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Re: Automatic Detection of Screen Readers and Other Assistive Technology

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 14:44:57 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Cc: Andrew Kirkpatrick <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


That's the billion dollar question. You can do this through a signed 
ActiveX control (in the ActiveX language of your choice), or an HTA (again, 
using VBScript and/or perhaps JavaScript) without security restrictions. 
Otherwise the user will most likely receive an error stating that the page 
is attempting to do something that is not secure. Baring that, using the 
functions listed below should allow you to determine whether a screen 
reader is running. Given that information, you should be able to load the 
content of your choice.


At 02:31 PM 6/11/2003, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

>On Wednesday, June 11, 2003, at 12:02 PM, Aaron Smith wrote:
>>Andrew is correct. Win32 programmers would use the SystemParametersInfo 
>>API (with the SPI_GETSCREENREADER flag) to determine whether an 
>>application has set said flag or not. This is a nice generic way to see 
>>if any screen reader is running. If you want to determine whether a 
>>specific screen reader is running or not, you would simply need to find 
>>out if that app's window is available.
>So how do I use this on my Web site in order to deliver specific content
>to screenreader users only?
>Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                     http://kynn.com
>Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain                http://idyllmtn.com
>Author, CSS in 24 Hours                       http://cssin24hours.com
>Inland Anti-Empire Blog                      http://blog.kynn.com/iae
>Shock & Awe Blog                           http://blog.kynn.com/shock

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Aaron Smith
GW Micro
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Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Wednesday, 11 June 2003 15:45:20 UTC

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