Re: Vision impaired interface

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Wed Nov 19 2003 - 16:24:13 CST

Thank you alan. I understand now that there is a demo platform constraint. Even so I'll re-iterate one suggestion buried in my list.

It appears you want to use keyboard input for blind access and are exploring different key combination that would simple for a vision impaired person. I have seen (fisher price style) children's computer game consoles that for example have toy steering wheels, gear shift levers and a few buttons.

the INTERESTING thing here is that these are NOT specialized input devices with specilal input ports and drivers. instead the devices simply snap onto an existing keyboard. turning the wheel is translated into simply pressing different keys on the keybaord.

the nice thing here might be that the large child-like controls would not only serve blind people but also with attenuated small motor skills or palseys (for selecting home arrow keys or even resting their hands in hovering position would be a non-starter).

To implement this you sould simply be choosing the key mapping to different keys appropriate to the game. The reason to think about it now is that it might permit a higher level input selection syntax from the almost binary one you were discussing on this thead.

any how I'll go back to lurking some more till I better grasp the design.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Dechert <>
Sent: Nov 19, 2003 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Vision impaired interface

Thanks for writing, Charlie. Generally speaking, you have some very
reasonable comments, questions, and suggestions. However, this is coming
too late to be very useful to the demo project. Some of what you say may
transfer well to the development of the production system. But we have to
focus on getting the demo done.

I had hoped to have good documentation done for the demo but I guess nobody
(myself included) had sufficient time to really follow through with that.
Our list archives have turned out to be the main form of specs,
requirements, etc. Please read the archives for details.

At this point, I think the basic architecture for the demo is done even
though you won't be able to find it all in one place. For the Vision
Impaired Interface, Jan is thinking about how the voter will be able to
delete a letter when writing in a name, but I think most other design issues
have been settled. The main discussion on this was in late Oct -- including
input from people like Prof Doug Jones and Prof Peter Maggs that have very
substantial credentials in this area.

David Mertz started on an architecture document but it is incomplete and
out-of-date. It still may be useful to look at and maybe we can still get
it updated.

The closest thing we have to a requirements document is what I wrote in

There have been a few changes and refinements but basically, we're still
working from this same list of requirements.

Anyone voicing a desire for better documentation had better be prepared to
help produce the desired documentation (and fast!, like in the next few
days) -- otherwise, it's not going to be helpful to those already working to
complete the tasks.

As for division of tasks, the most current information available is probably
in the thread I started last week with this message:

Among other things, I identified 9 people that have taken the lead with 9
major tasks. Actually, Jan has taken the lead in two areas (Vision Impaired
Interface and Web-based demo) while one area (handouts for the demo
audience) has no one yet. If you read the responses to this message, you can
get an idea of some of the milestones that have been achieved and some that
are anticipated soon. There has been some off-list discussion regarding the
tabulation demo and I hope they (Arnie and Chris) will get something posted
to the list ASAP. If you know how to produce nice looking documents and
want to take the lead for producing handouts (mainly for media people),
please jump in and do that. And/or if you are willing and able to help with
one of the other 8 areas, please contact the respective leaders directly and
see if you can help.


Alan D.

> Hello, I've been lurking for a while and have a basic question.
> where are the requirements/design docs? Where are the accomplishments and
milestones listed. How are tasks divided.
> finally regarding blind and other handicap access, is this project allowed
to think out of the box a bit or are there fixed platform constraints.
Namley I am thinking that a cheap hardware interface might be a superior
solution. to name two:
> virtually all blind people are completely comfortable with a touch tone
phone key pad (and listen & speak to the hand set for that matter ("press or
say "one" to choose to vote no"). Standardizing on this would allow for the
minimum capabilites to be set at a very high standard right form the start.
> The interface would add virtually no costs since it could use a real phone
connected to a modem port or sound card on the computer.
> as a second example, a common interface on wheel chairs for the muscularly
week is a joy stick or wheel. again this allows for a somewhat high level
navigation tool.
> I dont know much about blow tubes but in my ignorance I would assume that
they have some operation mode that is not strictly binary (e.g. blow pattern
> by the way, to keep things inexpensive and robust I'll note that a
telephone based input can be adapted to both blow tubes (by sound) and to
joy sticks/wheels (that glove over the buttons--they make childrens toys
like this for keyboards)
> why set the minimum standard to a binary input schema if it can be
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:04 2003

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