Re: Montreal Summit

Hi Cesar,

Thinking in people with language and communication disorders

(i.e. people not able to read/write due to cognitive/mental
disorders), it would be interesting to have a IM client able
to compose, send and display messages made up pictograms +
text. So, messages would look like this:

Also, it would be useful to add TTS support in order to hear
messages written in plain text (which could be also useful for
blind people).

There had been some efforts in that way:

I will bring this up with the IM developers when they meet, and tell
them that it was your suggestion. It sounds like a very
promising idea to me, and if there is interest, I will be
willing to help with it, as well. It could also be a useful
tool for Sugar to have, so that children who are learning to
read could communicate easily.

I spoke to one of the developers of Telepathy about this, and
here is what he said:

Currently Telepathy does not support this type of feature. For
example, users cannot send emoticons that they have drawn
themselves. Therefore, you would need to write a library for
this. If you are willing to write a library, they would be
happy to have this feature.

Secondly, they recommend that you write a seperate app for this
feature, but use the Empathy contact list. They recommend that
the feature be accessed through the accessibility menu.

Lastly, if you would like to discuss this, please contact the
developers on the mailing list:
>>> telepathy lists freedesktop org

I hope that this is helpful. Please let me know if you have
any questions, and if you do begin work on this, I will be
happy to be of assistance if I can

Sincerely, Meg Ford

Thanks for this feedback and for your assistance offer, but now
we're not in the position to start a new development front.
Anyway I'll contact the developers mailing list to, a least,
leave the request and ask whether the backends support this

Yes, the backends do not currently support it, they only support
sending named icons. Please contact them though. Best, Meg

OK. But do all protocols (or some of them) support this feature? Otherwise, it would be pointless to try the effort.

Do they all support sending icons? I assume that all of the chat programs do, but you would need to ask the Telepathy developers.  I know enough about A.T. to be able to explain what this type of feature does from a user-end perspective, but I am not a programmer. Guillame Desmottes said that you would need to write an API to support this type of program. Again, you can speak to him about it. He said that some chat programs support, for example, sending user-made icons such as these   . He said that you would need to write this type of A.P.I. for Telepathy in order to support the feature you are proposing. However, it would be best if you would discuss this with him if you want more details.

Something else that you may like to look at is the

They had an alpha release but it looks like development stopped at
that point. You may find that there are members of the OLPC/Sugar
community who are interested in the type of project you are

Very interesting. The need for a Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) software is also crucial for people with communication disorders and an excellent complement for the project described above (i.e. ACC software would work as the "keyboard"). We have been already discussing this topic with members of GNOME a11y (in CC). Perhaps there is a chance to join efforts...

Yes, this is specifically why I offered to help. I have been working on accessibility icons, and it looks like there is no free library  for this type of use. These programs are very, very expensive, so I assume that it would be worth someone's effort to develop open source versions. Some of them, such as Dynavox, have IM capabilities as well.


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