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!
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.
prototypical: (demonic cuteness)

[personal profile] prototypical 2012-07-03 01:48 pm (UTC)(link)
If my movement disorder decides to get worse, I may not have a choice. Thanks for the information.
jeshyr: Standrd glyphs representing disability, blindness, interpreters and information. (Disability)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2012-07-07 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
Be aware that there are other solutions such as http://www.steadymouse.com/ and other tremor-dampening software which may be of use, depending on your specific disability.
prototypical: (don't stop believing)

[personal profile] prototypical 2012-07-07 05:15 am (UTC)(link)
I have tardive dyskinesia. Sometimes I can't use my hand at all, other times it just jerks around like indecisive political candidates. That looks pretty useful, so I'm bookmarking it for the next time I do software updates and other computer maintenance on a night sleep eludes me.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2012-07-07 09:07 am (UTC)(link)
Depending on your operating system, there may also be free alternatives - Windows has built-in speech recognition, and there are open-source options on Linux. Most of them aren't quite as good as Dragon, but some might be good enough for your purposes.