IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

Linda Petty

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Table of Contents

Alternative Access to the Internet

Welcome!

Overview of Workshop

The Internet

Original Internet Architecture

Enter the World Wide Web

Exponential Growth

Standards for Development

Surfers with Disabilities

Access to the Internet

What are the Barriers?

Video: DO-It

Three Components Needed to Effectively Interface

The Browser

The Major Browsers

Keyboard access is essential

Essential Browser Functions

Keyboard Access of Netscape and IE

Integrated Email Software

Keyboard access

Mice and trackballs

Mice and trackballs

Alternative Keyboards

Programmable Keyboards

Sites with Intellikeys Overlay files

Programmable Keyboards

On- Screen keyboards

Visual Dynamic Keyboard

Switch Scanning

Customized Scanning Arrays

Morse Code

Voice Recognition

Web Specific Voice Recognition- Mac

Web Specific Voice Recognition -PC

Processing Supports

Processing Supports

Screen Enlargement

ZoomText Extra

Screen Reading

Screen Reading Browser Displays

Screen Reading Browser Displays

Screen Reading Browser Pages

Specialized Browsers

Specialized Browsers for Low or No Vision

Other Web Interfaces

WebTV Access

WebTV Access

Access strategies for WebTV

Access to Creating Web Content

Mainstream Authoring Tools

HoTMetaL 4.0

Accessibility Prompting

The Evolving Web

Java isÖ

Java

Java Accessibility Projects/Teams

Audio Look-and-Feel

Audio Look and Feel

The Project

Overview

What is it?

What is it for?

Notepad Demo

Menu bar

Tree metaphor for menus

Tool bar

Text

How is this different from a Screen Reader?

Next Steps

Audio Look and Feel

Java Access Tools

Virtual Reality Modeling Language

VRML is

Browse VRML Environments

Samples of Virtual Environments

Accessibilty of VRML

VRML Accessibility Projects/Teams

Adding Haptic Extentions to VRML

Some Haptic Tools

Tour of Internet Resources

Listserves

 

Alternative Access to the Internet

    Linda Petty

    Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

    www.utoronto.ca/atrc



Welcome!

    Introductions

    • Alternative access to Information Technology
    • Education to the Univ., govít, industry and international communities
    • Research on accessibility in developing areas of IT: Internet, Distance Education, VRML and Java
  • Adaptive Technology Resource Centre

 

Overview of Workshop

    Access to mainline browsers

    Specialty browsers

    Access to HTML editors

    WebTV, Java, VRML

    Tour of Internet resources



The Internet

    Todayís Internet boom

    Spawned from Military Network ARPANET in ë70ís

    No ì Central Internet Computerî

    Redundant, global network of computers

    Early uses in Military, Academia and Government



Original Internet Architecture

    older architectures and communication packages- FTP, gopher, mail

    provided text one line at a time or in hierarchical menus

    readily adapted to work with most alternative access systems

    required good keyboard skills and memory for command lines



Enter the World Wide Web

    Network of information servers throughout the world, interconnected via the Internet

    Information formatted in files using Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)

    Documents linked and downloaded with HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

    Accessed from any client computer system using a web browser, selectively manages text, images, sounds, music, movies



Exponential Growth

    Point and click ìSimplicity of the WWW

    Growth spurt of the Internet due to on demand information and interactivity

    5 million US users in 1993 became 60 million by 1997

    over x million users by the year 2000



Standards for Development

    Rapid haphazard, undirected growth led to lack of access standards

    W3C formed followed by Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

    Todayís web browsers are GUI applications within a GUI operating system

    Mouse biased, visually biased



Surfers with Disabilities

    Different users, different needs

    About 8% of web users have a disability

    Aging population profile

    Slow modems, connections, computers



Access to the Internet

    • access to information: recipes to diagnosis
    • on-line courses, research, electronic books
    • communication-email, chat, white boards
    • shopping, banking, stock market
    • leisure
    • virtual communities
    • advocacy, empowerment
  • Why is this so important?

 

What are the Barriers?

    Information in auditory formats without captions

    Information presented graphically, in tables, forms or frames, graphical controls

    Requires the use of a mouse, touchscreen or interface with fine controls

    Inconsistent page layout and use of links confuse for those with cognitive disabilities



Video: DO-It

    students using the Internet for a variety of needs



Three Components Needed to Effectively Interface

    A properly formatted HTML document

    Alternative access to the userís computer

    A web browser that works with alternative access or has built in accessibility



The Browser

    • the browser war
    • include ability/plug-ins for processing video, VRML, sound
  • Netscape and Internet Explorer

    Other older/smaller products- Lynx, Mosaic

    Specialty browsers: pwWebSpeak, Opera



The Major Browsers

    • partial URLs
    • find features in email/browser
    • right mouse button options
    • ALT text visible with mouse pointer
  • Latest features which enhance accessibility:

