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screen reader that supports Chinese?

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 13:41:56 +0200
Message-Id: <6.2.5.6.2.20080930112604.046a8810@esat.kuleuven.be>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hi,

Does anyone know people who have experience with 
screen readers that support Chinese?
So far, I have found fairly little information in languages that I can read.
Below is what I found about screen readers that support Chinese:


* R. W. P. Luk; D. S. Yeung; Q. Lu; H. L. Leung; 
S. Y. Li; F. Leung: "ASAB: a Chinese screen 
reader" Software: Practice and Experience, Vol. 
33, Issue no. 3. 
<http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/102531469/abstract>
Abstract:
This paper describes the design and development 
of a computer interface for blind and 
visually-impaired users, who are native speakers 
of Cantonese (i.e. a Chinese dialect). Apart from 
enabling the interface to (1) produce Chinese 
voice output, (2) convert Chinese characters to 
Braille codes, (3) facilitate Chinese Braille 
input, and (4) operate in a Microsoft Chinese 
Windows environment, the significant aspects of 
this paper include the following: (1) the 
description of an integrated architecture, which 
can be used for other languages; (2) a general 
bilingual Braille input mechanism; (3) a 
sentence-based input method that can be used for 
contracted-Braille-to-text conversion with an 
error rate of about 6%, operating at about 700 
characters/second using a Pentium II 300 MHz PC; 
(4) a code-mixed synthesis module for general 
bilingual and multilingual applications; (5) the 
potential to directly adopt the system for use 
with other ideographic languages (like Japanese 
and Korean), as well as agglutinating languages 
like Finnish and Turkish, which have no space 
between words. Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

I did not find other information about ASAB; the 
authors seem to have moved on to other topics after this paper.

* KanHan Technologies Limited: Chinese JAWS for 
Windows: <http://www.kanhan.com/webpage/eng/products_chi_jaws.php>
Description:
KanHan's Enhanced JAWS version allows access in 
Chinese. With the integration of KanHan's text to 
speech and Chinese Braille translation 
technology, and support from the Hong Kong 
Society for the Blind, now the visually impaired 
shall have no barrier to access Chinese contents 
on PCs and surf on Chinese websites in Hong Kong, PRC and Taiwan.
With JAWS, the visually impaired can easily 
listen to, and touch and read the dynamic 
contents on the screen. Accessing software 
applications in various formats, such as Excel, 
Word, PowerPoint and Acrobat for desktop 
publication, presentation and reporting, navigate 
on the Internet world in English, Cantonese or 
Putonghua. Also, users can communicate in emails 
in both English and Chinese to various communities.

(The sales link leads to a page that is only 
available in Traditional Chinese characters.)

* On an NVDA mailing list, people mentioned other Chinese screen readers
   <http://www.freelists.org/archives/nvda/05-2007/msg00417.html>:
  - Guide Mouse: 
<<http://www.batol.net/gm/>http://www.batol.net/gm/> 
(info in Traditional Chinese characters)
  - Big Eyes: 
<http://cefb.org.tw/~young/cefbb/forum.php> (info 
in Traditional Chinese characters)
  - Window-light (free for home use): 
<http://www.retina.org.hk/hkrpsc.htm> (info in Traditional Chinese characters)
* Yui-Liang Chen & Yung-Yu Ho: 'The status of 
using "Big Eye" Chinese screen reader on "Wretch" 
blog in Taiwan' ACM International Conference 
Proceeding Series; Vol. 225 - Proceedings of the 
2007 international cross-disciplinary conference 
on Web accessibility (W4A) Banff, Canada, Pages: 
134 - 135: <http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1243447>


* According to Wikipedia, Microsoft Lili is the 
Chinese screen reader included with Chinese localizations of Windows Vista:
  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Lili>
I wonder if there is confusion here between 
screen readers and voices for text-to-speech.


It strikes me that KanHan Chinese JAWS for 
Windows is the only software in my list that 
explicitly addresses Mandarin and Simplified Chinese Characters.


If anyone could point me to more detailed 
information, I would really appreciate that.
It would also help discussion about accessibility 
support in WCAG 2.0, because language support 
affects what technologies can be considered 
"accessibility supported" (see the phrase 
"interoperability with users' assistive 
technology in the human language(s) of the 
content" in the definition at 
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/CR-WCAG20-20080430/#accessibility-supporteddef>).

Best regards,

Christophe



-- 
Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
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tel: +32 16 32 85 51
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Received on Tuesday, 30 September 2008 11:42:42 GMT

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