As I was traveling to Macworld 2013, where I presented a session on iBooks Author, I had some time when I was trapped on a plane without Wi-Fi (the horror!). Rather than reading the magazine in front of me, I gave into my urge to try to combine two frameworks I am really passionate about, the SAMR model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentadura and the UDL framework developed by CAST. Below is an image showing the framework I developed and some apps that address each level. This was just a quick brainstorm on a long plane ride, but I do appreciate your feedback.
Update: Here is a text version that should be more accessible with a screen reader (with app and feature matching):
n: needs assessment and profile
determine current level of performance and desired outcomes.
A: access to content and tools
The technology eliminates barriers that prevent access to information
- Closed Captioning Support
- Dictation (built-in with iOS)
- Dragon Dictation
The technology includes scaffolds and supports that account for learner differences.
- AppWriter US
- Speak It!
- Typ-O HD
- Book Creator
- Creative Book Builder
The technology unleashes creative potential and disrupts perceptions of disability.
I uploaded a couple of videos to my YouTube channel showing some of the enhancements to Speak Selection and AssistiveTouch in IOS 6. Speak selection now does word highlighting as the text is spoken aloud, and it also supports a number of dialects (Australian English, British English, Mexican Spanish and so on). AssistiveTouch is not only now compatible with VoiceOver (a great addition for those with multiple disabilities and those who rely on switch access) but it also can now be used for launching Siri, taking screenshots, and opening the task switcher for multitasking. Watch the videos below to learn more about these enhancements to the accessibility of IOS devices.
Right after I downloaded and installed IOS 6, I created this YouTube video explaining how to use Guided Access:
One of the areas where I have some difficulty with my visual impairment is finding the cursor on the screen. I love that OS X has a large cursor as one of the accessibility features. The large cursor setting can be found under System Preferences, Accessibility, Display in Mountain Lion and System Preferences, Universal Access, Mouse and Trackpad in other versions of OS X.
However, the large cursor is not always enough for me, especially as my vision gets worse. I would love it if there were mouse trails or some other visual indicator to help me more easily pick out the cursor when I move it.
I have used a number of cursor enhancements for the Mac in the past, including Mouse Locator and Mousepose. Right now I am trying Omnidazzle for this purpose and it is working rather well. Omnidazzle is a free cursor enhancement intended as a presentation tool to help the presenter highlight key information on the screen. By pressing a keyboard shortcut (usually Control + `) you can bring up effects such as a spotlight, highlighting the foreground window, and more. The one that I have found the most useful for me is the Bullseye one.
I have set this effect to bring up the bullseye when I shake the mouse. This is great, because whenever I lose the cursor the first thing I try to do it is move it around quickly to create some movement on the screen that I can pick up with my limited peripheral vision. With Omnidazzle (sounds like it was created by Snoop Dogg, doesn’t it), a large red, bullseye will come up around the already large cursor. You can change the color, but red is one I can easily pick out.
Omnidazzle is freezzle, so check it out and let me know if you find it helpful.
I just authored an iBook textbook focusing on iBooks Accessibility. I’ve tried my best to make the iBook an exemplar of the principles I discuss. The videos are closed captioned, the images have descriptions, I added a glossary, you get the idea. I did have a major problem with the videos that I need to figure out. I had a few more videos I wanted to include but when I ran them through Compressor the file size exploded from 20-30 MB a video (pretty reasonable for 3-4 minute videos) to 400-500 MB (not so reasonable). All I did was take a file from Screenflow in MP4 format (I used the iPad export preset) and run it through Compressor to add a caption track (.SCC) and reexport as a .m4v file that iBooks Author could accept.
I need to figure out the video problem, but in the mean time I added the same content with a few screenshots. I welcome any feedback. I know there is a lot of room for improvement, but it’s not too bad for something I threw together on a Saturday morning/afternoon while procrastinating from my dissertation.
Update: Dropbox suspended my Public account due to the high volume of data. I have created a PDF version available on Scribd for now. As soon as I figure out a good place to host the iBook itself I will post that link here.
The Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning has created an excellent video showing how real people are impacted by the lack of captioning. The title of the video says it all: “Don’t Leave Me Out”.
If you are a Mac user, I have created a couple of videos on how to caption QuickTime movies that are available from the Tech Ease 4 All website I worked on at the University of South Florida. I caption my videos with a $99 program called MovieCaptioner from Synchrimedia.
These videos are themselves closed captioned, of course.
I uploaded a couple of new tutorials to my YouTube channel but forgot to post them here. The first one is an update of an earlier tutorial I had done for iBooks when it only supported ePub and PDF. This new tutorial focuses on the iBooks textbook format introduced with iBooks 2 and shows how to highlight, underline, bookmark and take notes while reading the new interactive textbooks. I also show the new Study Cards feature which provides a handy study aid for students.
The second tutorial focuses on ePub support in iBooks 2, which continues to support many text display options that were introduced in iBooks 1.5 (text size, font, themes for different backgrounds, and full screen mode on the iPad). The ability to adjust the display is an important component of UDL (Checkpoint 1.1: Offer ways of customizing the display of information.)