 

Keyboard access is essential

    Enables mouseless access from keyboard

    Enables control via standard on-screen keyboard or voice recognition

    Enables control with a screen reader

    Enables customized control via programmable keyboards and scanning matrices



Essential Browser Functions

    Accessing links, Forward, Back

    Bookmarks/Favorites, Address book

    Search engine, Find function

    Typing URLs

    Optional: toolbars, integrated email, composition



Keyboard Access of Netscape and IE

    Macintosh: requires utility program, such as Click-it

    PC: both provide hypertext link access from keyboard

    Handout: lists of keyboard equivalents

    • CSUN í98, P. Hendrix and M. Birkmire, www.dinf.org/csun_98
  • Adapting Web Browsers for Accessibility

 

Integrated Email Software

    Able to access same address book

    Netscape Messenger and Microsoft Outlook Express

    Full features with customizable folders

    Keyboard access available but time consuming, un-intuitive



Keyboard access

    Video: John



Mice and trackballs

    Variety of mouse/trackball devices

    look for those with reliable drivers and right mouse button function



Mice and trackballs

    Mouse emulation using pointer systems: Trakker, HeadMaster, Head Mouse, Jouse, etc..



Alternative Keyboards

    • Tash Mini and King
    • Intellikeys
  • Incorporating Mouse emulation

    Increased visual and cognitive load, keystrokes



Programmable Keyboards

    Intellikeys with Overlay Maker/Sender

    Examples of overlays for different user needs

    Support literacy, memory, access needs

    Video: Brooke



Sites with Intellikeys Overlay files

    Searchable database of overlays at Intellitools.com

    • http://www.el.net/CAT/overlays.html
  • Center for Accessible Technology, Berkeley, CA

 

Programmable Keyboards

    Key Largo

    Discover Keyboard

    • www.donjohston.com
  • Sample Overlays on the Don Johnston Website

 

On- Screen keyboards

    Non-programmable keyboards limited by mouse emulation and keystroke access

    Can tab through links, use menus for other functions

    Need to build effective bookmark/favorites system of folders and identifiers

    If only needed for text input works well as support to mouse control



Visual Dynamic Keyboard

    VDK Currently not available as stand alone product

    Built in access to HoTMetaL 4.0 by Softquad

    Context sensitive menus allow effective access of browser functions



Switch Scanning

    Pre-programmed (EZKeys) or customizable (Ke:nx, Discover Switch)

    Switch access of on-screen keyboard: WiViK or VDK

    Switch access for mouse emulation only from Words+, Madenta, RJCooper



Customized Scanning Arrays

    Best option for single switch web access

    • Ke:nx setups
      • www.donjohnston.com
    • Discover Switch
      • CAT: el.net/CAT/matrix.html
  • Can add text-to-speech support for visual or literacy needs

 

Morse Code

    Efficient, direct means of computer access

    More effective for text entry than mouse emulation

    Software: EZ Keys for Windows 95, Ke:nx

    Hardware: Darci, Bloorview Mini Morse

    Can use in combination with other methods for mouse input: Mouse mover, Jouse, depending on access needs



Voice Recognition

    • Dragon Systems Dragon Dictate or Power Secretary, Kurzweil, IBM Simply Speaking
  • User specific, discrete speech products

    - Navigation with mouse grid, macros

    • mouse grid, menus
    • can now dictate text into email, composer, URLs
  • Continuous speech: IBM ViaVoice, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Philipís Freespeech

 

Web Specific Voice Recognition- Mac

    • IE or Netscape
    • speak any link or bookmark
    • speak common navigation commands
    • demo for Netscape available
      • www.surftalk.com
  • SurfTalk- by Digital Dreams

 

Web Specific Voice Recognition -PC

    VoiceType Connection for Netscape

    • cannot dictate text into email or composer without VoiceType or Simply Speaking
    • navigation commands for Netscape 3.0
  • IBM product that works with VoiceType or as standalone

    and more becoming available each month



Processing Supports

    For Learning Disabilities, minor vision problems

    • utoronto.ca/atrc/tech/textspeech.html
  • Text to Speech:

  • Freeware - HELP Read
  • TextHELP by Lorien Systems
  • Soundcard software:TextAssist
  • Ultimate Reader from CAST

 

Processing Supports

    • Helpful for email, web pages
  • Spell checkers- built into IE and Netscape

    • Most stand alone packages will work within browser email or composer packages
  • Word Prediction

 

Screen Enlargement

    Magnifies screen contents 2 to 16 X or more

    Various options: full screen, split screen, lens

    Many pan document so user does not have to scroll

    Provides menu, toolbar access, beyond document text/graphics enlargement

    Most do not have conflicts with browsers



ZoomText Extra

    Screen magnification software with speech support

    Level 1- screen magnification only

    Level 2 provides a level of ìscreen readingî plus a document reader which will re-format and read web documents- but not graphics



