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Re: Screen reader access to symbols (special characters) inside data tables

From: Devarshi Pant <devarshipant@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 15:49:02 -0400
Message-ID: <CAJGQbjs_G-OS_B5Vt6TGLB1ruRSScLNoDga32K-7gPqD2COnVg@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Best <davebest@ca.ibm.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
In JAWS, we will need to add the Unicode hex value for the corresponding
special character, for example, UP Arrow becomes U+2191. Here is how (from
JAWS help):


While JAWS correctly represents the most frequently used symbols with
speech, you may need to add new ones. If you are reading a document and find
that JAWS misrepresents or does not announce a symbol, do the following:

1. Using a text editor like Notepad, open the .sbl file for the active
synthesizer. This file is located in your user settings folder (C:\Documents
and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Freedom Scientific\JAWS\X (where X
is the JAWS version number)\Settings\Enu). If your user settings folder does
not contain Eloq.sbl, then look for it in the shared settings folder. *Note:
* Character definitions are specific to your synthesizer and selected
language. For example, if you are using Eloquence and American English, you
should open the file named Eloq.sbl and modify the section named [American

2. At the bottom of the appropriate section for your language, add a new
entry for the specific symbol you want JAWS to speak. The entry should be in
the following format:
(Where XXXX is the Unicode hexadecimal value of the symbol, and
"SpokenRepresentation" is the desired pronunciation).

3. Save your changes to the .sbl file, and then quit and restart JAWS. Your
speech changes should now take effect. <End Quote>

Seemingly vendors have started having tall expectations from users. Why
should users dig down in the configuration settings of their respective
assistive technologies to make things work?

Coming back to this issue: To provide reasonable accommodation when special
characters do not voice, would a title attribute work? I am sure changing
preferences to favor title is much easier than to add a Unicode hex value to
the configuration file.

Thanks David, Christophe, Ramón, and Priti for your inputs.


On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 9:30 AM, David Best <davebest@ca.ibm.com> wrote:

> Some symbols appear not to be included in the screen reader dictionary. The
> screen reader user can identify them and add them, but I think in some
> cases the screen reader manufacturer should be informed. Possibly the
> following link may help explain in more detail.
> Accessible Culture:
> http://www.accessibleculture.org/research-files/character-references/jaws-not-spoken.php
> Regards,
> David Best, Advisory IT Specialist
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From:   Devarshi Pant <devarshipant@gmail.com>
> To:     w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Date:   10/24/2011 05:06 PM
> Subject:        Screen reader access to symbols (special characters) inside
>            data tables
> Sent by:        w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
> Hi All -- I am testing a table with symbols that convey meaning like, up /
> down arrows. The problem is that JAWS will not voice the symbols.
> Interestingly, on a different web page, JAWS voiced the single dagger and
> double dagger symbols correctly, voiced the approximate symbol as an equal
> to, but did not voice the cell with the up arrow symbol. Has anyone
> experienced this quirkiness with JAWS and symbols before?
> If you are interested, go to
> http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/web/codehtml.html and
> pick
> the table called Additional Punctuation Codes, which is at the end.
> Just curious if it is a known issue.
> Tested with I E 7, Firefox 3.6, and JAWS 10 on Windows Vista
> Thanks,
> Devarshi
Received on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 19:49:42 UTC

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