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Old 08-21-2004, 07:38 AM   #1
Dreamcast
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What book(s) should I read to learn how to write a program for the visually impaired?


I teach blind and low vision students how to use technology for a large school district. From my experience with Windows, installing accessibility programs is a huge pain. In addition, the programs are typically bloated with too many options. Moreover, the programs are so expensive (about $1000) per computer, that few families can afford to purchase them for home use.

I believe that Linux is a far superior operating system to Windows in terms of ease of use and cost. In fact, Linux is even easier to install if the user makes a deliberate effort to purchase a Linux compatible computer.

Unfortunately, Linux has no working screen magnification program at this time. Thus, I would like to write an extremely simple but elegant screen magnification program.

I feel that I have a decent knowledge of the KDE GUI. Still, I have next to no knowledge of how to use the command line terminal for Linux. In addition, I took a took a computer programing course in Pascal about 17 years ago at Michigan State University.

What book(s) should I read to learn how to make a screen magnification program for the visually impaired?

I feel that I can dedicate no more than 200-300 hours to this project including reading the necessary books? Do you feel that this project is too difficult for me to attempt with such limited time resources?

Thank you for your time and attention.
 
Old 08-21-2004, 08:49 AM   #2
laceupboots
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There are magnification programs in Linux you might try Kmag
http://kmag.sourceforge.net/download.html
 
Old 08-21-2004, 09:22 AM   #3
Dreamcast
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Thank you - I have tried Kmag

Kmag only provides a static image of a small portion of the screen.

Still, thank you very much for replying to my post.
 
Old 08-21-2004, 12:30 PM   #4
black hole sun
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Not to be dense or anything, but have you tried just lowering your monitor's resolution to the smallest supported mode? That will make things really, really big if you have a monitor that can do, say, 1280x1024.

Also this link may help:

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Accessibil...TO/visual.html

Furthermore you may want to try Gnome, which comes with something similar to Kmag, I don't know how much better or worse it is, though, as I don't use Gnome.

Last edited by black hole sun; 08-21-2004 at 12:33 PM.
 
Old 08-21-2004, 04:40 PM   #5
laceupboots
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Well it does include the source code. It could give you a place to start, and you could modify it to fit your needs. I haven't looked at the source so I don't know how much trouble that would be.
 
Old 08-21-2004, 04:57 PM   #6
Jmcatch742
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Well, I'm, not so sure about linux but BSD has a bunch of great magnifyers. And also, how the heck can you teach a blind kid to use a computer, seeing is kinda one of the most important things, I mean like how can you tell what it says or where to click or what you are typing or stuff like that?
 
Old 08-21-2004, 09:34 PM   #7
slackist
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Have you tried Gnopernicus? I just had a look at it (slack9.0, dropline gnome 2.6) and it has all sorts of options such as Speech, Braille, Magnifier, Mouse, Braille Monitor, Command Mapping etc

http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gap/AT/Gnopernicus/

perhaps if it doesn't have the features you require it would be easier to add them rather than writing a whole new suite from scratch?

mark
 
Old 08-23-2004, 01:32 AM   #8
Dreamcast
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black hole sun - You are not dense. I have taught some of my students how to change screen resolution, font size, etc. Too many of my fellow vision teachers eagerly purchase expensive software before they try the solution that you suggested. Thank you for the link.

laceupboots - You are correct. I really should look at the source code. Thank you.

Jmcatch742 - I should obtain a copy of BSD. I have been meaning to try out this operating system. Answer to your question: Students with low vision just need a magnification program. Totally blind students use a sophisticated programwith voice output. In fact, I am currently teaching a totally blind student how to surf the internet.

chefmark - I have tried Gnopernicus. I am very excited about this project. Gnopernicus has the potential to revolutionize computer accessibility for blind persons. Unfortunately, it still needs some work on the magnification feature. I think you are correct. "It would be easier to add them (magnification features) rather than writing a whole new suite from scratch." Thank you.
 
  


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