"assistive technology" input mac testing yahoo

Visit to Yahoo! Accessibility Testing Lab

I was fortunate enough to get invited for a visit to Yahoo! Accessibility Testing Lab (in Sunnyvale, California). Victor Tsaran (@vick08) and Alan Brightman (@abrightman) were kind enough to spend about an hour and a half with me and several other computer professionals. Here are some notes from the meeting:

  • Learned a lot about Mac’s accessibility features. You can find them under under System Preferences/System/Universal Settings. Apparently they’ve been present since 1985, but most people don’t know they exist.
  • Apple computers come with a screen reader VoiceOver, which is now on the iPhone. On the Mac, it displays the text which it’s speaking; a great for blind person to work with a deaf person.
  • The demo of alternative input devices and software (including switch devices, head tracking, and an alternative keyboard) really creates awareness of others’ needs.
  • Saw a demo of a braille output device. It was noted that this type of device is best for the deaf-blind. They are very expensive, and more popular in Europe as there tends to be more subsidy.
  • Issues and features with mobile devices including screen magnifiers, speaking menus, camera-scanner-reader combo.
  • Some excellent links:

Victor, Rob and Alan in the lab

"assistive technology" articles input

Alternative Mouse

Part of web accessibility is ensuring that any input device can be used to navigate through a web site. In the article, “I Saw a Mouse! Where?“, Mel Pedley discusses this issue and describes several alternatives to the “normal” computer mouse including:

  • Assistive Mouse Adaptor
  • Ballpoint Mouse
  • Air Mouse
  • Head Mounted Pointer
  • Touchpad
  • Touchscreen
  • Mouse Keys
code element forms input label podcast web

Accessible Form Elements

How to add a label tag to a form element. This makes your form element such as an input field accessible and a little more user-friendly.

Download Web Axe Episode 2


W3C reference on labels

Sample code: