanimously supported all key demands by the RNIB at their recent annual conference (http://fastlink.headstar.com/libdem)


A UK-based web site with ambitions to become the definitive online source of information on blindness launched this month.

Visugate (http://www.visugate.org) is initially offering 'metadata' descriptions in text and audio formats on existing information from 19 sources, including E-Access Bulletin, plus a search engine to aid navigation. Features planned for introduction in the months to come include information for special interest groups, job hunters and shoppers. Spin-off services include a Visual Impairment Learning Centre which will create and pilot web-based educational resources, and a Visual Impairment Library of Research (VILOR) (see E-Access Bulletin, December 2001 for further information on both these projects).

The launch took place on 10 October, World Sight Day (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/releases/pr79/en), an annual World Health Organisation event to promote the prevention and treatment of blindness. The day focused on the developing world, home to the majority of the world's blind people. For an insight into the mixture of hope and frustration experienced by visually impaired people in developing countries as they attempt to access technology see 'Divided we stand,' section four, this issue.


Despite their widespread adoption of internet and mobile technology to relay additional non-visual information to visitors, most museums and art galleries have yet to find the right information to relay to a visually impaired audience.

All museums now need to take steps to allow visually impaired visitors to appreciate their exhibitions to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. To help them tackle these issues, the Tate Modern gallery in London is hosting a series of four seminars with the first, 'Challenging ocularcentricity in the museum', due to take place on 1 November.

Among the biggest difficulties in creating non-visual descriptions come when trying to describe works of visual art which contain few references to the real world, says Tate Modern's special project curator Caro Howell. To help to home in a solution, the seminar will consider if museums can find an "aesthetic model that is embodied and includes smell, touch, taste, hearing, rhythm and balance".

The Tate sees itself as a leader in this field, having this month won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' first award for web site accessibility for its 'iMap' site. The site (http://www.tate.org.uk/imap) contains visually enhanced images and data which can be used to create raised images, derived from drawings by Picasso and Matisse.

To attend the seminars email Caro Howell at Caro.Howell@tate.org.uk or visit the web cast at

And for more on the Bafta accessibility awards see news, last issue and 'Awards analysed', Inbox section, this issue.


US voice technology company HeyAnita (http://www.heyanita.com) is the latest firm in the 'web speech' sector to make a move into the European market, following the arrival last year of Europe's first comprehensive voice-accessed web portal Eckoh (http://www.eckoh.com - see E-Access Bulletin August 2001 and September 2001).

The speech-web sector is still not taking off in Europe however, according to one observer. "It isn't an increasing market in my view. Europe is quite far behind and dare I say they're getting worse," says Bob McDowell business and technology consultant to Bloor Research. Mc Dowell has predicted in the past that Europe as a whole is at least 18 months behind the US in the speech web field.

"The European market is not one market � you've got a very different climate in each country, and one needs a much more country by country focus," he said. "It is also much more highly regulated which is an inhibiting factor."

HeyAnita's expansion has so far gone as far as a small 'London' office near Newbury � actually some way outside the capital. "We anticipate organic growth into other countries � most likely Germany, France, Spain and Southern Africa," a spokesperson told E-Access Bulletin. "Interest in the first six weeks has been very high."


A bill to allow the limited non-profit production of accessible digital versions of copyright material passed through its final Parliamentary stages on 11 October (see also E-Access Bulletin, March 2002 and July 2002).

The Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Bill is expected to be given Royal Assent in the next few months and come into force in the first half of next year, according to RNIB campaigns officer David Mann.

The government is planning a consultation next month to create guidance on the new law. Meanwhile, copyright holders have invited producers of accessible formats
(http://www.rnib.org.uk/campaign/copyright_policy.htm#1) to a meeting in December.

According to Mann, "This could be a threat or an opportunity, depending on the nature of their proposals."


