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Re: What are the odds?

From: Thomas Broyer <t.broyer@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 14:55:35 +0200
Message-ID: <a9699fd20709110555h996916dj8bf5005b8cf0973@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

2007/9/11, Jane Lee:
>
> Might I note the existence of voiceover, which is Apple's response to
> the lack of screenreaders for OS X?  Apple's accessibility folks have
> done a pretty good job with all the universal access tools built into
> OS X for both users and developers (e.g.
> http://developer.apple.com/reference/Cocoa/idxAccessibility-date.html
> and http://developer.apple.com/ue/) - something Windows and any
> combination of software for it, including Jaws, can't provide.

See also:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/default.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa163285.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.windows.forms.accessibleobject.aspx

And .NET 3.0 adds speech recognition and speech synthesis, along with
the new UI Automation accessibility framework:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.speech.recognition.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.speech.synthesis.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms753388.aspx

I think the main problem, as with web sites, is the lack of use of
these technologies by software developers. I hope someone from
Microsoft will answer me: are *all* Microsoft products (beginning with
Windows itself and all its out-of-the-box programs) using these APIs
to provide accessible information?

> Voiceover is even available on the OS X install disk...

AFAIK, Windows XP came with speech synthesis out-of-the-box too; so is
Vista (I don't know about Server 2003).

> visually impaired Windows users I know were shocked at the idea of
> having a screenreader-assisted install process without any hackery..
> they're all used to asking a sighted person to install Windows for them,
> or to get an unattended install version.

I don't know any visually impaired person (so even less one who uses a
computer), so I can't judge; and I never tried either by myself.

I'm just sharing what I see:
 - Windows XP has a "speech" (or "voice", I don't know, my french
version reads "voix") icon in the config panel,
 - Microsoft Active Accessibility (COM) is said to be around for 10 years,
 - .NET has accessibility features (for software developers) from
version 1.0 (see System.Windows.Forms.AccessibleObject above)
 - .NET 3.0 (included in Vista and available for free for XP-SP2 and
Server-2003-SP1) has speech recognition and synthesis APIs

> I wish Microsoft would step up and do something about it.

I can't judge the quality, but at least these tools and APIs (seem to) exist.

-- 
Thomas Broyer
Received on Tuesday, 11 September 2007 12:55:45 GMT

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