please can you email me (second request, firstname.lastname@example.org about the possibilty of doing a webinar through our network for peop
We would like to run a webinar with Microsoft on issues with Skype accessability. cc email@example.com. Thanks Meredith Allan ISAAC President
Birgitte Brandt commented
I cannot see a possibility to attach files here, so I copy/paste a list of difficulties. From Denmark we have been in contact with several Microsoft people about the subject. But we still wait for an answer to our latest mail back in the autumn. Perhaps this way is better :-) We have an other text about the subject which I gladly send you here as well?
Listing of practical difficulties in relation to severely disabled people’s access to Skype.
Third party applications no longer have access to Skype’s API
o This is a problem because the compensating features of i.e. CanConnect (Figure 1) aren’t found in the traditional Skype. With this interface simplified access both physically and visually is intended.
o The limitations in utilizing Skype can be due to physical disabilities, cognitive or
sensory challenges, or a combination of
all the aforementioned.
o These groups of people, whereof many live with extremely limited opportunities for initiating social interaction, often operate computer applications through alternative controls. This can be eye tracking, auditory scanning or other access methods which doesn’t work with Skype.
o The target group can also have the need of a visually simplified interface in order to remain focused on the task and not loose track of the goal of contacting others.
o The target group often needs that it is very easy to learn to use an interface. For further exemplification, watch this video: https://youtu.be/vz1psHv_gWg – The video is in Danish (with some subtitles), albeit the essential parts ought to be understandable.
When the computer is also a speech-generating communication device
o A large number of people without the use of speech utilizes computers to express themselves. For this purpose, many efficient applications has been developed where the user can express oneself audibly using text and/or symbols.
o Several of these applications had an interface, which made usage of Skype possible through Skype’s API (albeit none quite as efficient as CanConnect). Naturally, this is no longer possible.
o In order to supply the user access to Skype, solutions are made that, however, are vulnerable to new updates of Skype as well as being so advanced that neither users of voice machines can use them, nor can pedagogic staff sustain abilities in using them. See figure 2.
o The speech that is generated through these communication applications go through the
machines’ sound card. Skype is able to differentiate sound generated through the sound card. While this is usually
Figur 1 CanConnect
Figur 2: Advanced Skype setup in Communicator
beneficial, it renders it impossible for the user of a speech-generating device to express oneself audibly and be heard.
o In order to accommodate this challenge, there are made solutions i.e. through Bluetooth that, however, are also fragile and difficult to use for many. Furthermore, Skype often cuts off the beginning of a sentence when it is transmitted through Bluetooth, while it is also difficult to ensure that Skype prioritizes Bluetooth speakers rather than the built-in ones of the computer.
I would like a more proactive response than the one given please
Thanks for sharing your feedback with us Meredith, we actually have monthly webinars where customers can learn about the latest accessibility features. We will make sure to share this feedback on making a Skype webinar with the Disability Answer Desk team. Please continue to leave your feedback here, and for more information on future and past accessibility webinars you can visit our webpage at aka.ms/AccessibilityWebinars.
Meredith Allan commented
Microsoft- please respond