*7: TOUCHY-FEELY: A new web site, 'ifeelpixel,' created by a

group of specialist companies and organisations, is offering a test version of software which will allow users to 'feel' images on the screen using tactile mice. A second test version is due before Christmas. For system requirements and to download a copy, see: http://www.ifeelpixel.com/download

*8: CUSTOMER SERVICE: E-Access Bulletin is interested in hearing

from any of our UK-based visually impaired readers on experiences they have had in buying computers, mobile phones or any pieces of technology or gadgets from high street chain stores. Are the staff properly trained to handle enquiries about access issues? Please email the editor Dan Jellinek on dan@headstar.com

*9: OPEN LEARNING: Draft guidelines to help developers create

online learning packages suitable for the visually impaired and those with other disabilities was published late last month by the international standards body IMS Global Learning: http://www.imsproject.org/accessibility/accessiblevers The guidelines were debated at the first meeting of the UK's 'CETIS' higher education standards body's accessibility group in Salford this week:

*10: TELLY ADDICTS: Visually impaired people are being invited to

assist with research at City University in London into their television usage and the problems they encounter. The research team is keen to try out its voice-activated alternative to the on-screen guides which pose access problems for digital television users. Those interested should contact Fraser Hamilton on f.m.hamilton@city.ac.uk

[Section one ends.]

*11: SPECIAL NOTICE: Techshare 2002 Conference

This major international conference, organised by the Royal National Institute of the Blind, will take place on 21-22 November at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham, UK.

Techshare is for anyone with an interest in how technology facilitates independent access to education, employment, lifelong learning and society for blind and partially sighted people. Maria Eagle, Minister for Disability will be opening the conference and a new key speaker Andrew Pinder, the E-envoy has just been confirmed. They will join Heinz Wolff, TV celebrity and Professor of Bioengineering at Brunel and Ian Pearson, BT's Futurologist as our key speakers for this year. Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit a wide range of exhibitors. For more see:
email: techshare@rnib.org.uk or telephone (inside UK) 0870 013 9555 or outside UK +44 0121 665 4230

{Special notice ends.]


*12: AWARDS ANALYSED: E-Government Bulletin reader Ian

Lloyd writes in with a personal assessment of the sites which were short-listed for the first ever British Academy of Film and Television Arts accessibility awards (http://fastlink.headstar.com/bafta ) (see also news, last month and this issue).

"I was somewhat surprised, they were a mixed bag," he said. "The first finalist - the UK Audio Network - was exactly the kind of innovative use of sound that I would expect to get a well deserved pat on the back. However the second, I-map [the eventual winner], was not exactly intuitive. For example, the page title - 'Welcome' � begged the question, welcome to what exactly? Tabbing through the links gave me: 'Introduction' (again, to what I ask?) and so on.

"Nomination three was Foodlink, which has a nice clean design, but again faults were spotted. For example, the options labelled 1 to 4 were not read out in sequence, and some of the 'alt' tag attributes were incorrect. Nomination four is the BBC's 'Ouch!' site. Anyway, the first thing that greeted me was 'homepage' as the page's title tag. It would be much nicer as 'home page' � two separate words - so the screen reader pronounced it correctly, instead of 'hommapuj'. Until we have greater control over pronunciation, I would suggest breaking words like these into two words that the screen reader understands.

"In the body of the page, there were some links that could have benefited from some additional help in the form of a title attribute - in particular the links that were people's names. In defence of Ouch, with several updates a week it's understandable that the occasional title attribute gets missed out. All in all though, is this the best in accessibility? I am not so sure." [Further comments to inbox@headstar.com]

*13: EMAIL CRAZY: Computer science student Sabahattin

Gucukoglu, also the author of a feature in this week's bulletin, has further information about accessing the internet by email, following our piece last issue on Google's new email search option.

"There are many good reasons to use email only to do everything on the internet," he says. "Some users in third-world countries or with otherwise limited-bandwidth connections, or those in organisations which provide email only, have no other option. Others find that waiting on a connection to an outside server is best left up to a robot, keeping them from lagging online.

"It also brings immense benefits to the blind, especially to those who enjoyed the older operating systems or using portable devices. Some just find that the format of the e-mail is more appealing in plain text than as presented in their browsers.

"A wealth of information on this topic called "ACCMail" (Access by Mail), including an email list and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, has been assembled by retired IBM programmer Gerald Boyd at:

*14: LIMITED ACCESS: A bulletin reader the US, Jim Corcoran, who

lives in upstate New York, has some further telling comments on internet access: "As you are probably aware, many visually impaired people are living on a fixed low income and if they are lucky enough to have a computer as I am, may not be able to afford internet access as another monthly charge on a limited income.

