denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_accessibility2012-05-11 11:47 pm

Assistive tech (semi-) poll

One of the problems we've been running into lately when talking accessibility-focused design is that it's very hard to know what assistive/adaptive tech people are using to access the site. Sometimes this information shows up in the Google Analytics aggregate data that we look at for information on browser capabilities, but it's hard to get an accurate picture that way: a lot of adaptive tech self-reports as something other than it is in order to "trick" websites that do browser-specific design into giving it different results, etc.

So, in order to a) make sure we're testing things in the most commonly-used assistive technology setups out there and b) make sure we're making the right design choices in the future (especially as there are multiple conflicting accessibility-related paradigms), we would like to get a better picture of what kinds of assistive technology our users are actually using to access the site.

Rather than trying to make a poll and listing off various forms of assistive tech (and invariably forgetting half of them), let's run this as an open-ended semi-poll. If you use any kind of assistive technology (screenreader, text-to-speech software, dictation software, screen magnifying software, browser extensions or plugins that change the way web pages display to you -- anything at all), please comment to this post listing off all the things you use. (And, if it's software, include the version number as well, if you can find it -- there are major differences in how different versions of some programs work.)

For "assistive technology", we're taking a very, very broad definition -- anything from "JAWS, version 13" (screenreader software) to "Dragon NaturallySpeaking" (dictation software) to "NoSquint" (Firefox extension) and anything in between. If you use it to help you make the web more accessible for you, we want to know about it, no matter how minor you may feel it is. (And even if your particular assistive technology has been mentioned already, mention it again; we'd rather have something reported multiple times than risk missing it!)

For those who feel uncomfortable talking about this publicly, anonymous commenting is enabled in this community (with the antispam test temporarily disabled) and all anonymous comments will be screened on this particular entry, so if you comment anonymously, it won't be public. We don't need to know who uses what particular setups, we just need to know what setups are being used, if that makes sense!
lightgetsin: The Doodledog with frisbee dangling from her mouth, looking mischievious, saying innocence personified. (Default)

[personal profile] lightgetsin 2012-05-12 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
Jaws, of various flavors -- 13 on the main laptop, 12 on the work laptop, 11 on the old clunker.

Voiceover on the iPhone and occasionally iPad.

Oratio on the Blackberry (though not if I can help it, because seriously. bleh)

dragon Dictation on the iPhone occasionally. Vlingo Voice, same.

A Firefox plug-in that squashes autoplay music/sounds on webpages. Forget the name of it.

Salona -- when it's functional -- to snap a screenshot of a page and have it realtime read by a human to decipher a captcha or understand a layout.

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deborah: Kirkus Reviews: OM NOM NOM BRAINS (kirkus)

[personal profile] deborah 2012-05-12 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
NaturallySpeaking 11 Pro with lots of DW-specific macros.
MouselessBrowsing add-on for Firefox.
Opera configured for single key browsing.

NVDA (mostly for testing but also for sometimes browsing now that I'm used to it, for specific circumstances).

All on Windows 7 Pro.

And on iphone: Vlingo, Dragon Go, Siri, VoiceOver, Assistive touch.
Edited (Forgot about assistive touch until I was getting aggravated at it while reading this post.) 2012-05-13 06:33 (UTC)
larissa: (FFXIII ☄ ⌈Lightning ; pause⌋)

[personal profile] larissa 2012-05-12 08:06 am (UTC)(link)
Not sure if it counts, but I use Flux all day on its highest setting to reduce eye strain. It changes colors of some layouts (I can barely make out anything in Abstractia when it's on) but doesn't affect much past colors.
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2012-05-12 10:57 am (UTC)(link)
Totally counts - everything counts!!

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jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2012-05-12 10:58 am (UTC)(link)
At the moment I mostly just use things which change the web page size - command-+ on the mac to increase size.

I have a set of bookmarklets which strip formatting too so if I get too mixed up I can just "zap" anything back to text-only in my preference of layouts.

