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There is now a variety of web browsers available for accessing the internet (and mobile phones). In the early days of internet 'surfing' the most well known were probably Internet Explorer and Netscape. The 'new kids on the block', relatively speaking, were Firefox, Safari and Opera, although other browsers are undoubtably in development. They all have their plus points and minus points - at the end of the day, it's all down to personal preference. Without wishing to favour any particular name, here is a brief overview of browsers and their 'add-ons'.
- eSSENTIAL Accessibility
The provider of a software-based service that makes online environments fully accessible to individuals with physical disabilities.
The software includes many assistive technology features which gives users with physical limitations the tools they require to access a website.
eSSENTIAL website (and free download)
Fully compatible with external tracking devices like Quick Glance, SmartNav, Tracker One, Head Master, joysticks or switches and already includes built-in tools like:
- Onscreen Keyboard and Layout Designer
- WebCam Mouse
- Auto Click
- Auto Scan
- Manual Scan
- XY Mouse
- Radar Mouse
- Direction Mouse
Includes a Page-Reader system which allows any user with a vision limitation to:
- Read the content of any web page out loud
- Read the title of the frames out loud
- Read the content of a selected frame out loud
- Read the links on an open web page out loud
Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 and above Microsoft Speech recognition 6.1 or greater
Firefox runs on various versions of Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Version 3 released July 2008. (Information source: Wikipedia). It provides many built in accessibility features for both users and web developers and the large collection of add-ons includes a growing number aimed at accessibility users.
LowBrowse is an add-on to Firefox , and enables people with moderate or severe low vision to view web pages as the original web author intended, as well as read the text on those pages in a format that is tailored to their own visual needs. Requires Firefox 3.0 or higher. More information about LowBrowse . . .
Firefox LowBrowse for the visually impaired ClickSpeak (Firefox Add-On)
An open source, freely available extension for the Firefox web browser. It is part of the CLC-4-TTS Suite of products, it features a mouse driven interface, and it reads web pages - hence its name.
Unlike Fire Vox which is designed for visually impaired users, CLiCk, Speak is designed for sighted users who want text-to-speech functionality.
It doesn't identify elements or announce events - two features that are very important for visually impaired users but very annoying for sighted users. It also has a simplified, mouse driven interface that is designed to be easy for users familiar with point-and-click graphical user interfaces. Like Fire Vox, CLiCk, Speak works on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux; and Fire Vox has multilingual support, making it great for users who are trying to learn a foreign language and need to hear foreign language web sites read out to them for practice.
Information source: ClickSpeak
- Internet Explorer
The current Version 7 was released in 2006 and included 'tabbed' browsing, first seen in Firefox. Version 8 was released in beta in March 2008. Find out more about version 6 >
First released 2003 and included with the Mac OS X v10.3. Version 2.0 released in 2005 and runs only on Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) or later
Version 3.1 is now available for the Mac OS X and PC. (Information source: Wikipedia).
Safari Safari browser on the iPhone
Opera 9.51 and OperaMini for mobile phones. Voice recognition in the Opera browser
- Communicate: Webwide. A symbols-supported web browser. Designed for people who find web pages too complex to deal with in their standard format. View web pages in symbols or plain text. View them as text in a pre-set size and colour. Change the background colour – ideal for those with a visual impairment. Sort the page layout into a clear, single column. Hear the pages read with speech synthesis.
Screenshot of how 'Communicate' alters the web page format:
Screenshot source: Widget software
WebbIE. A web browser for blind and visually-impaired people, especially those using screen readers. It comes with the Accessible programs, letting you access news and audio on the Internet in a simple and accessible way, allowing you to use podcasts, listen to the radio and read RSS and news with your screen reader or other access solution. Together they provide a way to access websites and other things online.
It re-presents web pages as text with a caret, allowing users to use their existing screen reader or assistive technology to read it, but is not self-voicing
Download a copy of WebbIE . . .
Watch a video of WebIE in action . . .
More screenshots. Source: WebbIE.org
- Google Chrome. A new browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier (according to Google). A beta version for Microsoft Windows was released on 2nd September 2008. Read more about it . . .
10 Features of Google Chrome Google Chrome Screenshot
Google Chrome - Hands-On Reviews:
TechRadar / Tech Herald / TechZilo / Geeks Are Sexy
|Opera 9 versus Firefox 3||Firefox 3 versus Safari 3|
|Linux - KDE versus Gnome|
Tuning your particular web browser
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Latest page update: made by invisiblebloke
, Jun 26 2009, 6:16 AM EDT
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|invisiblebloke||Web searching tips. Part #2 of #2||0||Apr 20 2009, 10:00 AM EDT by invisiblebloke|
Thread started: Apr 20 2009, 10:00 AM EDT Watch
Following on from Part #1 . . . . .
Plus or Minus – use the + or – symbols in your search to include items or exclude them. If I wanted to find energy food that did not contain nuts, I would type ‘energy foods –nuts’ - note the minus sign is next to the word nuts after the space. If I wanted an energy drink that had orange I would type ‘energy drink +orange’. You can also use several symbols in combination, e.g. ‘energy drink +orange –sugar –caffeine’.
Put your query in double quotations: “query” – when you type in a query most search engines will look for any combination of the words on a page and in some cases even variations of the words. By using double quotation marks, you are telling the search engine to show pages that contain the query exactly as you have typed it. Searching for marathon man +film found 3,420,000 results and “marathon man +film” found only 282 results in MS live Search. [All result figures are correct at time of testing.]
|invisiblebloke||Web searching tips. Part #1 of #2||0||Apr 20 2009, 9:58 AM EDT by invisiblebloke|
Thread started: Apr 20 2009, 9:58 AM EDT Watch
I was sent this useful series of tips about getting the most from your internet searches. Thanks Sukhdev.
Typically when you do a search on the internet you will get thousands of results if not hundreds of thousands.
Search the whole web or just the web contents of the country you live in – most search engines by default will search the whole web for your results but sometimes you only want information that is relevant to your country, so in the UK make sure you tick the box giving you the option to search the web or pages from the UK, usually near the search box: in Google it’s just below the search box, and above the box in Yahoo. A search on ‘London marathon’ in Yahoo gave me 27,100,000 results on the web and 9,960,000 with UK only selected. Still a lot, but the results are a bit different even on the first few pages.
Keywords - think about the keywords you are going to use in your search, particularly if words have more than one meaning. Try to use between 2-6 words, and put the most important words first: some search engines give priority to the word order. In Google ‘London marathon’ produced 658,000 and ‘marathon London’ produced 264,000; some of the top results changed between the two searches.
Goto Part #2
|invisiblebloke||Thunder and Vista voice recognition||0||Aug 7 2008, 6:20 AM EDT by invisiblebloke|
Thread started: Aug 7 2008, 6:20 AM EDT Watch
I have recently had an exchange of emails regarding the compatibility of Thunder with Vista voice recognition. There was an issue whereby the user could not get both Thunder and Vista working at the same time. For example, Thunder would not screenread the Vista voice recognition tuorial. Also, only one program would start up automatically, either Vista or Thunder - but not both at the same time. An enquiry with screenreader.net has revealed that the free version of Thunder does not currently support Vista voice recognition. There is a paid-for version of Thunder which is designed to work with Dragon Dictate. As far as the free version and Vista is concerned, if both the Thunder and voice recognition boxes are ticked in the Vista Ease of Access Centre, they should both come in at start-up.
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