"There are several free email accounts out there such as I'm using which have extremely limited or no internet access. Therefore, links are almost useless. Most people assume we have unlimited internet access. Not so."

*15: REMOTE CONTROL: Tracy Duckett, a sixth-former from

Leighton Buzzard, would like assistance from bulletin readers for a school project to design and make a remote control for a radio to be used by blind or partially sighted people. "I would like to receive any relevant ideas for example materials to use, how the buttons are shaped, or Braille samples." Please email her directly on: tracy.duckett.freedom@02.co.uk

*16: PERUVIAN PROJECT: Gina Bardelli of Peru, a regular reader,

writes: "I would like to identify sources of assistance to create an information and communications centre for the blind in Lima, Peru. I work as deputy director for youth and education services in the local authority of one of the districts of Lima, San Borja. Among the tasks in my remit is the running of the district library, through which we strive to provide services to the blind in the form of talking books or through sighted readers for those visually impaired people who need a more individualised service.

"We have obtained a demo of the IBM Home Page Reader which we have installed in a computer terminal connected to internet. However this service has serious limitations and we aim at creating, with the help of volunteers a high quality service for visually impaired people. I hope I can get helpful advice or assistance to turn our dream into reality." [Responses please to inbox@headstar.com]

*17: GENEROUS ALLOWANCE? Our focus last issue on access to

learning (story 13, section four, September issue), and specifically our coverage of the disabled students allowance (DSA), struck a chord with several readers.

Steve Brazier from Nottingham said: "I am visually impaired and began an Open University Course in February, aiming for a diploma in German. I was sent the DSA forms and filled them in, not expecting too much. I had already taught myself to use a PC and had access software.

"I was assessed at Lincoln University's DART centre in January. Although I didn't think I needed much, the centre not only recommended a laptop but also an upgrade to most of my existing system. They also recommended specialist learning software that meant I could scan in text and abstract vocabulary - something I had been helped with before by my wife reading marked up textbooks out while I touch-typed everything into the PC, which took hours.

"The whole list was approved and I got the new equipment in April. It has been extremely valuable and has made me more or less totally independent in my studies. Most impressive was the way they saw through my 'modest' request and realised I was just getting by before. I hope this may be of interest in persuading other VI students to fill in the form."

However, not all students have had good experiences. Jane Fleming of Whittlesey said: "I am a UK postgraduate, part-time, doing an MA in Urban Geography at London External (correspondence part of University of London). I do not receive a penny in DSA, nor any help from the extensive student support part of the Senate. The only assistance I have had is the grant from the RNIB to upgrade my screenreader software. Students come in all shapes, abilities and sizes."

[Section two ends].


by Tamara Fletcher tamara@headstar.com

Imagine waking up in the morning and using a single control panel by the bed to make a phone call; turn the radio on; start the bath running (safe in the knowledge the taps will turn themselves off at the right time); and switch on the kettle. Welcome to life in a smart home.

As well as convenience, smart technologies have the potential to make the home a much safer and more convenient place for people with visual impairments. Audio interfaces, for example, could tell a user when the bath is too hot or give audio prompts when the oven is left on.

On leaving the house, a signal from a key fob could turn on the security alarm, close any open windows, and make sure all the doors are locked. If there is a gas leak, or if a ring on the cooker blows out, detectors in the house would turn the gas off at the mains activating a warning alarm. In addition, any of the features of a smart home could eventually be linked to the internet via wireless connections, and hence be accessed by or communicate with a user via mobile phone or workplace computer.

The John Grooms housing association
(http://www.johngrooms.org.uk), a charity providing 1,200 accessible homes to people with disabilities, is optimistic about the future of smart homes. "Technology will get cheaper. We are always pushing for councils to be more aware of the needs of their disabled constituents. I think it should take off in the next few years," a spokesperson said.

A jointly funded smart homes project with Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth University and John Grooms has seen the development of six two-bed flats, three with full smart technology and three partly developed and adapted to individual needs, at the north end of the city. Presently, none of these cater for people with visual impairment specifically but have many functions which could be of benefit to this group.

Rather than twisting taps, for example, a pre-programmed button can measure out exactly how much water you need to fill a cup. Doors can recognise when they are obstructed, and entrance systems do not require awkward locks.

