2000 Conference Proceedings

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Incorporating Audible and Tactual Media

Larry L. Lewis, Jr.
Blindness Products Manager
HumanWare, Inc.

I. Welcome and Introduction

II. Opportunities for Internet users

  1. E-mail capability

    1. Microsoft Outlook Express and other e-mail programs

    2. Free e-mail account options

  2. Access to world wide information

  3. The ability to search for specific information

    1. Utilization of search engines

    2. Accessing search options from a specific web site

  4. The ability to teleconference or "chat" on-line

1. Microsoft Net Meeting

2. Chat rooms

III. Essential components for Internet access

A. A computer with a modem

B. An Internet service provider

  1. local providers

  2. national providers

C. An Internet browser

  1. Netscape Navigator

  2. Internet Explorer

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IV. Developing an adaptive solution for persons who are blind to access the Internet

A. The necessity for a screen reader that is capable of handling web pages that are inaccessible for persons who are blind

1. Text based sites vs. graphical interface

2. multiple frames within a web page

B. Selecting an appropriate refreshable Braille display

1. A Braille display that is supported by the screen reader you have selected

2. A Braille display that minimizes the movements of the user’s hands from the actual area where the Braille is displayed

3. A Braille display with a user friendly command structure

4. A Braille display that offers further customization options for the user

V. Jaws for Windows and the Braille Window—A Formidable Audible/Tactual Solution

A. The relationship between Jaws for Windows (JFW) and the Braille Window

B. A demonstration of the simultaneous functionality of both products

1. Utilizing pulldown menus and dialog boxes to open, close, and send e-mail messages and web pages.

2. Accessing links and reviewing the content of a web page from the Braille Window

3. Using the Braille window to perform accurate searches for information

4. Using the Braille Window to fill out on-line forms

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VI. Conclusions

A. Adaptive audible/tactual solutions have begun to level the playing field for sighted and blind individuals to access information from the World Wide Web.

B. It is important that the end user make an informed and educated choice regarding his/her implementation of adaptive speech and Braille components so that his/her on-line experienced might be optimized.

C. Utilizing more than one adaptive medium allows the end user additional technological tools on-line.

D. Independence under-girded with efficiency results when Braille and speech are cohesively utilized on-line.

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Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.