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Virtual Worlds User Interface for the Blind

Dec 22, 2008, 12:01 (0 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to jmalasko for this link. ]

"Although this interface for the blind is a GUI and can be used by sighted people, the virtual world space is not rendered pictorially. Instead, all information flowing to the user is text-based in order to allow compliance with ordinary screen-reading technology. Recorded verbal descriptions are also played for the user.

"Currently, the application interfaces only with the Second Life platform; however, as a long-term goal, it might be possible to make this user interface portable to more than one virtual world implementation. If successful, that portability would enable blind users to learn only one client application that is specifically tailored for their needs rather than learning a separate new application for each virtual world.

"How does it work?

"The user interface is a Web application, a thin client running locally in the Firefox browser that communicates with Second Life through an agent on our server. The application is implemented partly with the JavaScript programming language, and it uses Dojo Toolkit widgets to provide a virtual world user interface that is entirely keyboard-navigable and screen reader-friendly. Nothing is permanently installed on the user's computer""

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