andresambrois at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 13:46:42 EDT 2009
On Wednesday 08 April 2009 05:24:18 Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
> might be interesting to lurk during this session to learn more about
> how we'll improve accessibility in Sugar.
Some weeks ago I met Andrea Mangiatordi, from the Farfalla Project, who is
working with LATU on accessibility issues. I invited him to write down his
thoughts on this problem, and I think it would be great to discuss some here:
Andrés Ambrois wrote:
> Hey Andrea!
> There has been a lot of talk on accessibility lately in the Sugar
> community, mainly because of several related Summer of Code
> applications. I remember you've been working on this front with LATU,
> and I think it would be great if you could share some of your work with us.
Hi Andrés, hi Chris,
I am also Ccing Pablo Flores (CeibalJAM) who recently asked me to put
down some lines about my proyect before he heads to Boston.
I am currently working in the Ceibal technical Area at LATU even if I am
not strictly a technician. I am a PhD student interested on the
inclusive potential of technology for disabled children who attend
lessons in ordinary classes. Currently, I am splitting my weeks in two
parts: I participate in the school work of some children (three days a
week, teaching them how to use some very basical instruments, such as
Mousekeys...) and during the remaining days I work (mainly alone, but in
a LATU office) on my own proyect, which is a web application which aims
to providing some special aids through the web . I am trying to
optimize the app to be used on the XO laptop.
You know there are some small haks which can be practiced on an XO to install
and configure some new interesting features. I started out from this one 
and I find it absolutely useful with children with movement impairments
as the ones in the school I am doing research.
The last week, as an example, two students came to propose a project
they are working on for their thesis: it was not considered interesting
and someone proposed me to talk to them and ask if they could be
interested in developing something related to accessibility... They
showed some interested, but they were visibly incredulous...
Ah, in the LATU tech area there are also two people working on an
interface to use a wheelchair through the XO.
> I'm CCing Chris Ball who is one of the main developers behind Dasher,
> which we talked about a couple of weeks ago, apart from an engineer
> working at OLPC and an all around good guy. It would be great if LATU
> could help in some way integrate Dasher in Sugar.
Nice! I am a Dasher fan, as I already told Andrés. I would like to do a
Dasher Activity myself, if I only knew how!
> We would be very happy to hear about your work on the Sugar mailing list
> . Please feel free to stop by our IRC channel #sugar at
> irc.freenode.net, I'm usually idling there as aa.
> See you around :).
Ok, now I'll join both.
Summarizing, my ideas about Sugar accessibility solutions are:
- integrating accessX in the Sugar core, putting an icon in the control
panel to configure the mouse/keyboard preferences -> this seems quite
simple to me, even if I don't have (almost) any knowledge of python
- adding some way to do CAPS LOCK! I read in this  olpc wiki
discussions that the caps lock key was proposed for removal for encumber
reasons. This seems odd to me, because most of the children I am working
with simply don't know small capitals letters!
- adding screen reader features, but I know this is already in the GSoC
proposals... As you know, I already installed Xubuntu on my XO and it
runs like a charm, with ORCA enabled too. I have some problems with
dasher there... It doesn't seem to get the mouse cursor position. I'll
investigate it soon...
- adding an onscreen keyboard: it could be a standalone application with
its own text area (just like Dasher) or a system wide keyboard. I think
the second option would be trikier... GOK could be the preferred choice,
but I also noticed this  proyect and I found it interesting.
In the case of a standalone keyboard I would probably prefer (for
virtual keyboard inside a navigator. It comes with very good
multilanguage support and together with some web wisiwig editor could be
very useful. I am already integrating it in my own proyect.
- adding some magnifying aid: I don't really like the one which comes
with ORCA, I would prefer something which gave the opportunity to have
both a fixed magnifying area (as in ORCA's) AND a movable magnifying
virtual glass (as the one here )
Ok, these are some ideas, not very original to be honest, but I think
they have to be considered mayor priorities. And it's quite late and I'm
quite lazy ;)
I hope that the discussion will be hot on the Sugar ML...
Thanks to everybody for your interest in this theme.
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