Try the following two experiments using Microsoft Narrator to navigate
the web. While there are better text-to-speech tools available
for web browsing, keep in mind that Microsoft Narrator is the only one
installed by default with Windows. You can move around between
hyperlinks and active fields using the tab button to move forward and shift+tab to move backward.
Turn on Microsoft Narrator and skim over the help section. You
are welcome to copy down or print out any parts of it that you would
like. Use Internet Explorer for these next experiments.
Navigating to Google News
Go to http://www.google.com. Your focus starts on the main
search box. Take a look at the webpage and read step three.
However, do not click ahead -- stay on the main google webpage.
Figure out how you will achieve step three visually first without
trying it, then proceed to step two.
Turn off the monitor.
Navigate to the Google News site.
Figure out the title of the first "Top News" story.
Record your reactions to this process in your journal.
Navigating the CS380 Website
Turn off your monitor if it isn't already.
Press ctrl+o to get the
open dialog box.
Type in "http://cs.brynmawr.edu/cs380"
Navigate to and bring up this lab on the course website.
Record your reactions in your journal. What made this one
so much simpler?
Navigating Bryn Mawr College's Website
Go to http://ww.google.com. Again, your focus starts on the
main search box.
Turn off the monitor.
Google Bryn Mawr College's main website and navigate there.
What is the title of the first news story on the website?
If you can't answer number 4 in a minute or two, stop and turn on
the monitor, trying it when you can see what is going on.
Record your reactions in your journal.
Part 3: Looking Forward
Brainstorm a few ways that computational methods (AI, machine vision,
etc.) could be integrated with these existing tools to improve
accessibility of documents and the web. Don't worry about the
feasibility or current state-of-the-art of these technologies for right
now, just spend 5 minutes and free-write to brainstorm ideas.
Choose one of your ideas and spend a few minutes looking up what the
current state-of-the-art is of this technology and flesh out its
application to improve accessibility. Search to see if you can
find any applications of this technology to accessibility and its
strengths and weaknesses. If not, what might be some of the major
challenges and risks to making this application successful?