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:
- Origin Instruments – Assistive Technology Products
- AssistiveWare – assistive technology software