In the past I've used an on-screen keyboard and/or voice dictation too.
kayloulee: ST: TOS Spock in an orange jumpsuit like a beekeeper "I am a space beekeeper.I keep space bees" (Default)

[personal profile] kayloulee 2012-05-12 12:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Like [personal profile] larissa, I use Flux for eye-strain reduction, especially because I need computer-only reading glasses. Less strain on eyes = fucking win. I also use a 'zap colours' bookmarklet from Squarefree that turns all pages back to black text on white with blue or purple hyperlinks in order to make low-contrast colour schemes readable. For a while before I got my reading glasses I was Ctrl+ and Ctrl-ing text all the time, but I don't need text to be huge in order to focus on it anymore.
Edited (bad link description) 2012-05-12 12:12 (UTC)
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2012-05-12 08:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I also use a 'zap colours' bookmarklet from Squarefree

Wow! Thank you so much for the link!
jesse_the_k: Happy & sad monster dolls over "bipolar = 2X Fun" (Bipolar = Twice the Fun)

[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2012-05-12 05:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Mac OS X 10.6.8. Started using Macs with Finder 4.1

I beta-tested software called inLarge which was the precursor to the current Apple OS X enlargement tools (in 1988! I'm old!) and I'm putting off using screen enlargement as long as I can. The flashing and cursor movement will interfere with some of my other impairments. I am very far-sighted, plus astigmatism and double vision; also fatigue, psych nonsense, migraine, and tendency to RSI in hands, arms, shoulders. I can cope on my home computer with my laptop glasses and the following tools.

Flux helps with mania management & happy eyes.
Typinator makes it possible for me to type accurate HTML
Boom doubles the dynamic range of Mac's speakers, which definitely improves listening to podfic with my central auditory processing issues.
Spotlight to open files and start applications

Yojimbo to store snippets, pix, indexes to fanfics, and the little things which would be on scraps of paper if this were 1960. Don't like it much, but it permits me to store-and-go, which soothes obsession.

I bounce between browsers because I don't have the GREP-foo needed to create custom style sheets for each site I visit, and various browsers help me in various way to suppress flashing, enlarge text, suppress background colors. (Also I'm obsessive when I'm manic—like now—so I keep switching in hopes that one of them will be easy. So far, no.) I used to be at the marvelous zen point with iCab, but I can no longer figure out the site-pref controls.

Right now I'm using Safari 5.1.5 on a MacBook Pro, Adblock, TypeToNavigate (plus Safari's own tab to links—much better than tracking the cursor around with my thumb), Zoom by site (a poor cousin to NoSquint which doesn't seem to be working but too manic to test), and 1Password (Oh! My lousy memory doesn't matter anymore with this utility remembering and filling out all my logins.)

OmniWeb is great for the site-by-site prefs, but no keybrd nav. Both Safari and OmniWeb provide keybrd shortcuts for the first 10 items on the bookmark bar, where I keep the "zap colors" and "zap all css" Jscripts from Jesse's Bookmarks, as well as the Read it Later bookmark for Instapaper. God I love Instapaper! (Zap all css is great for the NYTImes and other sites with altogether too many columns.)

Firefox is fine when it's not squirming and crashing, and I adore NoSquint, but the lack of the keybrd shortcuts is really annoying.

I've tried Opera intermittently for the past decade, and it always feels completely alien.

I also have an iPod Touch. It's wonderful for reading because it's so light! Instapaper has tilt-to-scroll; I do as much of my net reading as I can on my back with the wee iPod in alternating hands. I read ~25 articles/week from the NYT (I even pay them, isn't that weird?) as well as another 40 from various magazines, blogs, DW, even BBS/forum threads, Archive & other fanfiction.

If it's more than three spacebars' worth of text *in the original*, I'll send it to Instapaper. (I avoid getting sucked in to actually reading until it's on my iPod. Sitting up and reading on the Macbook is sub-optimal.) I also use iBooks, MegaReader (no highlights), Kindle, Bluefire for purchased books and fic. They all permit me to set the font to huge and the colors to optimal

Since I have a lousy memory the iPod becomes assistive in innumerable ways I won't bother to brag on about: alarms are wonderful!
ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)

[personal profile] ninetydegrees 2012-05-12 08:43 pm (UTC)(link)
If everything counts then on DW I use NoSquint and custom stylesheets to change text size and colors.

[personal profile] treeowl 2012-05-13 01:01 am (UTC)(link)
Adblock of various types and versions in FF and Chromium helps gets rid of the most distracting page elements (animated or flashing ads), but it's never perfect, so I sometimes resort to zooming in and scrolling the ad off the page, or moving the browser window to take that portion off the screen. I don't have a visual disability, but functional zoom buttons are very important for me, and any website that breaks or disables them is one I'll likely avoid. This is a big issue with many "mobile" websites that for some reason seem to think locking down the size is somehow a good idea. How do they even accomplish this feat of stupidity, technically?
not_a_sniglet: A fox and a deer touching noses. (Default)

[personal profile] not_a_sniglet 2012-05-13 08:18 am (UTC)(link)
Ok. Here we go.
Main Laptop - Vista:
NVDA. Don't remember the version right now.
Mac: Lion
Borrowed Laptop - Win 7
JAWS 12.0 or NVDA, depending on our mood.

