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LowBrowse: FireFox Extension for Low Vision from Lighthouse Intenational

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2008 18:27:31 +0100
To: wai-xtech@w3.org, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: vic-nyc@columbia.edu, blind-dev@listserv.icors.org
Message-Id: <20080723172529.M21825@hicom.net>

details at:

from which the following is excerpted:

While existing programs enable blind people to access the web effectively, 
LowBrowse™ is the first program to enable people with moderate or severe 
low vision to both view web pages as the original web author intended and 
read the text on those pages tailored to their own visual needs. The 
highly anticipated program, which runs in conjunction with the Mozilla 
Firefox browser, will be offered at no charge and is expected to be 
available to the public for download via the Firefox add-on site in late 
summer or early fall of 2008. [forwarder's note: as of this posting, 
LowBrowse is not yet available, but will be available from 
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ when it is released.]

LowBrowse™ is part of a larger research project on low vision user 
interface design headed by Aries Arditi PhD, Senior Fellow in Vision 
Science at Lighthouse International, under a grant from the National Eye 
Institute. "This technology enables all the text on a website to be 
presented in the same readable format - size, color, font and spacing - 
regardless of which page is being viewed and without having to navigate 
to the next line," said Arditi, a vision scientist and an expert in web 
accessibility. Dr. Arditi, who is the current president of the 
International Society of Low-Vision Research and Rehabilitation, has 
written more than 80 scientific publications about vision and is the 
author of Lighthouse International's popular Color Contrast and Making 
Text Legible publications (available at www.lighthouse.org).

Arditi vision and an added, "LowBrowse™ emphasizes efficiency and 
accessibility for the unique needs of people with vision loss. This 
system further democratizes the Internet and empowers millions of 
people with low vision."

LowBrowse™ is important and useful for many reasons:

    * Users spend a few moments configuring their preferences 
      (using a very simple procedure) for font, text size, color 
      contrast and letter spacing. Once the configuration is set, 
      no further adjustments will be needed on any web pages - 
      including pages with photos and graphics.

    * LowBrowse™ makes searching and skimming web pages for specific 
      information much easier than other accessible software.

    * Semantic text features such as "link" color, italics and boldface 
      are preserved in the special reading frame.

    * Users can easily enlarge images simply by holding down a button 
      and wiggling the mouse.

    * Users with severe low vision can use LowBrowse's™ speech 

    * Users can simultaneously view the web page as the web author 
      intended it to be viewed and access the text (in a separate 
      reading frame), enabling visually-impaired users to appreciate 
      the very same view of the page that able-sighted users see.

    * The program performs these functions in a consistent manner for 
      all pages on all websites.

    * The program is very user-friendly, with few commands, making it 
      perfect for computer novices as well as tech-savvy users.

    * The program is portable and can be installed in seconds on a 
      flash drive and downloaded from anywhere.

    * The program will eventually be available in multiple languages

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of
focus.                                           -- Mark Twain
Gregory J. Rosmaita: oedipus@hicom.net
   Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/
          Oedipus' Online Complex: http://my.opera.com/oedipus
Received on Wednesday, 23 July 2008 17:28:22 UTC

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