Screen Reading

    Software which uses an Off Screen Model to convey Windows information to user via speech- cannot read the pixels of the display

    Identifies and announces the function of Windows constructs e.g..: ìbutton, OKî

    Can only identify graphics by accompanying text or label in user files

    Serves as a mouse or pointing device



Screen Reading Browser Displays

    Most browsers will read simple web pages

    Problems with unlabeled graphics- no ALT text

    Reads across lines, so columns are misread-read

    Cannot identify frames- must tab around to find content

    Some cannot handle forms well



Screen Reading Browser Displays

    Cannot read animation, non-captioned video, blink or marquee tags

    Software for distance education can have inaccessible components

    Cannot access links in image maps

    Cannot make sense of mingled text and graphics



Screen Reading Browser Pages

    • -latest release to group images and links in IE
      • www.hj.com
  • Demonstration of JAWs for Windows, from Henter Joyce, Inc.

    With an accessible site- ATRC

    • http://citynet.com
  • With an ìinaccessible siteî;

 

Specialized Browsers

    • full keyboard interface
    • Zoom function for graphics and text
    • Full link presentation control
    • Sound feedback on clicking, loading finished or failed
      • www.operasoftware.com
  • Opera, from Opera software

 

Specialized Browsers for Low or No Vision

    Provide speech feedback based on HTML

    Offer variable font size, colour and background

    • www.prodworks.com
  • pwWebSpeak by Productivity Works, also pwEmail, pwTelephone

    • wwwwww.jbliss.com
  • VIPinfoNet by JBliss Imaging

    Video- Dena



Other Web Interfaces

    Kiosks

    Telephone

    Palm tops

    Pen notebooks

    • www.webtv.net
  • WebTV

 

WebTV Access

    ìHarness the power of the Internet to make watching TV more involving, entertaining...

    Provides email and WWW access through a TV

    Terminal and ISP from WebTV Network, Inc.



WebTV Access

    Plug in standard keyboard to terminal

    Remote trackball and keyboard

    No numeric keypad



Access strategies for WebTV

    • www.dinf.org/csun_98
  • Access Strategies for WEBTV(R), CSUN paper by P. Barker

    Can be operated with programmable or trainable remotes

    Includes adapted models from PRC, TASH, Words+

    Adaptive keyboards can be plugged in instead of standard ones

    Need to use a PC to download custom overlays



Access to Creating Web Content

    Can compose in major word processors or browsers

    Standard software manipulation issues with accessing menus, small buttons, etc.

    • Overlays at Intellitools.com
  • Can use programmable keyboards to simplify steps, improve access to functions in creating web pages

 

Mainstream Authoring Tools

    Many small and large software packages available

    Popular options: Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe Page Mill, Symantecís VisualPage

    HoTMetaL by Softquad - page content, website and intranet management



HoTMetaL 4.0

    Part of a grant funded project to improve Internet accessibility

    Originally was to make Softquadís browser, Panorama, accessible- died in the browser war

    Focus shifted to accessible web content

    On-screen/scanning keyboard, Visual Dynamic Keyboard



Accessibility Prompting

    Tool menu selection: Check for Accessibility

    Runs check on web document, creates list of accessibility problems

    Prompts the author to change them using dialogue boxes

    Covers main issues of including ALT text with images, captioning for audio/video, use of tables, user defined colours, background

    Won AFB award for improving Internet accessibility



The Evolving Web

    Changing from static documents to dynamic page creation based on user requests

    Custom interfaces based on databases

    Changing from single to multi-user and interactive content--45% of youths socialize on the net

    Trend from passive to interactive web sites

    Java for database support and applets



Java isÖ

    • www.sun.com
  • ìa simple, object oriented, distributed, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture neutral, portable, high-performance, multithreaded and dynamic language.î

 

Java

    An object oriented programming language

    Write once, read anywhere- cross platform

    Accessibility API ìdefines a contractî between user interface objects and screen access products

    Can be used to create accessible information, communicate accessible information



Java Accessibility Projects/Teams

    • www.sun.com/tech/access
  • Sun Microsystems

    • www.austin.ibm.com/sns/access.html
  • IBM- screen reader

    • trace.wisc.edu/world/java/java.htm
  • Trace Center

    ATRC: Audio Look and Feel, Access Tools of Morse Code, RSVP, Word Prediction



Audio Look-and-Feel

    University of Toronto

Audio Look and Feel

    Dr. Joseph Scheuhammer

    Jutta Treviranus

    Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto



The Project

    explore potential of pluggable look and feel for creating new, more inclusive, user interfaces

    create a testbed to explore new conceptual models

    work in progress



Overview

    What is an audio look and feel?

