Re: [orca-list] Use of non-speech sounds for navigation...

Thank you for the comments and suggestions. I agree with most of the views. It is, of course, important to be careful when and what kind of sounds would be useful. Sounds are hard to ignore, unlike text on a screen. And the examples I had given are pretty terrible! They are meant to just clarify what I meant by using sounds for words.

We could build a reasonably general mechanism to provide a sound alternative to various control options (commands, navigation, etc), and evolve an acceptable default set based on feedback from users. The suggestions on how to build this into orca is also useful - I will get my team to look at this, and get back to the list after some experimenting.

There are two kinds of things we can do. One is to modulate the text depending on context (like headings, text in a box, etc), kind of like underlining or bold-facing text on screen. This means you dont have to always say that it is a heading, the nature of sound would tell you that. Second is to insert special sounds for some tags - a small bell sound at the end of a para, or to indicate that what follows is a heading. And so on. The first requires support from the text-to-speech engine used; the second is an orca level issue.

- Sasi


2010/5/30 Tomas Cerha <cerha brailcom org>
Sasikumar (ààà/ààà) M napsal(a):
> This is based on something I read in a journal. The paper claims that
> using non-speech sounds for things like navigation makes screen readers
> more friendly for the visually impaired.

We developed speechd-el, en Emacs speech interface for Speech
Dispatcher. ÂSpeechd-el supports this through Speech Dispatcher's "sound
icons" feature. ÂSound icons are used for things like announcing
beginning and end of line during navigation, indication of special
characters (punctuation), keyboard echo, annoncing user defined events,
etc. ÂThe experience is, that some people simply love it, while others
don't. ÂPractically, it can really make the speech interface more
efficient -- the sound icons are shorter than their verbalized equivalents.

If someone plans to work on that for orca, I'd recommend using the
Speech Dispatcher's sound icons feature. ÂThis saves you a lot of
troubles with sound playback and synchronization of the sounds with speech.

Best regards, Tomas Cerha

M Sasikumar, KBCS/ETU/OSS Divisions, ÂCDAC Mumbai (formerly NCST) - Navi Mumbai campus
*** check me out on twitter as thelittlesasi ***

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