Here I Am

Open Source Screen Reader Project

Here I Am Page Designer

Another application of the Here I Am framework, Page Designer is a self-voicing HTML editor that provides the usual functionality of conventional editors along with a few extra tools for making Web pages more content-rich. Most noteworthy, Page Designer features a mathematical expression editor which produces elegant renderings of even the most complex expressions.

This application also introduces a new concept for quickly differentiating between controls in the editors interface. In applications designed for sighted users, components are visually distinct: buttons appear raised, textboxes appear inset, and each item differs in some way that suggests its intended function. Page Designer achieves this effect auditorily. The application plays programmatic sounds in parallel with voice output to quickly identify both an objects type and its value. So rather than speaking "OK button", the editor speaks "OK" and plays a popping sound at the same moment, effectively saving half the number of syllables. Textboxes are associated with a tapping sound; picture boxes are accompanied by the sound of a camera shutter; the volume of a radio buttons sound varies depending its selection state.

I hate making concessions for JAWS, but to prevent contention over the num-pad I changed the navigation keys slightly. Page Designer uses eight keys: the four arrows keys, Spacebar, Alt, Escape, and Enter.

As before, the navigation model arranges content into a hierarchy with parent nodes corresponding to higher levels of abstraction and child nodes corresponding to lower levels of abstraction. To see more details of an object, press spacebar. If at any point the user becomes lost, pressing Escape will move the selection up one level of abstraction, revealing a "bigger picture".

And as usual, the model separates the navigation commands from text-editing commands. If an object allows editing, the user must first press Enter to modify its value and Escape when done.

Unfortunately, this is still only a beta version of the framework and the application currently lacks some functionality. Evaluating this software will require some patience. The executable can be found in the /bin subdirectory.

File Type Size Zipped Folder 363 KB

Here I Am MusicXML Reader 0.1

This is another example built on the Here I Am framework. This version still does not work as it should, but demostrates the basic navigation model for sheet music. A score is divided into parts; a part is divided into sequences of measures; and the measures are divided into sequences of chords and notes. Chords can also be opened to see their individual notes. The user can explore objects in more detail by pressing space bar. Once inside an object, the user can navigate between its components using the arrow keys.

To use this application, download and unzip the compressed folder. The executable is named Here-I-Am_MusicXML-Reader.exe.

When the application loads, you will be presented with an open file dialog box. Select a MusicXML file from your computer. If you need MusicXML files, try the MusicXML Search Engine. Some samples are also available on Recordare's website. You may want to try Scott Joplins Elite Syncopation as an initial test. Save the file locally and open it using the dialog box.

File Type Size
Here-I-Am_MusicXML-Reader_0-1 Zipped Folder 97.9 KB

Screen Reader 1.5

This is the first prototype for the Here I Am screen reader. This application only demonstrates design concepts; it is not intended for every-day use. At this stage, the application is very unstable. However as a demonstration tool, it gives a visual representation of the content's organization in parallel with the auditory rendering.

This prototype is written in VB.NET and requires the .Net Framework. The executable is located in the /bin directory.

File Type Size Zipped Folder 1.83 MB