[sugar] Thinking about accessibility in Sugar & on the OLPC
Peter.Korn at Sun.COM
Thu Mar 29 21:57:18 EDT 2007
> I would like to take accessibility a step further. We all know about
> the virtues of text-to-speech. It would be a great boost to literacy
> if we could combine that with a karaoke-style text-coloring process or
> an old style bouncing ball to indicate the exact part of the text
> being read. This would provide the same general effect as
> Same-Language Subtitling of Bollywood movies, which is reportedly the
> most effective literacy program ever in India, particularly when done
> for musicals that audiences sing along with. See
> http://www.planetread.org/ for examples and more information.
Speaking text & highlighting it as it is read is definitely a useful
tool to help many folks learn how to read. Please see the fourth bullet
in the Accessibility Wiki page section on cognitive impairments
where I note this, and also note a product from Ireland that has proved
to be very useful in Western classrooms (Read & Write Gold).
I've updated that portion of the wiki to note the planetread technology
One other consideration to keep in mind with the approach used by
planetread - we mustn't use color as the only indication of something,
as that will impact folks with color blindness. Giving lots of color
configuration helps with this, and ensuring contrast changes (e.g.
inverse video) will address it. But for example to change green text to
red text as it is read would be very bad for as much as 1/10th of the
white male population.
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
> On 3/29/07, Peter Korn <Peter.Korn at sun.com> wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> Thanks to Jim Gettys I've started looking at OLPC & Sugar accessibility
>> in what passes for spare time. We've just started a mailing list to
>> discuss it (accessibility at laptop.org), and I've updated the
>> Accessibility wiki page (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Accessibility and
>> also added a bit to start things off on the accessibility section of the
>> OLPC human interface guidelines
>> I would very much appreciate a conversation looking at these issues, and
>> on how (and when) we might address accessibility in Sugar and on the
>> OLPC. From my brief play with the OLPC via a stock BTest-2 system,
>> there is quite a lot of work to do to provide anything like a similar
>> level of accessibility support as we have in a GNOME 2.16 or later
>> desktop (including keyboard navigation support, theming for visual
>> disabilities, and of course assistive technologies). There is also a
>> lot of great potential for this device to open up some neat new options
>> for people with disabilities (sign language chat with the built in
>> camera; augmentative communication for folks who can't speak by having
>> the OLPC talk for them), and also for a rather radical cultural shift in
>> the many developing countries where people with disabilities are often
>> shunted into a horrible, marginal existence (I recommend the book "My
>> Path Leads to Tibet" about the story of a German blind woman's efforts
>> to teach Braille to children in Tibet - see
> Do you know Werner Herzog's Land of Silence and Darkness (Land des
> Schweigens und der Dunkelheit), about the world of those who are both
> blind and deaf? There is another German documentary called Taubblind,
> apparently about them also, that I haven't seen. In Germany, they are
> taught a touch alphabet for spelling out words on another person's
> hand. I don't suppose we are ready to teach this to a robot
> text-to-finger-speech device for developing countries, but it bears
> thinking about.
>> As I'm new to the OLPC & Sugar, I'd also appreciate your patience and
>> understanding (and your kind assistance) with my ignorance of what has
>> already been discussed in this area.
>> Peter Korn
>> Accessibility Architect,
>> Sun Microsystems, Inc.
>> Sugar mailing list
>> Sugar at laptop.org
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