Enabling Technology

Information visualization: Text

Project ideas

Spatial Sound Screen Reader

Categories | Information visualization: Text | Interfaces: Auditory | Disabilities: Visual |

Description - The defacto standard in screen reader software, JAWS, costs over $800. JAWS sticks very closely to the stacked windows metaphor used by all modern visual window systems. Unfortunately stacking is not an audio concept. If two people are standing one behind the other, you can still hear them both; but in JAWS only the front most application gets to speak. What is worse, when a pop-up window appears it takes over the speech. We have noticed that the ideas of stacking and obscuration don't make much sense to some blind users. What would be an appropriate audio metaphor for the desktop? Perhaps the various applications could be represented as different individuals who have gathered in a semi-circle in front of the user. Using spatial sound each application could appear to speak from a different location. The user could choose to direct his comments or commands to any of the applications by directing his gaze toward it. This could make a neat paper or even a thesis topic.

Phonetic Spell Checker

Categories | Disabilities: Visual | Information visualization: Text | Social impact: Acceptance |

Description - People often notice mistakes in their writing when they look at a word and notice it is 'not quite right.' What if you cannot see the word spelled out? How can you know a word is spelled incorrectly when a screen reader speaks things phonetically? For instance, 'nock' and 'knock' are pronounced the same by JAWS, but mean totally different things. In most cases, the first is most likely a spelling mistake. Research and build a spell checker that parses text based on phonetic spellings and indicates when a word might be spelled incorrectly.

External links

ReadPlease 2000

Categories | Disabilities: Visual | Information visualization: Text |

Description - A free text-to-speech screen reader that supports the AT&T Natural Voices. It can also speak text to MP3 files.

Submitted by Peter Parente

Query-by-critique: Spoken Language Access to Large Lists

Categories | Disabilities: Visual | Interfaces: Auditory | Communication: Internet | Information visualization: Text |

Description - Spoken language access to lists of information.

Submitted by Gary Bishop

Institute for Innovative Blind Navigation

Categories | Disabilities: Visual | Interfaces: Visual | Interfaces: Auditory | Interfaces: Tactile | Interfaces: Devices | Information visualization: Text | Information visualization: Maps and diagrams | Information visualization: Rendering |

Description - This site has lots of information about orientation and mobility. Among other things, there is an entire book on teaching orientation and mobility to kids and a "living" book in progress about assistive technologies for wayfinding.

Submitted by Andrew Raij