Web Visum: here I think Captcha solver, graphics labeler and a few other really useful doodads, though we only use the captcha solver usually.
Adblock of various flavours
No-Script: Whatever that latest version is, just for squashing autoplay and the like. All other scripts from DW are allowed.

Special note: iPod Touch
Voice-over, generally use the mobile site because I actually like it better if on the iPod.

VERY occasionally Type In Braille. App that gives you an on-screen Braille cell to allow you to type characters that way if you're not in the mood to dig through the on-screen soft keyboard on an iPod.

And I think that's it. Also, browser is always whatever the latest Firefox is unless it's IE. If it's IE, there will be no web visum, because it's a Firefox extension only.
lauredhel: A week-old blue Australorp chick is looking unimpressed (chickbluelorp)

[personal profile] lauredhel 2012-05-13 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
I just use a bunch of things that have been mentioned already - Flux, a BlackOnWhite bookmarklet to zap pages to black text on white only, Adblock, and cmd-+ (in Vienna or Firefox for Mac) to increase text size.
mirthalia: Stick man from xkcd holding up a protest sign saying "Things are pretty okay!" (Default)

[personal profile] mirthalia 2012-05-14 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I also use Flux, set to turn on at dusk, and my laptop is pretty much always on its lowest screen brightness setting (I'm using the newest version of Firefox, Ubuntu 10.04, and a fairly recent Asus whose model # I can't recall right now).

If I'm using my laptop while reclining I'll usually zoom in text by a few steps, using Firefox's default zoom tool.
aoifes_isle: (AnaCruz)

[personal profile] aoifes_isle 2012-07-02 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I use Dragon Dictate 2.5 for the 90% of the time I'm on my laptop, including using voice commands instead of the mouse, etc.

On the iPad, I use Dragon as well, and the inbuilt accessibility tools.
Edited 2012-07-02 20:01 (UTC)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)

[personal profile] firecat 2012-07-02 09:05 pm (UTC)(link)
iMac, Snow Leopard, Firefox & Chrome:

Large type black-text-on-white-background journal style

Evernote's browser extension (Clearly), which presents black text on white background



shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)

[personal profile] shoaling_souls 2012-07-02 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
well, after reading comments here I'm installing flux. I also do a lot of keyboard navigation. One of the browers I use, luakit, has an option where if you press the "f" key, it numbers all the links on the screen, in such a way that the links are spread out across numbers so you have a good chance of only having to type two numbers even on a page with lots of links. I use the Readability add on for FireFox if a page is too busy. I use ctrl + to make things bigger sometimes. I also use adblock but sometimes have to resort to zoom in + side scrolling to make animation go away.

I have a larger default text size set in my browser settings, which sometimes causes layouts of sites to break.
zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)

[personal profile] zdashamber 2012-07-06 07:02 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know if you've tried this, but hitting "Esc" will freeze all animations on a page (except the javascript ones, which I block with NoScript on Firefox). And I also use AdBlock Plus to block any animated images that show up often, like friend's icons, or you can block the whole class of mood icons with bouncing bunnies. :)

I have the larger default text size too, and it breaks layouts All The Time. Pretty much every airport website. Oy.

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forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)

[personal profile] forestofglory 2012-07-02 11:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Not really any of the things you mentioned, but I'm very reliant on Firefox's built in spellchecking to compensate for my LD.
vanessagalore: (Default)

[personal profile] vanessagalore 2012-07-03 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
The main thing for me is setting the font really large, to around 20pts, and certain color combos are better for me, so I use RSS feeds a lot rather than original web pages. I appreciate that upping my font size doesn't cause issues here, the way it does on other sites (Photobucket, until recently, was a really egregious offender in this area). Also, I found a pair of orange computer glasses recently that help a lot if my severe floaters are swimming around excessively. (A new amazing eye doctor helped too.)

Recently, I've been playing with Lisgo, an app for iPhones (etc.) that reads web pages to you on the go (it syncs with Pocket, formerly known as Read It Later). I'm using it to edit my writing by listening to chapters while driving. The only limitation is that it will only work on entries that are set to public and rated "G" (or whatever it is here). I don't think it works on the dreaded Lisgo's developer is really keen on helping people to use the app in new ways, and he will reply to any comment you make within 24 hours, which is amazing. I find that Lisgo's text-to-speech algorithm sounds more natural than most of the other options out there, but YMMV.