    What is it for?

    • Menu Bar
    • Tool Bar
    • Text
  • Notepad Demo

 

What is it?

    Auxiliary look and feel

    Enhances primary GUI look and feel

    • Control functionality via the keyboard
    • Navigate and activate
    • Sound effects and synthesized speech provide feedback
  • Auditory ìlookî and keyboard ìfeelî

 

What is it for?

    • Users with visual impairments
    • Collaborative working environment
  • Accessibility

    • Audio laf is primary
    • Example: accessing computer via telephone
  • Hands and eyes busy environment

 

Notepad Demo

    Notepad from Swing examples

    • Menu bar
    • Tool bar
    • Document area
  • Sonified components common to many applications

 

Menu bar

    • Not bound to the visual layout of menus
    • But, visual feed back remains appropriate
  • Tree metaphor

    ìWhere am I?î function.



Tree metaphor for menus

    Menu Bar

    File Edit . . .

    MenuOpen . . . . . .

    New Open Close Exit

    U
    p
    D
    o
    w
    n
    Left Right

Tool bar

    Navigate

    Activate

    Access tool tips

    ìWhere am I?î



Text

    • character or word
  • Speak while typing

    • character, word, or sentence
  • Speak current, next, previous:

    Speak selected text

    • word, sentence, or paragraph
  • Navigate by:

 

How is this different from a Screen Reader?

    it doesnít ìreadî the screen

    interface which plugs into the components

    collections of objects organized in containers which present themselves

    ìtype 1 ì solution or direct accessibility



Next Steps

    new conceptual models

    user customization

    task based model

    sonify functional model of app., not components



Audio Look and Feel

    • Joseph Scheuhammer, Project Lead
    • David Bolter, Programmer
    • Anastasia Cheetham, Programmer
    • Allen Forsyth, Programmer
    • Lake Porter, Multimedia Design
    • Dena Shumila, Vision Tech Consultant
    • Jutta Treviranus, Manager ATRC
  • Contributors

 

Java Access Tools

    Morse Code

    RSVP- reading program for tunnel vision, eccentric viewing needs

    • demonstration programs written in Java
  • Word Prediction

    Sun has now released a communication port API, can now program switch inputs



Virtual Reality Modeling Language

    a.k.a. ìVurímelî or VRML



VRML is

    A 3 dimensional, experiential, interactive web-based technology

    Expands the WWW into a richer, more engaging and intuitive experience

    VRML 2.0 enhances this bandwidth-efficient scene-descriptive language to include behaviors

    Navigate, interact with virtual environments



Browse VRML Environments

    Plug-in applications that recognize VRML worlds, file ext.. ë.wrlî

    • www.cosmosoftware.com
  • Plug-in to Netscape: SGIís Cosmos player

    • www.intervista.com
  • Plug-in to Internet Explorer: Microsoftís WorldView

 

Samples of Virtual Environments

    • http://vrml.miningco.com
  • Mining Co.: links to various applications

    • http://vrml.sgi.com
  • SGIís gallery of VRML worlds and apps

    • http://cosmosoftware
  • Cosmos Software demonstrations

 

Accessibilty of VRML

    • only Cosmos Player has keyboard equivalents
  • Barriers of on-screen, mouse operated controls, no keyboard mapping

    Barriers of lack of text or audio descriptions of visual content



VRML Accessibility Projects/Teams

    • http://ovrt.nist.gov/projects/VRMLaccess
  • Sandy Ressler, Natíl Inst. of Standards and Technology

    • www.dinf.org/csun_98
  • Seamless Solutions Inc. CSUN 98: Signing Avatars

    • www.utoronto.ca/atrc/rd/vrml.main.html
  • ATRC, Accessibility and VRML

 

Adding Haptic Extentions to VRML

    New research project at ATRC, in conjunction with other depts. and industry partners

    Adding sonification and feel to VRML

    Applications in distance education materials, VRML teaching models

    • www.dinf.org/csun_98
  • Haptic Applications to Virtual Worlds, Porter and Treviranus

 

Some Haptic Tools

    • www.forcefeedback.com/feelit
  • Feel-it mouse

    • www.sensable.com
  • Phantom

    • www.haptech.co
  • Pen Cat

 

Tour of Internet Resources

    • ATRC Web Resources
      • www.utoronto.ca/atrc/rd/access/access.html
    • Trace Center
      • http://trace.wisc.edu
    • Resna
      • www.resna.org
  • Beginning sites to link from:

 

Listserves

    Resna: SIG 9 and 11 and more

    Trace: universal access, web, kiosks, infrared

    EASI: www.rit.edu/~edu

    ATRC list of listserves