stomme_poes — 2012-03-30T16:24:45-04:00 — #1
I'd never heard specifically of Discovery Envoy but this software enables this kid (or guy, I could not tell how old he was) to use his Mac to the fullest. With his head. It's quite awesome.
Apparently this software doesn't work with Mountain Lion and may never be upgraded. But anyway, this kid is surfing your web sites without hands (also without voice software like Dragon Naturally Speaking).
system — 2012-03-30T17:12:26-04:00 — #2
Heartbreaking. Interesting but heartbreaking.
One of my professors in faculty once told us that the mouse is the most counter intuitive tool and awkward and it would not last. Is was 1994-ish then.
Yet the simple tools are always the best ones. And the most helpful. Kudos to that kid.
From what I'm reading, he's using it with W7 too, after upgrading from Vista. He just needs a better machine.
ralphm — 2012-03-30T18:46:16-04:00 — #3
Sure makes me want to stop complaining about my lot. What a fighter. It's amazing what opportunities technology can offer.
kohoutek — 2012-03-30T19:36:34-04:00 — #4
This is super cool. And what a true shame that AbleNet is discontinuing the product. :/
stomme_poes — 2012-03-31T03:45:30-04:00 — #5
According to some of the comments they may be working on a Mountain-Lion-compatible version with no certain release date. However I'll believe it when more evidence comes out.
I totally know where he got that idea. Every time I've seen someone new to computers try to use a mouse, the move-something-on-the-table and your eyes following a non-equal amount of movement on a separate screen... it just seems the most unintuitive thing ever. Even touch screens, with their total lack of tactile feedback, are more intuitive in the way it has a more direct relationship with what you're seeing.
Then again, joysticks managed to make inroads in arcade gaming and they've got similar problems.
Watching someone like my mom try to do a "double-click" (which she never mastered before her death... if only she'd had Linux back then!) was enlightening, because I'd forgotten what it was like for me learning to do that.
I seriously think it would be the coolest thing ever, to set up some kind of program, which has a big sack of $$$ funds, and convinces people like Chris and people with various disabilities to get paid money from this fund to use (test) websites of webdevelopers and companies who sign up (they pay a fee which goes to the main funds) and with video and screen capture so paying developers can watch real people use both our own sites and apps and also those everyone tends to use like YouTube.
Also, the various Linux desktop environments need more help getting on-board with these technologies. I do know of a dedicated Linux for the visually impaired, Vinux, but everything else out there is just some developer's dream. The guys at Igalia are working on an open-source library for working with the Kinect though. Imagine using cameras for turning someone's gross motor movements into a way to further use computers (compared to how most computer inputs are based on tiny things and fine motor movements).
rguy84 — 2012-04-02T10:32:16-04:00 — #6
It always amazes me when people are like OMG wow, over videos and similar things like this. But then again I am used to thihs reaction. I am like yeah so what? No I am not being rude or insensive. Actually I have the same disability that Chris has, no I am not as spastic as he is, but know what it is like. His spacity is what keeps his arms locked back how they are (if you watched the video). I am happy to see that the community is willing to make the envoy work again. My question is why does it not work it whatever version of OSX? Did Apple make some [major] changes under the hood, or is it that the Enoy's software is, for the lack of a better phrase, sort of poorly made and the company relied on a hack to make it work?
The only thing I would add to the article and add here is this serves as another example as to way people with disabilities use out dated stuff.
stomme_poes — 2012-04-03T03:25:59-04:00 — #7
Developers build for what they know. A lot of the young ones coming up have only seen ginormous Cine-Mac screens, touch-tap keyboards and mice with all-new hardware and modern OSes and browsers etc.
You want to see someone without those things surfing the net, you have to go hunting on Discovery Channel or something or already be involved in accessibility as a personal passion. This is why I want a testing net: groups of people not using keyboards, mice, newest software/hardware using our sites and apps. Unless you live in a largish city with some kind of Media Center where you can maybe find people using chin cups and big buttons. We don't have access, and we don't see them, so they are rarely if ever considered by the general web developer.
Yes. Old JAWS and similar have been one of my reasons for keeping support for IE6 if it wasn't a problem. Back when I had JAWS 7, it really did not work well with IE7 and didn't work at all on non-IE. A complete lack of research and statistics means we developers have zero idea how many of our users (if any) are still using something like JAWS 7, looking at the cost to upgrade.
If we don't have statistics, we can't even begin to make an argument for support in a way businesses understand.
rguy84 — 2012-04-04T09:53:39-04:00 — #8
HEH it gets worse than that. I worked in arguably an AT lab, ranked in the top 5 or higher in the US, for 6 years. If we broke it down by year, I can count on one hand, maybe two (or a year), the number of regulars we had. All the research the university does, it seems like finding people was more of hey my brother's friend's sister uses a cane.
Exactly, that's why I don't like WebAIM's survey. I watched some show a few months ago, this crew went to the deep-deep South here in the states, people were lucky to get 28.8kbps. I dare somebody to go there, find the blind population, and ask them about their setups, that's if they even have a computer.
ivelnal — 2012-04-06T11:26:08-04:00 — #9
That's a fighter! We should be thankful of what we have right now. He has this disability but it did not stop in creating this kind of stuff that people loves to share. Amazing.