Search Results for 'accessibility'

More on computer accessibility: let your uvula do the browsing

The notice of the Vocal Joystick for accessibility comes from

Opera browser uses voice commands. Now I’ll have to actually test it to see how well it works. The Vocal Joystick would work on all software that uses a mouse device. I thought something like Dragon Naturally Speaking can command more than the voice recognition software? Somewhere in the back of my mind is a little piece of software I’ve seen that also does voice commands ➡ not a mouse substitute but nevertheless slick and free (for Firefox) (originally noted at Paul Hamilton’s FREE online resources and downloadable programs for learners and their teachers.

University of Washington researchers are developing a new “Vocal Joystick” interface to make software more accessible for people who don’t have use of their hands or arms. The software converts simple vowel sounds and other intonations into cursor movement. The louder the sound, the faster the cursor moves. Saying “K-Ch” represents a mouse click and release….

“A lot of people ask: ‘Why don’t you just use speech recognition?'” (electrical engineering professor Jeffrey) Bilmes said. “It would be very slow to move a cursor using discrete commands like ‘move right’ or ‘go faster.’ The voice, however, is able to do continuous commands quickly and easily.” Early tests suggest that an experienced user of Vocal Joystick would have as much control as someone using a handheld device…

“The tool’s latest developments will be presented this month in Tempe, Ariz. at the Assets Conference on Computers and Accessibility.

Vocal Joystick detects sounds 100 times a second and instantaneously turns that sound into movement on the screen….

Versions of Vocal Joystick exist for browsing the Web, drawing on a screen, controlling a cursor and playing a video game. A version also exists for operating a robotic arm, and Bilmes believes the technology could be used to control an electronic wheelchair.” […] http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=37134

Video demonstrations and publications are available on the group’s Web site,


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Nonagenarian MySpacer, Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas nonagenarianLori Shepler / Los Angeles Times, click to view original

By Tina Daunt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, April 4, 2008

AS F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said, there are no second acts in American life. But Kirk Douglas, at age 91, has not only found a second act but now is writing a third in, of all places, cyberspace.

“Someone once told me, ‘Be ashamed to die before doing something for humanity,’ ” said Douglas, relaxing on one of the plush couches in his Beverly Hills home, with its gardens and courtyards, colorful paintings by Marc Chagall — a personal friend — and two beloved large dogs wandering in and out. “As you get older, you must think more of other people. You must strive to help other people. Who needs the most help but the young?

“What kind of world are we leaving them?”

It’s a question to which Douglas returns over and over on his website and in his new book, “Let’s Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning,” which was recently released as an audio book read by “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander.
[…]

MySpace page is
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=171170276


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Blog readers’ feedback needed

Lorelle VanFossen is requesting help from blog readers. Please contribute.computer help person

If you are disabled in any way which makes reading blogs and surfing the web a challenge, trying to work with what’s available or using special equipment, please let us how you access this blog and how you blog.

A lot of presumptions are made about what works and doesn’t work for accessibility standards and usability in web page design. Let’s cut through the assumptions and get the truth.

Free audio books update

re: Audio versions of books in public domain, free, from Boing-Boing, http://www.boingboing.net/2007/04/02/librivox_releases_70.html

Cory Doctorow: Hugh from Librivox (a project that enlists volunteers to create free audiobooks of public domain texts) sez, “We just had an extraordinary month. We published 70 texts (as part of a March madness campaign to finish as many books as we could). Our effort makes us, I suspect, the biggest maker of audio books in the world (at least in March). Among the titles now available for all the world to hear for free:”

* Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Einstein, Albert
* Sense and Sensibility by Austen, Jane
*Moby Dick, or the Whale – Herman Melville
*Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
*The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan
* Candide – Voltaire
* The Sayings of Confucius – Confucius

Link
(Thanks, Hugh

See also:
Darwin’s “Origin of Species”: free audiobook
Audio of UN Declaration of Human Rights in 21 languages
Public domain books read aloud podcast
Collaborative audio-play of Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest”

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Webpage reader for Firefox

Paul Hamilton – Free Resources from the Net for (Special) Education

features some very interesting tools for Internet (especially world-wide web) users.

Firefox , like Opera , is a user-friendly and safer browser than MS Internet Explorer.

This Firefox extension is essentially a screen reader that works seamlessly when browsing with Firefox so the user always has a live view of the web page…. For those of us who are light dependent, Fire Vox offers a very helpful feature. It highlights text that is being read. This is great for sighted educators. It may also be useful for individuals with low vision.


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