[Athen] Assistive tech compatibility?

Thompson, Rachel rsthompson2 at ua.edu
Wed Jul 9 08:31:01 PDT 2014

Hi, all.

Many thanks to those of you who shared your expertise about onscreen
keyboards and what has worked on your campus.

I would like to ask for more input related to our campus-wide assistive
technology proposal. We are exploring the possibility of installing the
following tools campus-wide. In some cases, these tools have overlapping
capabilities, but at the same time, we may have students who have
experience using NVDA, but not JAWS, etc. If adding an extra tool dos not
bring an added financial or support burden, we will likely include it.

Click-N-Type Virtual Keyboard (may not be necessary because of native
onscreen keyboard tools)


Read: Outloud University
Read and Write Gold


At this point, we have determined cost for our campus public computers and
computer classrooms. I am looking into what technical challenges or
incompatibilities these programs might have that add to the workload of
our campus support teams (separate for each college, libraries, central
IT), As I looked at the technical requirements and common
troubleshooting/support issues for each program, I came across the
statement below from AI Squared¹s ZoomText site. Have you had problems
running multiple AT programs on your campus machines, either in an AT lab
or in a computer facility used by all students/faculty/staff?

We have to figure out if we are heading in a good direction. Our goal is
to make it so our students and others who could benefit from the tools do
not have to wait for a specific machine or go to a separate location to
access the resources they need. I hope to test these tools on our most
commonly used computer image and can share here any problems that arise.
If there is interest.

³Compatibility with Other Accessibility Programs
Most accessibility programs install a chaining display driver that is
always active, whether or not the accessibility program is currently
running. When two or more accessibility products are installed on the
same machine, there is the potential for compatibility problems with the
accessibility programs. It is also possible that installing multiple
accessibility programs may cause a crash when the system boots.

Some accessibility programs, including ZoomText 10, utilize DCM (Driver
Chain Manager) to improve compatibility with other DCM compliant
accessibility programs. ZoomText 10 utilizes DCM on Windows XP systems
and Windows Vista systems that are equipped with older video hardware.
If you are running other accessibility programs on your system, check
with the manufactures of each program for compatibility information and
upgrades recommended for improved compatibility with other accessibility
programs.² From http://www.aisquared.com/support/more/release_notes#10.1

I welcome your input on this.


Dr. Rachel S. Thompson
Director, Emerging Technology and Accessibility
Center for Instructional Technology
University of Alabama

On 07/09/14, 9:17 AM, "Brad Held" <Brad.Held at ucf.edu> wrote:

Dear Rachel,
My thoughts. UCF is a Windows 7 campus (for the most part; just a few Macs
and Windows 8.1). With features like, resizing of the keyboard (to get
larger letters), text prediction, number pad, and alternate input (hover
keys and scanning), the on-screen keyboard in W7 is sufficient enough for
our campus needs for accessibility and equal access. Plus it is built-in!

Click-N-Type is updated and maintained, but still looks like a Windows 95
program, I am sure this is for accessibility, but still a polish image is
important. The W7/8.1 and Mac on-screen keyboards look modern. Again, just
my preference for campus wide. For an AT lab, I think having Click-N-Type
is a good freeware solution. An even better paid solution is Applied Human
Factors - REACH on-screen keyboard. It has smart keys (dictionary base
spelling), smart list (solid word prediction), scanning, mouse/pointer
assistance, and completely customizable with lots of templates.

**Have to mention: The windows ease of access center is housed in the
control panel. The simple command of 'Windows key + U' to access it is
sometimes locked out due to administrative settings. This is a common
security measure to stop students from messing up the computers in labs,
etc. Work with your IT departments to ensure students have access to it.
You can also add a desktop shortcut to all the programs (magnifier,
narrator, speech recognition, on-screen keyboard), or make sure they can
be found in the start menu under accessories.

I hope this information helps. I appreciate your commitment to creating an
accessible educational experience!

Brad Held
Assistive Technology Coordinator
Student Disability Services
University of Central Florida
Ferrell Commons 7F, Room 185
Orlando, FL 32816-0161
(407) 823-2371

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Thompson, Rachel
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2014 2:28 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Onscreen Keyboard

We are deciding what tools need to be on public computers campus-wide.
Some suggestions from other institutions from a few years ago included
Click-N-Type, but I wonder if the PC and Mac native onscreen keyboards
have caught up with user needs. Do your users who prefer an onscreen
keyboard use the ones included with the Mac OS or with Windows? Do you
know of reasons why we would install Click-N-Type as well?

Any input would be helpful.


Dr. Rachel S. Thompson
Director, Emerging Technology and Accessibility Center for Instructional
Technology University of Alabama http://accessibility.ua.edu

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