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					                 Open Source Assistive
                 Technology Software

         David Colven, Steve Lee & Simon Judge

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• Assistive Technology
      – Accessibility
            • Advice and tools for ‘mainstream’
      – AT
            • Specialist cooperative development
•   The OATS Project
•   FLOSS software and the OATS project
•   Why OATS?
•   What does the OATS project deliver?

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                 The Consortium


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                 The ACE Centre

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                 Why OATS?
•   An AT focus for all FLOSS development
•   Individual projects and shared
•   Interested parties contributing together
•   Many skills solving user requirements
•   Focussed, flexible and custom solutions
•   More users with transparent access
•   Transport AT to new horizons

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                 Assistive Technology
•   AT software market is growing
•   However it is ‘specialised’
•   Small Market
•   Innovation limited
•   Box fitting – not enough tools
•   Lots of interested individuals across

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                 What do AT users want?
• Good design and Innovation
• Simple installation
• Transparency
• Reliability
• Individual solutions to sometimes complex
  needs (even with universal design)
• Low Cost
• All software not just AT
• Ask for what they want and get involved

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• Open Source offers an alternative
  model for developing AT software
• Well suited to encourage:
  – Strong collaboration with users
  – Innovation
  – Customisation

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• Many projects like OpenOffice and
  Firefox now meet users needs with
  excellent features and support
• Ideal for innovation and customising to
  individual needs
• Community and user participation
• Rapid development and prototyping
• Free!

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                     OATS FLOSS
                 What’s in it for developers

   • Community and          User participation
   • Infectious enthusiasm
   • Innovate and share innovations.
         – Rapid development and prototyping
         – Common library of tools and components
         – No wheel re-inventing!

   • Easily available and usable by more users
         – Their work is useful and is used!

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   • Software!
         – Home grown OATS and existing OATS
         – Resources
   • Standards
         –   Usability
         –   Installers
         –   Software structure
         –   Data transfer
         –   Resources

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• Pilot project now complete
   – Developed, fully operational site
   – Prepared means for a ‘community’
• The Future
   – Oats to continue under day-to-day management
   – Further development of content, tools etc.
   – Thriving OS community – come and join in!

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 • ‘All’ Open Source AT software in ONE place
 • Links to free or low cost software
 • Easy to use searching and browsing for
 • Links between developers and users (fora)
 • Technology transfer from research
 • Full range of development tools in Forge
      – Trac etc.

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                 Oats Examples

•   Dasher
•   AutoHotkey
•   PowerTalk
•   Special Access to Windows

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       Why did we Open Source SAW?

• Limited development resources
• Keep the software free
• Widen the pool of expertise
• Open the program to new ideas
• As an exemplar of AT development

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       Automation of the AT User Iinterface
                  The big idea
Potential for enhanced & (semi-) automated accessibility for
switch and pointer users as part of a new interface design
         •Dynamically discover UI structure
         •Extract property information
         •Receiveevent notifications when UI changes
         •Be able to Query an element for its behaviour
         •Click a button, scroll a list, moves a window, etc.
         •Inject keystrokes and mouse input where appropriate

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     Dynamic Selection Set - A User’s Tool

                                      and wizard also
SAW works out the number             taken from
                                extracted automatically
                                       appropriate script from
of items needed and                  UIAutomation is
                                and constructed into a
                                       the available
constructs a grid of items           used to put data the
                                selectionitems from
                                     into set
• Provides a new model for software
    development in the AT field
• Encourages innovation
• Allows users to be heard
• Is a single place to go for AT software and

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