Social smart homes are not widely available, however, and roll out of non-commercial applications in housing is slow. Dr John Gill, chief scientist at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, told E-Access Bulletin: "The industry is beset by lack of a single standard for the network � currently there are a vast number of different competing and incompatible systems."

Gill says retrofitting an old house is a "nightmare" due to excessive cabling. The life expectancy of technology is another problem for people with disabilities because users would expect the system to stay current for at least 10-15 years, whereas the suppliers could update or switch systems within a year.

"Demand for the government to scrap analogue TV and switch to digital may help the roll out of smart technologies in the home because the common standard used for the TV will be used for everything else," he said.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation
(http://www.jrf.org.uk/housingtrust/smarthomes) in conjunction with Sussex University (http://fastlink.headstar.com/smart), are currently running a series of demonstration projects with disabled people to assess reliability of available smart technologies in the home.

According to the foundation's policy and practice manager Julie Cowans, "smart technologies have a huge potential role if suppliers and manufacturers can get to grips with the user interface thing. The devices are not all user friendly yet � you need a degree in computer programming to operate some of this stuff."

Another problem is cost, Cowans says. "Suppliers and installers give bespoke systems to each user and they are incredibly expensive � the industry looks to the commercial entertainment market where there's a wealth of products available but they've drawn a blank with the domestic market. A housing association would struggle to find a realistic way to support the costs," she says.

"Five years down the line things will get better, when it becomes less of a niche market. Currently the very biggest players like BT, Siemens and Echelon feel that the market is not mature enough to devote resources to," she says.

An example of one of the foundation's projects in conjunction with Edinvar housing association is the Edinvar flat in Edinburgh (http://www.gdewsbury.ukideas.com/Edinvarflatplan.html). The organisation is also in talks with York University about the creation of a national centre of home automation.

Even once the technology is 100 per cent reliable, for smart housing in a social context to grow in the UK as it has in certain northern European countries, the government may need to be convinced that savings in institutional care can offset hardware and support costs.

One US smart homes company, Automated Living (http://www.automatedliving.com), prides itself in the apparent simplicity of its voice technology products. "Someone who is not sighted would need help setting the system up, but it's so simple to do even somebody's mother could do it. Our systems do not rely on dictation technology but use speaker independent technology programmed with a very narrow syntax, which drives down the margin for error," a spokesman said. The company's most expensive product is 399 US dollars.

However the Rowntree foundation's experience has been very different, says Cowans. "There are a lot of exciting things in the pipeline with voice technologies and voice activated systems but we felt things were still a little too unreliable. It took one of the people in the demo 50 hours to get used to the system he trialled, and then he got a cold and it couldn't recognise his voice."

[Section three ends.]


by DPM Weerakkody dpmw@mail.pdn.ac.lk

The prospect of further globalisation makes it imperative that visually impaired people, regardless of their nationality, have access to technology allowing them to operate on equal terms with their sighted counterparts. But achieving this will be tough, particularly in developing countries, home to some 90 per cent of the world's visually impaired people, according to the World Health Organisation, with over nine million living in India; six million in China and seven million in Africa.

Screen magnification tools, Braille displays and embossers, and specially designed input devices have made it possible for visually impaired people to use computers, offering unprecedented possibilities in education, employment and recreation. But, for most visually impaired people, the costs of obtaining and using such devices remain prohibitively high, not least because of the added cost of training and software upgrades.

It follows that those from poorer countries are faced with the biggest problems, made worse by the fact that visually impaired people in developing countries tend come from the more economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Among the most costly items of access technology are Braille writing equipment and high tech devices, such as Braille displays and embossers. It is not true, as some would say, that these devices are of no special use to a blind person unless he were also deaf. As a university lecturer, for instance, I find it extremely awkward to read teaching notes or record research interviews using synthetic speech. Furthermore, hard copy Braille is too inflexible to permit regular updating or adaptation to unplanned classroom conditions.

Even with hard copy Braille, the source of literacy for thousands, costs have risen astronomically in recent years, partly as a result of people in the West switching to audio technology. Hard copy Braille is supplied to users in the developed world a price well above the cost price charged by Western organisations, such as the RNIB, who continue to offer generous discounts to local readers. Nevertheless the majority of the Braille community in the developing world cannot afford to adopt the alternatives.

