Accessibility Tools For the MacintoshBy Access Review,
Article discussing the accessibility tools for people who are blind or have low vision that are included with the Macintosh operating system. The CloseView program is included, and it offers basic magnification features. CloseView also contains a utility called Fat Cursors, which allows the user to change the size of the mouse. The PlainTalk English Text-to-Speech feature is included, which translates text into a synthesized voice. The Macintosh operating system also has several keyboard shortcuts to expedite certain tasks, such as COMMAND-W for closing a window and COMMAND-Q for quitting an application. Third-party accessibility options for users who are blind or have low vision include inLARGE screen magnification software, and outSPOKEN screen reader software. Both programs are distributed by the Alva Access Group, and facilitate applications such as navigating around the Macintosh operating system, word processing, and browsing the Internet. The inLARGE program offers two magnification views: (1) full screen, and (2) partial glass. In full screen view, everything that the user sees is magnified. In partial glass view, only a small rectangular area of the screen is magnified. To browse the Internet, the user will use the mouse to move around the screen in order to bring the area of interest into view. The outSPOKEN application generally provides voice output when the user needs access to information on the screen. The user pushes buttons on the numeric keypad to control the mouse. When the mouse is moved around the screen, outSPOKEN reads the information the cursor is pointing to. Users can change the program’s speech characteristics, and change the typing echo to characters, words, or both. In addition, outSPOKEN comes with a graphics dictionary, which has preset labels for the graphics used by the operating system. Finally, outSPOKEN offers several keyboard shortcuts, which help the user accomplish tasks more efficiently.
Assistive Products Discussed: MAC OS X VERSION 10.2 JAGUAR
OUTSPOKEN FOR MACINTOSH
Published by: Sensory Access Foundation (Website:http://www.sensoryaccess.com)
Link to text: http://www.sensoryaccess.com/access-review/macintosh_accessibility.htm