Section 508 compliance
Thomas McGrath III
3mcgrath at adelphia.net
Wed Feb 4 16:45:35 CST 2004
On the Macintosh this usually refers to the software being able to be
accessed via a program like MouseKeys (now included with all macs) and
on Windows this can refer to a program like serial keys.
These softwares can control the mouse on a computer via an external
'assistive technology' device. The device sends 'serial' commands to
the computer and the software interprets them and performs the function
in your software. Nowadays, this is all pretty well straight forward
and included in most OSes.
There is an OR in that statement that provides for this minimal
support. IF the user has an assistive technology device THEN they can
make use of the OSs builtin ability to access a software. There are a
very limited number of devices for blind people or visually impaired
There is a raised pin monitor in the works that translates 256
grayscale into a raised or lowered pin and the blind person can feel
what is on the screen.
Modern braille systems interpret text fields and allow for reading from
those fields also for data entry in those fields.
The two most common programmer additions to a project are:
1. A button to enlarge text in fields to allow for visually impaired
people to see the text better. I use a toggle button to allow for both
normal size text (12-14 points) and then a very large size text(48- 72
points) with scroll bars.
2. Speech synthesis included as an option for severely visually
impaired people. I use a preference for this as it can be quite
annoying due to the poor state of voices available. Then I do a If
gmySpeechOn then revSpeak etc.
For other special needs I use:
Full keyboard control ie tabbed controls and enter key for execution.
I provide multiple methods of navigation to allow for different
Big buttons, easy navigation, speech, large text options. This is about
I find that REV has a great set of controls for this. (Director has a
pre-made set of controls but REV is just as robust)
P.S. I work in the disability field with assistive technology devices.
On Feb 4, 2004, at 11:22 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> (a) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval
> that does not require user vision shall be provided, or
> support for assistive technology used by people who are
> blind or visually impaired shall be provided.
> Do your apps allow keyboard control for all actions in addition to
> responding to the mouse? Any problems with screen readers and Rev's
> internal text engine?
Thomas J. McGrath III
1000 Killarney Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15234
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