As a Classics professor at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka (http://www.pdn.ac.lk), I am fortunate to receive a salary of around 200 UK pounds a month which I have saved to purchase the equipment I need. Even with my salary, however, I have only been able to do this because I have been prepared to sacrifice many other good things of life which money could buy.

The equipment I use includes two personal computers (one at home and one at the office), on Apollo II synthesizer (remember the DOS days), HAL and Window-Eyes screen-reader software (with almost annual upgrades), a scanner and Open Book Unbound (with upgrades), four-track cassette recorders and a Mountbatten Brailler. I have also bought a number of multi-volume Greek and Latin books in Braille at colossal prices, and whatever I could not purchase I have copied with my own hands from less than perfect dictations by sighted persons whom I pay.

I do not approve of what many people do in India, namely to take software like JAWS and Kurzweil Reader, pirate them, and sell them to blind people at a tenth of the retail price. I have done whatever I can to stop people in Sri Lanka from pirating access software. I have been successful so far, but the result is that only a handful of people have computers with HAL.

All in all then, at present, access technology is an unaffordable and so ultimately frustrating experience for the great majority of visually impaired people in the developing world

[Section four ends.]


by Sabahattin Gucukoglu

Like many blind people, in choosing a university to attend I was drawn to the ideal projected by my favoured institution of integration, involvement and equality with my non-disabled peers. Failure in my fresher's year as a computer science student, however, has led me to doubt the decision-making process that many, perhaps most, visually impaired people use when choosing where to study.

There are too many factors contributing to my downfall to describe them all here. But high among them is that the 'gut reaction' which informed my choice of university and course was inappropriate.

Like most would-be students, my choice of university was made largely on the grounds of personal preferences, false assurances and a lack of attention to the detail given in the prospectus. But, I have learned, going through this standard decision-making process is not necessarily enough for a visually impaired person. To maximise the chances of success, you need to do more than examine the paperwork and attend a few routine meetings about your special needs.

One must be cautious in basing one's decision on the apparent helpfulness of a special needs assessment. I have learned that it may have little to do with the university's provision once you are there. My own assessment was very promising, but I soon discovered you are pretty much out in the wild once it is over. Alarm bells too should ring if you hear that your department and your special needs group hardly talk to each other, because it is crucial they are in close co-operation.

Be wary too if you are hear that exceptional intelligence is the only thing which will pull you through. If, like me, you are optimistic and obliging, you might find yourself working unduly hard just to prove an inadequate course is actually okay. I'm still trying to figure out whether I was wrong or just plain stupid.

To make a proper informed decision you need to scrutinise the detail of special needs support on offer and listen to the experiences of other students. You, like me, must realise you are not the only one to have had these experiences.

The consensus among the visually impaired students I talked to was that universities either understand their needs or they do not. For example, a university needs to know how visually impaired people digest course material. Rather than have an explanation flashed up in front of them like sighted person, visually impaired students would often prefer to have it all there and read it at a later stage. If these requirements are known before a visually impaired student arrives, they would not be difficult to arrange.

Despite my misgivings, however, I am pleased to say my university is showing signs that it is motivated to change. It is working in response to the extension of the Disability Discrimination Act to education and it has bought in expensive technology and promised to make things work for me. They have offered me a place on an e-business course which it is hoped will present less obstacles to accessibility.

In my opinion, my failure was the price of being a guinea pig, and I will remain sceptical about the idea that any organisation proposing to help people with disabilities can guarantee anything.

[Section five ends.]


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Copyright 2002 Headstar Ltd. http://www.headstar.com ISSN 1476-6337
The Bulletin may be reproduced in full as long as all parts including this copyright notice are included. Sections of the report may be quoted as long as they are clearly sourced as 'taken from e-access bulletin, a free monthly email newsletter', and our web site address http://www.e-accessibility.com is also cited.


Editor - Dan Jellinek dan@headstar.com Deputy editor - Phil Cain phil@headstar.com News editor - Derek Parkinson derek@headstar.com Reporter - Tamara Fletcher tamara@headstar.com Editorial advisor - Kevin Carey humanity@atlas.co.uk

[Issue ends.]