2004 Conference Proceedings

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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND OS X

Presenter(s)
Scott Marfilius
855 W. County Line Rd.
Bayside, WI 53217
Email: Marfilius@wi.rr.com

Mac OS X Jaguar gives a great computer experience to everyone. The system goes beyond the requirements of the U.S. federal government's Section 508 Accessibility statute to provide smooth, elegant features to those with difficulties using computers. You'll find technology that aids seeing, hearing and using the keyboard and mouse.

Seeing
If you have impaired vision, Mac OS X provides a range of options to help you see what's on screen. The fantastic display option "Zoom" uses the Quartz rendering and compositing engine to magnify the contents of your screen. Quartz makes graphics and type smooth, providing a high-quality experience.

Use the White on Black option to give your display higher contrast, allowing you to read text more easily. You can use speech recognition to launch applications as well as to execute application commands instead of typing or mousing. The system will also speak alerts, selected text and text underneath your mouse.

Hearing
If you have difficulty hearing, you can set the Mac to flash the screen instead of beeping to alert you.

Mouse
If you have have difficulty using the mouse, you can use the numeric keypad to move the cursor around the screen. Jaguar also lets you navigate menus, the Dock, windows, toolbars, palettes and other controls via the keyboard.

Keyboard
If you have have difficulty using a keyboard, Jaguar offers several options to help you. Instead of pressing modifier keys (command, option, control, shift) at the same time, you can press them sequentially. Jaguar shows them on screen with the beautiful Quartz compositor, letting you see whatever is beneath it, and can also beep when you've pressed a modifier key. Of course, you can always use speech recognition instead of the keyboard.

Jaguar also provides developers with everything they need to make hardware to help you with your Mac.


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