Re: Pictogram support (Montreal Summit)

Hi Cesar,

Helping people with language and cognitive disabilities communicate with each other and with folks who don't have those disabilities is one of the tasks under the AEGIS project [].  In particular, AEGIS partners SU-DART and FPD in Sweden (staff of whom are cc-ed: Mats, Lars, Bengt, and Annika) are doing that work. 

To that end, they are building fonts out of the CCF symbol sets that they developed for helping folks in Sweden with language and communication impairments.  Initially these fonts would be used as part of a text editor - displaying symbols alongside the English/Swedish/Spanish/... words representing the same concepts (to be done as a plug-in to / LibreOffice).  But the intention is that they could be used for direct communication - with any communication application that supported multi-byte characters.

I'll let Mats/Lars/Bengt/Annika describe this in further detail.



On 10/25/2011 12:52 PM, Cesar Mauri wrote:
Hi all,

Recently I suggested to Meg Ford, who was attending the Montreal Summit,
to ask Telepathy developers whether it would be possible to add support
for pictogram based communication.

Here is my suggestion:

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

There had been some efforts in that way:

And here Meg's answer:

  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.

Regarding the feasibility of implementing such a library on top of the supported protocols, Meg also told me:

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.

And so here I am. My questions is:

- Do (most commonly used) supported protocols allow for sending arbitrary images along with text? Otherwise it would be pointless to try to write a library for this.


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