Accessibility for the Blind
Today I worked with a blind person from the National Industries for the Blind to help her access a meeting and participate. Though she has software which "reads" text on the screen, it took us 20+ minutes over the phone for her to sign in as a guest. Once in we were able to eventually get her microphone working because her software did read the word "Allow" when she pressed Ctrl-M to activate the mic. It took some time to figure that out, though. Her software never did read the pull down menus so we could run the audio set up wizard, which, as it turned out, we didn't need. Her mic worked fine once she got the hang of it.
Her software apparently doesn't read Flash created text, such as is in a PPT file. She could not identify the chat or other pods with her software. She probably had the skill to use "chat" if she had been able to figure out where it was on the screen.
Think this might be an area for exploration. Downloaded the paper on accessibility but of little help in this situation. Believe that by identifying some key strokes people could use (Ctrl M and Ctrl Up Arrow work well) there might be an expanded market by a little bit. NIB is looking for a product it can use. Once in the room we figured out ways to work. Getting in was a hassle. She can read the text in regular PPT files, so plan to send them to her in advance. And we will give her permission to speak when we ask for people to chat, etc.
If anyone has any ideas about how this experience might be enhanced, let me know. Do not understand why her software won't read for her the slides after they are uploaded and converted to Flash. That is something that Adobe might help the software manufacturer with. Expect that NIB might be of help in this.