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Enabling visually impaired people to use the Internet

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2 Author(s)
Zajicek, M. ; Sch. of Comput. & Math. Sci., Oxford Brookes Univ., UK ; Powell, C.

Currently available screen reading products allow the visually impaired user to read the screen using speech synthesis or Braille display hardware. Most of these applications are only capable of reading one line of the screen at a time and the document is accessed in a sequential manner. They are also general purpose and not specifically designed for Web use. As graphical interface technology develops uninterpreted screen reading becomes less cost effective or effectual. WebChat has been developed which operates in a different manner. It presents the information contained in a World Wide Web page conceptually using speech. The screen is presented as a collection of objects consisting of a heading or link and a block of text. Using function keys the user is able to move around the page selecting headings or links from menus and reading blocks of text. Wherever appropriate different voices are used for conceptually different items of output. This paper describes the application of WebChat with particular reference to the facilities made available on the menu bar to help users orientate themselves to the contents of a Web page

Published in:

Computers in the Service of Mankind: Helping the Disabled (Digest No.: 1997/117), IEE Colloquium on

Date of Conference:

7 Mar 1997