Presentation on theme: "The Secrets of Screen Readers Revealed Sean Keegan February 28, 2008 For audio call Toll Free 1 - 888-886-3951 and use PIN/code 136154."— Presentation transcript:
The Secrets of Screen Readers Revealed Sean Keegan February 28, 2008 For audio call Toll Free 1 - 888-886-3951 and use PIN/code 136154
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Overview What is a screen-reader? Who uses these programs? How do screen-readers work? Features of screen-readers Technology challenges for screen-readers Authoring content to support access
Screen-Readers Defined Screen-readers are a type of assistive computer technology that allow a blind or visually impaired user interact with a computer Screen-readers are software applications that Read content on the screen Allow users to perform various actions (such as copy/paste, edit text, etc.) Allow for computer interaction without the use of the mouse
Screen-Readers Defined Three major screen-readers for the Windows platform JAWS, Window-Eyes, and Supernova Supernova is a combination screen-reader/screen- magnification application All must be purchased separately from the Windows OS Only one system currently available on OS X VoiceOver is built into the OS X operating system and does not require separate purchase Not currently as robust in terms of application support as MS Windows
Screen-Reader Users Screen-reader applications are designed for blind or visually-impaired individuals Individuals typically use the keyboard or refreshable braille display to interact with on-screen information A major challenge for individuals using screen- readers is that you only "see" a small part of the screen at any time
Analogy of the Day Imagine that you are looking at your computer screen through a soda straw
Question of the Day How is Google like a screen-reader?
How do they work? Screen-readers communicate the text information to the individual Graphics and icons are okay provided there is a text label associated with that graphic Toolbars in applications System tray icons Images on a Web page Problems begin to arise when an application has an image of text…but there is no actual text content!
Screen-Reader Features Screen-readers "collect" information from various off-screen models This allows the individual to re-organize and access discrete pieces of information based on their need Two Issues Knowing how to access discrete pieces of information with the screen-reader Having that information actually being available in the various off-screen models
Challenges Screen-readers work best when information can be textually discerned and accessed from the keyboard Content that is mouse dependent and/or image-based limits access and functionality for all users Fly-out menus Drag-and-drop interfaces AJAX Events User interfaces that do not conform to programming standards or do not provide functional alternatives
Authoring Suggestions Create the rich interfaces, but also provide fall-back options for those using assistive technology, older Web browsers, handheld devices, etc. Provide structure for documents using headings Add text descriptions for images or icons Use symbols as well as color to differentiate content Provide accurate names for hyperlinks Avoid the "Click here for more information" lingo
Discussion Lists Designing Accessible Web Pages http://htclistserv.htctu.fhda.edu/read/all_forums/ WebAIM Discussion List http://www.webaim.org/discussion/