Fwd: Re: Vision impaired interface

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Thu Nov 20 2003 - 00:27:54 CST

--- begin forwarded text

From: "Alan Dechert" <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
To: <voting-project@lists.sonic.net>
Subject: Re: Vision impaired interface
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 15:52:54 -0800


This is interesting and if you'd brought this up in August we might have
been able to do something with it. As it is, there are just too many
logistical problems and too little time. One of us (probably me), would
have to identify a suitable model. Then we'd have to make sure Jan gets one
(Jan is in Sweden). We'd probably need several others besides the one we
send to Sweden. There is also a risk that Jan could spend a lot of time
working with it and find it unsuitable, and we'd be back to square one.
Besides, I have no budget to purchase these things and ship them around.

The standard keyboard is not the best way to build a Vision Impaired
Interface (VII) but we know we can build one and everyone already has one
that can with it right now. In addition, the input device is not the main
thing we're demonstrating with the VII: we are showing how a blind voter can
vote privately and unassisted with our printed ballot -- something that some
very prominent voices in this debate have claimed can't be done. This is
the main issue. The fact that workable blind voter interfaces can be made
has already been established.

We might want to include such a device for study when we are working on the
production system, since at that time we really will be looking for the best
possible input device. Right now, the Univ of Maryland has an NSF funded
study going on involving voting system interfaces. I don't know if they are
including experimental ones or just ones that exist with voting machines
already certified and on the market. I've corresponded some with Ben
Bederson at the U of Maryland. If you want to contact him about it, feel
free to use my name.

Alan D.

> 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
> the INTERESTING thing here is that these are NOT specialized input devices
with special 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 keyboard.
> 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.

--- end forwarded text

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:04 2003

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