eSignal - Accessibility for Sight/Hearing Impaired Users

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eSignal - Accessibility for Sight/Hearing Impaired Users

This article provides resources available for eSignal Users with Sight/Hearing Impairments.  Here you'll find some helpful hints for configuring Windows XP using reference material made available by Microsoft:

Microsoft has a built in Accessiblity Wizard for people who are deaf/blind or have difficulty seeing or hearing sounds on their computer. 

Accessibility Wizard
As described in the article, the Accessibility Wizard can be configured by clicking on the Start Menu and going to All Programs, Accessories, Accessiblity, Accessiblity Wizard.  The Display Settings menu allows custom changes related to the Font Size and Screen Resolution as well as the Microsoft Magnifier which acts as a magnifying glass for the cursor. 

Click Next to make additional adjustments including audio, video, keyboard, and mouse configurations:

Similar adjustments can be made in the Windows Control Panel under the Accessibility Options Menu:

Additional eSignal tools available for the hearing impaired include:

  • WEBEX (Remote Desktop Software)
  • LiveRep (Online Chat)
  • Email Support
  • Forums
  • File Share
  • eSignal KnowledgeBase

    As listed on Microsoft's site, People who have vision difficulties and impairments may be interested in the following assistive technology:
  • Screen enlargers (or screen magnifiers) work like a magnifying glass. They enlarge a portion of the screen as the user moves the focus—increasing legibility for some users. Some screen enlargers allow a user to zoom in and out on a particular area of the screen.
  • Screen readers are software programs that present graphics and text as speech. A screen reader is used to verbalize, or "speak," everything on the screen including names and descriptions of control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation.
  • Speech recognition systems, also called voice recognition programs, allow people to give commands and enter data using their voices rather than a mouse or keyboard.
  • Speech synthesizers (often referred to as text-to-speech (TTS) systems) receive information going to the screen in the form of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, and then "speak" it out loud. Using speech synthesizers allows blind users to review their input as they type.
  • Refreshable Braille displays provide tactile output of information represented on the computer screen. The user reads the Braille letters with his or her fingers, and then, after a line is read, refreshes the display to read the next line.
  • Braille embossers transfer computer generated text into embossed Braille output. Braille translation programs convert text scanned in or generated via standard word processing programs into Braille, which can be printed on the embosser.
  • Talking word processors are software programs that use speech synthesizers to provide auditory feedback of what is typed.
  • Large-print word processors allow the user to view everything in large text without added screen enlargement.

    For additional resources please visit the following:

    University of Arizona's Adaptive Technology site
    Wikipedia Adaptive Technology
    Adaptive Technology Links
    New York Institute For Special Education (Blindness Resource Center)