[Accessibleweb] Minutes: AccessibleWeb@U meeting, September 20, 2007

Rick Ells rells at u.washington.edu
Thu Sep 27 17:33:16 PDT 2007



Minutes: Accessibleweb at U September 20, 2007
- Present: Dan Comden, Pace Arko, Harry Hayward, Ryan Becker, Melody
Winkle, Rita Johnson, Rick Ells, David Cox
- Is iTunes keyboard navigable?
- Pretty much, with some inconsistencies
- Access the top menu items with ALT codes (i.e., Alt-F
selects the File menu)
- Move back and forth among menu items (File, Edit,
Controls, etc.) using the left and right arrow keys
- Move up and down within the menu item with up and down
arrow keys
- Select an item by pressing Enter
- Jump to top of left menu by pressing ESC
- Some items in left menu spontaneously evoke pop-up windows
- A sighted person with disabilities or dexterity limitations
should be able to use iTunes
- Is iTunes accessible?
- ITunes itself does not seem to interact with standard adaptive
technology for the blind such as JAWS
(http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/software_jaws.asp)
and Window-Eyes (http://www.gwmicro.com/Window-Eyes/)
- Script libraries (such as J-Tunes described below) can
provide a degree of interactivity
- Apple is not providing API hooks that adaptive technology
can use to interact with the user interface
- Microsoft products generally use the Microsoft Active
Accessibility technology
(http://www.washington.edu/accessit?1147) and
Microsoft User Interface Automation
(http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms788733.asp
x)
- JAWS and Window-Eyes can interact with MSAA and
MSUIA
- Apple seems to be simply transplanting their code
into a Windows application without providing for
interactivity with adaptive technology for the blind.
- Why would Apple ignore standard AT for the blind?
- Apple may not want to use Windows methods
- Extreme pressure for rapid product development
- Groups within Apple developing products,
not sensitive to issues like accessibility
- After product release, the product is
tweaked to deal with lower priority
customer needs and expectations ("launch
and fix")
- A blind person could learn procedures by rote, but is not
getting any feedback that would allow more interaction
with the iTunes interface
- ITunes has multiple interfaces
- "Cover flow" interface, iconically driven, visual
navigation
- Good for some disabilities
- Apple generally going toward visual, iconic interfaces
- Guest: Pace Arko (jsay at ngtvoice.com)
- Provides local support for J-Tunes Accessible Interface for
JAWS scripts
- Company site: http://www.ngtvoice.com/
- J-Tunes access to iTunes with JAWS for Windows
- http://www.ngtvoice.com/products/software/tandt/jtunes.htm
- Scripts developed by T&T Consultancy in UK
(http://www.tandt-consultancy.com/itunesscripts.html)
- J-Tunes uses scripts written to JAWS
- iTunes does not provide the hooks that J-Tunes can
recognize
- Scripts based on what JAWS sees when it interacts with
iTunes interface
- "I am here on screen, its blue, it must be the iTunes
library"
- J-Tunes is nvulnerable to iTunes updates that make
substantial changes in interface layout.
- Only works on specific, recent versions of JAWS
- Short product upgrade cycles
- Demonstration of installation of J-Tunes showed some of the
problems of such third-party aids
- Installation process is complicated.
- Heavy JAWS users often tweak the configuration as they
move among applications
- Variations among applications mean JAWS users
constantly adjust JAWS configuration depending on the
character of each app interface
- Blind often define their own key stroke combinations for
frequent tasks
- Configuration variation and key stroke combinations can
easily conflict with scripting like J-Tunes.
- Emphasizes the value of Apple paying more attention to API
hooks that adaptive technology can interact with
- J-Tunes does not "fix" iTunes
- Without API hooks, any scripting solution is a kludge
- Content on iTunes: Captioning
- Problem with iTunes is anybody can do it
- May not see the value or have the budget for captioning
- Anyone who is creating video content for the Web needs to
consider captioning
- Latest iPods support captioning - classic, nano, touch
- QuickTime can include captioning
- Providing an audio-only stream to required content, without
captioning, is a problem
- Non-native English speakers rely on captioning
- Huge demand for on-the-fly speech recognition voice-to-text
- Dragon Naturally Speaking
(http://www.nuance.com/naturallyspeaking/) guarantees
80-90% accuracy
- To work well, sound quality must be good, minimal
background noise, and good consistent enunciation of
words
- Get highest accuracy when you train a profile of
speaker's voice
- Different subject matter has different
vocabularies
- Still want to have an editor go back and clean it up
- Bill Corrigan worked on captioning process for online
courses, but did not have good results



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