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!
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!