[Athen] MAC accessibility for music

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Mon Nov 7 10:24:17 PST 2011

Robert as you already know, the faculty are going to have a very hard time
justifying only working with a single system unless the course is on this
system and not the broader topic of audio production. It would be
interesting to see what the real issues are with Sonar since it does get
very high marks from the field or musicians with disabilities.


-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Pielaet,
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 10:16 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] MAC accessibility for music

This is a very interesting topic.

The accessibility of audio applications differs greatly depending on the

Native Apple applications are going to offer the best compatibility with
VoiceOver. (Like Logic) Good accessibility has been reported with ProTools.

Typically, there is very good documentation for these applications and it is
available in a digital format, either in PDF or on the web. The screen
magnification in Mac OSX is also very good. For the most part, I think that
your student shouldn't have too much trouble accessing the applications but
some proprietary systems like Sibelius, or Sonar may be tricker to use.

Please let us know what you learn.



Jon P. Pielaet

Program Assistant for Instructional Materials Disability Services for

Emma B. Lommasson 154
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812


406-243-2243 Voice/Text
406-243-4461 Direct Line
406-243-5330 Fax

On 11/7/11 10:58 AM, "Robert Beach" <rbeach at KCKCC.EDU> wrote:

>Thanks for these ideas. I will include them in my grab bag. I know

>Pro Tools is one of the several programs the student will be using.


>Unfortunately, the program coordinator and the instructors are very

>reluctant to use a different software package due to several issues. I

>had mentioned Sonar, but they do not know it and don't want to use it.

>They also feel that the quality of Sonar is not put to their standards.


>I'll definitely mention the other ideas though.




>Robert Lee Beach

>Assistive Technology Specialist

>Kansas City Kansas Community College

>7250 State Avenue

>Kansas City, KS 66112


>rbeach at kckcc.edu


>-----Original Message-----

>From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu

>[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Doug


>Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 11:45 AM

>To: Access Technology Higher Education Network

>Subject: Re: [Athen] MAC accessibility for music


>It'd be good for him to learn some of the most common keyboard shortcuts.

>If it is Pro Tools, there are a number of shortcuts for playing a

>track or stopping it, zooming in on a waveform for finding the

>zero-point for quiet edit points, and other tasks one does over an

>over. It would be a useful skill for one with low vision but will also

>minimize RSI issues when spending a whole day zooming in on waveforms,

>making edits, saving session content. There is a book I've seen in

>stores like Barnes & Noble that is filled with these keyboard shortcuts.


>Pro Tools also provides a lare PDF manual with each version so the same

>may be found without buying a book.


>Many will use two or more screens with audio software. One my show the

>virtual mixer view while the other shows the settings of a plug-in

>being applied to a track.


>Most audio recording software will have the ability to use a

>hardware-based controller with faders and pan-pots which may be easier

>to use than using a mouse to control a visual representation of a mixer

>on a screen. An example is the Mackie MCU Pro:




>If the persons vision is expected to deteriorate to the point of

>blindness then it would be better to go the route of JAWS + Sonar +








>Doug Hayman <dhayman at u.washington.edu>

>Technology Specialist

>DO-IT Program (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking,

>Technology) UW Technology Services Box 354842 Seattle, WA 98195

>(206) 221-4165



>On Mon, 7 Nov 2011, Robert Beach wrote:


>> Hi all,


>> I have a visually impaired student going into audio engineering. He

>>has some limited perifial vision and can do okay with enlarged graphics.

>> He doesn't know print well enough to read it effectively.


>> Our biggest concern is the Mac computers he will need to use for the

>>audio recording software. We will be meeting with one of the

>>instructors from the program tomorrow to see how well the built-in

>>magnifier works for him. We'll also try Voice Over to see if it will

>>read enough of the text to be effective.


>> Do any of you have any other ideas that we could try to make the Macs

>>and the audio software accessible? I'm all ears!


>> Thanks.



>> Robert Lee Beach

>> Assistive Technology Specialist

>> Kansas City Kansas Community College

>> 7250 State Avenue

>> Kansas City, KS 66112

>> 913-288-7671

>> rbeach at kckcc.edu




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