[Kde-accessibility] Accessibility Summer of Code projects

Henrik Nilsen Omma henrik at ubuntu.com
Fri May 5 17:13:34 BST 2006

Peter Korn wrote:
> For the on-screen keyboard, please consider doing something like "gok 
> --simple" (assuming folks like David Bolter agree).  There is enough 
> overlap that keeping common code common would be nice
That is certainly an option. I will need to discuss this with the 
student who takes it on, who will clearly have some input on the 
approach we take. For one thing, we might go with a different language 
such as python.

Another area where I'm considering a fairly radical departure is in 
rendering the keys. It might make sense to do that directly in Cairo or 
similar so we can get better performance and more flexibility in the 
shape, placement and look of the keys. Starting with a clean slate is a 
good opportunity to try out new ideas and technologies that you might 
otherwise feel too constricted to try.

> Also, with your use case for the student Liza, I think she would want 
> most of the current features of GOK, though without necessarily the 
> configuration GUI.  The last sentence of the Liza use case confuses me 
> - how does she navigate the GNOME desktop and web perfectly without 
> using an on-screen keyboard.
The key there is that she has a head-pointer device like the Headmouse 
[1]. With that she can click on anything on the desktop or in a browser. 
She can start applications, move windows, make drawings, etc. She can 
pretty much do anything with the standard mouse pointer apart from 
entering text. So what Liza needs is a basic QWERTY on-screen keyboard 
that can feed keystrokes into applications, but doesn't get in her way 
when she is not entering text.

[1] http://orin.com/access/headmouse/index.htm
> For the magnifier, I'd be very keen to work with whoever you find on 
> this.  I was involved in the inLARGE magnifier for Macintosh, and have 
> been thinking a lot about magnification for UNIX.
That's great, I'll certainly take you up on that :)  I understand Gunnar 
was working on something as well, so we should coordinate.
> Also, you might consider a fourth project: technology for people with 
> cognitive impairments - something that's a big hole right now in 
> UNIX.  Please see things like Read&Write Gold from TextHelp, which 
> provide assistance for folks with dyslexia, and with a variety of 
> other print disorders.  See 
> http://www.texthelp.com/rwg.asp?q1=products&q2=rwg
I must admit that this is something I haven't looked into very much, and 
so I didn't make plans for it. I would probably need a better 
understanding of the issues before I could be a useful mentor. Perhaps 
next year :)

I proposed three SoC projects, but realistically it looks like I may be 
able to implement just two. That's still a good fraction of the total 
Ubuntu SoC projects. In fact I've only had student applications for the 
SOK and magnifier so far. I guess I can see how the config panel can 
seem boring to students.

If any other distros or gnome or kde will have SoC students working on 
AT as well then we should definitely coordinate our efforts.

- Henrik

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