I've just installed the TechDis Toolbar (Beta) on this blog - see the the button-image on the left of this page. Feel free to press the button, and try the toolbar that appears at the top of the page. Functions include text resizing, spelling checker, text to speech/ speech synthesis and custom styles.
An IET technology coffee morning talk by Wendy Porch and me, on the MALT Wiki project.
ABSTRACT: The generally low incidence of captioning for the deaf and audio description for those with sight impairments on the web is in stark contrast to the progress made in basic web accessibility. The captioning function offered by YouTube is a step in the right direction, though there are clear problems. Audio description is in a worse state.
In the words of the specification,
“oEmbed is a format for allowing an embedded representation of a URL on third party sites. The simple API allows a website to display embedded content (such as photos or videos) when a user posts a link to that resource, without having to parse the resource directly.”
9.00 Registration and networking
10.30 Welcome – Paul Hollins
10.40 Keynote – Chris Cobb, Pro Vice Chancellor, Roehampton University:
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change..."
11.20 Keynote – Oleg Liber, outgoing Director of CETIS
12.00 Introduction to the conference - Paul Hollins
13.30 Parallel sessions
Gazing into the Future: Looking for Weak Signals with iCOPER
Open Educational Resources Technical Roundtable
Wendy Porch and I presented an evaluation version of the new MALT Wiki player at Techshare, in September. Since then I've been busy with other projects, but I've now had time to produce a mockup demonstrating personalization options and how I hope to get people to contribute. This is based on my own thoughts and some interesting points raised by people including Jonathan Hassell during our presentation.
The screenshot below shows the player with a panel below starting "About Learn about Moodle". The player works, while the meta-data and personalization panel is mostly just a mockup. This panel would be hidden initially, with a "show/hide" button. And the thinking is that the panel would always be available, including when a video is embedded in a third-party site like a blog, a virtual learning environment or video sites like YouTube.
Despite the emergence of the
<video> element in HTML 5, Shockwave Flash is still the defacto standard for publish multimedia on the Web. Macromedia, and now Adobe have improved the support for assistive technologies and software interfaces like Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) within the Flash browser plug-ins and it is now possible to create a video player in which all the controls and status information are perceivable by screen reader users. So all the challenges to do with Flash have been overcome, no problems? Wrong.
The British Stammering Association's annual conference, "Making Connections", takes place next month in west London.
Last year I started experimenting with user style sheets - text files you can install on your computer to re-format or change the appearance of a web-site or sites. You may want to do this, if for instance some adverts or animations on your favourite site annoy you, or to increase colour contrast or font-size. A while ago, I created a style sheet for Twitter, and today I uploaded it to Userstyles.org - you can install it through Stylish for Firefox (or IE7Pro for Internet Explorer - not tested!)
The Royal National Institute of Blind People's annual web and technology accessibility conference and exhibition is coming up next month. This conference embraces everyone and all topics, not just those with visual impairments.