I want to try some of these other things that people have mentioned!
nostariel: Rogue from the X-Men, captioned "Don't touch me." (Default)

[personal profile] nostariel 2012-07-03 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
I use NoSquint (text only zoom. I hate full page zoom) and Stylish with a dark global custom color scheme and a bunch of little styles to fix the weird crap that happens on some sites when you zoom the text. And I've got a style that makes the :focus on forms and links stand out on web pages to help me tab through them (I put something similar in the custom CSS of my journal so I can just ?style=mine when browsing DW/LJ in the library or on a friend's computer). A few Greasemonkey userscripts, like the one that makes all punctuation on a page bigger (periods and commas otherwise look the same to me), AutoClick (which helps my RSI by clicking links for me) and AutoPagerize (also less clicking). My default font size is also bigger than normal - 20 px.

[personal profile] jewelfox 2012-07-03 03:40 am (UTC)(link)
I use NoSquint on Firefox. My setup is a 15.6" laptop screen about two feet from my face, and I have trouble reading small print at that distance. I set NoSquint to magnify text only, and not the whole layout, so as not to ruin things, but that itself ruins some layouts. Not usually on Dreamwidth, although the Nav bar runs off to the side and makes a horizontal scrollbar if I use normal Firefox zooming or have it zoom the whole layout.

... which is one reason why I switched to NoSquint.

[personal profile] jewelfox 2012-07-03 04:10 am (UTC)(link)
Oh. One thing I keep running into with NoSquint: The comment forms on some styles go outside of where I can see them. Sidebar widgets overlap, or they make the horizontal scrollbar trigger, or what-have-you. They're kind of broken in general when it comes to this.
canaan: Jack Harkness (Default)

[personal profile] canaan 2012-07-03 04:37 am (UTC)(link)
Dragon Nat Speak 11.5
prototypical: (satisfying to corrupt)

[personal profile] prototypical 2012-07-03 09:01 am (UTC)(link)
I use Flux, set a bit dimmer than its default day and night, because other colors all the time are painful. Both Dreamwidth and the other site I spend large parts of my day at are grey backgrounds -- it makes going anywhere with a white one feel too bright in comparison!

And there are times when I can't use a mouse accurately, but I'm not sure how to compensate for that :(
aoifes_isle: (AnaCruz)

[personal profile] aoifes_isle 2012-07-03 01:46 pm (UTC)(link)
And there are times when I can't use a mouse accurately, but I'm not sure how to compensate for that :(

While it's a potentially expensive option, that's one of the problems I use Dragon Dictate to compensate for.

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kittytech: (Default)

My Tech Stuff

[personal profile] kittytech 2012-07-06 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I primarily use JAWS 13 with Internet explorer version 9. Other configurations I will sometimes use are Window-eyes 7.5X with IE, or System Access with IE. I do have Firefox installed, but prefer not to use it.

I also sometimes use Safari and Voiceover on my iPhone to access the site if I'm reading comments or messages on the go.

Thanks so much to you all for your commitment to accessibility, and your efforts to make sure that accessibility continues to be a priority. It really is appreciated.
Edited 2012-07-06 21:05 (UTC)
jeshyr: Dreamwidth Sheep in a wheelchair. Text "I Dream Of Accessibility" (DW Accessibility - Dream Of Accessibilit)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2012-07-07 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
I think our biggest lesson from this is that people's accessibility solutions are more complex, more complicated, more personalised, and more wide-ranging than the "standard" stuff says.

Firstly we have people using things like AdBlock and F.Lux for accessibility reasons - something they're almost never advertised for. Most people don't think of these as accessibility solutions at all really, just as convenience things.

Secondly we have almost every single person in this entire thread using more than one solution - several people have listed more than five things they use at the same time.

Thirdly we have a bunch of people saying they're using very personalised solutions like bookmarklets, GreaseMonkey, Stylish, and changing their browser defaults to suit themselves. This is great!! But it's also something that isn't really thought of as "standard" accessibility stuff I suspect.

I'd love to see this thread distilled and written up for something like WebAIM to show how wide-ranging and complex real world accessibility setups are!
ciaan: (books)

[personal profile] ciaan 2012-07-12 02:47 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a little in the other direction - I have disabled image display so that I can read at work. However this makes some navigation not function, such as parts of the inbox.
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2012-08-07 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Opera with font size turned up (typically to 140%) and image animation turned off.

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