California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities' 21st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference March 20-25, 2006 ~ Los Angeles, CA • 500+ vendors • 100+ sessions • 2 Hotels completely filled • Anybody and everybody that is involved in AT was at this conference!

Mozilla Firefox was recently awarded it’s VPAT indicating it was an accessible technology endorsed by the government. Completely compatible with Windows-Eyes 5.5 and JAWS 7. The DOM that Firefox grants to these technologies outperforms the usability of other browsers.

Started in 1980 when the founder, Kevin Murphy, struggled to learn Braille – which his son used to read.
•Available in music, math or literacy (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian) •Intended to be used to perk young student’s interest in both reading and writing. •Easy to manipulate, reconfigure •Just released an IntelliKeys keypad •Cost is $595-695 per set.

Talking Tactile Tablet 2
• Overlay on IntelliKeys-style tablet • Allows custom overlays/sounds to be mapped to the hardware • Comes with free authoring tool/toolkit
$659 with TTT World Map, Match Game, and Authoring SDK

Erica System
• • • 15 Second calibration Works with glasses Dedicated communication version boasts a number of packages designed to provide assistive support :
– Custom mapped keys – Keyboard with prediction – Custom virtual screen overlays – TTS build in – Etc.

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Head must remain still $7,300-7,900

Turning Point Keyguards

• Allow users with tremors to retain the ability to use a computer keyboard. • $100-200

• Screen magnifier/reader for mobile technologies • Designed to give low vision users access to these devices • Up to 16x enlargement • $200

HeadMouse® Extreme

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No new software is needed, computer recognizes this as a USB HID device OS Cross-compatible Uses a reflective dot on the forehead (or body) to track movements Click events are registered when no movement is sensed. Comes with some keyboard and mouse software to aid in input and dwell events (click, double click, right click, etc) $999-1249 ($300 for the head puff switch)

• • • • • USB Switch interface Moust, Joystick, Keyboard emulation Wireless (Ir, RF) input Accepts mono or stereo plugs OS Cross compatible as a HID device

• $79

Magnifying America® Patriot Voice
• Reading system that utilizes OCR technology to do TTS on printed material • Comes with background classical music functionality • Will also output to a TV to highlight text as it read • $3299

Key to Access™
Will give the user access to 8 tools that are necessary to make any (Windows) computer accessible:
– – – – – – – – Universal Reader: A TTS engine E-Text Reader – Used to highlight, bookmark, search, and extract text from any document Talking Dictionary and Thesaurus Word Processor that is talking and includes powerful and adaptive word prediction and grammar checking Scan and Read Pro will use OCR to read scanned material to the user PDF Magic will convert PDF files to accessible formats (doc, html, etc…) TTA (Text to Audio) allows digital documents to be converted to TTS and stored for later use. Talking Calculator


Accessible Web Publishing Wizard
• University of Illinois solution to combat standards issues with web developers • Quickly converts Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents to conform with W3C CSS, HTML, and Accessibility Standards, as well as 508 conformance. • $39.95 with discounts for bulk licensing

DT (Discrete Trial) Trainer
• Designed for Children with Autism or other moderate to severe learning disabilities • Targeted for matching, identification, phonics, counting, sequencing, spatial relations, math, time, money, word analysis, and word recognition. • Adjustable, dynamic content. • Progressive and adaptive • Reinforcement in place to capture students attention • No negative reinforcement, the correct example is reviled with no punishment! • Designed for independent use • Cumulative reports with progress tracking • $99.00 for single student, $299 for institutional license

Click&Go Interactive Maps

Tactile maps designed for permanent outdoor or instructive use Magnesium or swell paper maps are available This company also sells a suite of software to develop interactive computer maps (sounds, orientation, zooming, etcetera) for low vision users

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• A head- or hand-pointer system • No calibration overhead for the user aside from driver installation • Light (laser) operated mouse and keyboard • Intelligent key strokes • Interchangeable overlays for differing user needs • $1299


Barcode to text technology $400/$1200

KGS America

• Essentially a large scale refreshable Braille display to allow users to feel graphics and text on the screen. Can be used as an array for Braille display • $600

Windows Vista Accessibility
• Vista was reported as having greater AT support including:
– More human-like, SAPI 5.1, voices (Narrator) – Better TTS engines – Close development with GW Micro’s WindowEyes, Freedom Scientific’s JAWS to ensure a smooth transition into the new operating system.

Windows Vista
• UI Automation is to ensure that the aforementioned screen readers are given a object model of the screen, similar to the AT-SPI (assistive technologies, service provider interface) as seen in GNOME/GTK. These system changes are likely to break backward compatibility of “antiquated technologies.”

Windows Vista Speech Recognition
MS asked users what they wanted out of speech recognition 2. Completely hands free 3. Starting and stopping with voice command 4. Seamless diction and command modes 5. Predictable response to requests 6. Quick learning curve and calibration time

Windows Vista Speech Recognition

• Tutorial also serves as calibration • 10 minute exercise, teaches both user and computer • Still not able to install an OS image hands-free

Windows Vista Speech Recognition
Given the new UI architecture, MS was able to solve the problem of navigating menus. A “show numbers” request will overlay numbers to each menu, widget, or toolbar object. Thus, users can simply choose their option in the form of a number.

Windows Vista Speech Recognition
Text entry and correction is improved. With the same numbering heuristic, new speech recognition presents the user with much more fluid and intuitive input and correction. 90-99% of all proper names are still a problem however: “Windows Vista” was typed “windows based a” due to lack of inclusion in the dictionary

Windows Vista Mouse Grid
The coolest (non-original) feature was the ability to use the mouse with MS Speech Recognition.

New Project Ideas!
• System-wide Contrast/Font [family] software * Drop down boxes with samples