Presentations and Accessibility

Accessible Educational Materials Logo
Accessible Educational Materials Logo

The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials presented a webinar on August 21, 2018, on making presentations accessible. The video shows techniques to make PowerPoint, Keynote and Google Slides accessible.

The webinar, which is closed captioned, is available for replay here:

Accessible Presentations: How to Design and Deliver Content for Diverse Audiences

The slide deck and digital handouts are also available.

The Web, Accessibility and Word Camp Atlanta 2018

Word Camp Atlanta 2018 (a weekend for learning about Word Press) was held the weekend of April 14 and 15th. The theme this year was Diversity.  As part of that, there were several presentations on accessibility.  The presentations were in addition to the Keynote from Aimee Copeland.

The three sessions covered Reasons for website accessibility, how to evaluate a website for accessibility and how to build an accessible website.

The specific presentations were:

Making the case for accessibilityChristine Laikind

Evaluating the Accessibility of Websites with Web-Based Tools, Web Resources, and Plugins (Full Session)Kim Camp Smalley

Building Accessible Websites: Your New SuperpowerMelanie – G Adcock

The presentations were recorded and like most Word Camp presentations will be online within the next few months.  The links will be posted when they become available.

Word Camp Atlanta 2018 Logo

Word Macros – The Next Step for Automation Part 1

Previous posts looked at automating Word by using the AutoCorrect option.  Typing a character string and having it replaced by strings of text and then adding a button to the Quick Access Toolbar to simplify the process.

Macros will be the next step to automate Word.

In its simplest form, a macro is simply a series of actions that are recorded, then with a single command execute the recorded steps

One thing a student might do repeatedly is to highlight information in a Word document, either for reference or later editing. It would be helpful to be able to quickly identify the highlighted sections. If it is a short document, a quick inspection can identify the highlights. A multi-page document will require more time and the possibility of missed sections.

By using the Advanced Find feature, all of the highlighted sections can be identified, selected, copied and then made available for pasting.

We’ll break this into two pieces. One, to walk through the steps to select the highlights, copy them and paste them into a new document.

The second part will be to add the Developer tab to the toolbar and then record the macro.

To begin open your document with the highlighting you want to extract. The document we’ll use is Taming of the Shrew downloaded from Gutenberg.org with selected passages highlighted.

The first step is to click the Find button in the upper right of the Ribbon on the Home Tab.

The Navigation pane will then appear. Click the down arrow next to the Search box and select Advanced Find from the dropdown list.

 

 

The Find and Replace Dialog box will come up.

Click the Button labeled More to get all the options.

Click the Format button in the lower left corner and select Highlight.  The word Highlight will then appear under the Find What text box next to Formatting:

Click the Find In: button and select Main Document.

Close the dialog box and all of the highlighted sections will be selected.

Press Ctrl+C, then Ctrl+N to open a new Word document and finally Ctrl+V to paste the selections in the new document.

The new document is created with just the highlighted text that was selected.

The video below will also show the steps.

The second part will be creating a macro to do the same thing but with either a keyboard shortcut or a button.

Adding the AutoCorrect button to the Ribbon for Word 2016

When Microsoft created the Ribbon for Word, it was based on the concept of placing more options in the front of the user. Most of the options are now more readily available with only one click.

Unfortunately, the AutoCorrect option was buried fairly deep into the menus, requiring several clicks to bring up the Dialog box.

What we’d like to do is add a shortcut to the Quick Access Toolbar so AutoCorrect is quickly available with one click.

Start by going to the Quick Access Toolbar, clicking so the menu appears. On the menu, select More Commands.

Showing Word Document Quick Access Toolbar
Quick Access Toolbar on Ribbon

When the customize Ribbon dialog box appears, Click the Show Commands From box and select Commands Not in the Ribbon.

AutoCorrect Dialog Selection Box
AutoCorrect Dialog Selection Box

 

This will show all the command that are NOT on the Ribbon alphabetically in the left box and the command in the Quick Access Toolbar in the right box.
Scroll down to find the AutoCorrect Option – It will be the one with Lighting Bolt icon.

Click the Add button to place the AutoCorrect command in the Quick Access Toolbar. Then click OK.

AutoCorrect adding to Quick Access Toolbar List
Adding AutoCorrect Button to the Quick Access Toolbar

The AutoCorrect button with icon has been added to the Quick Access Toolbar

 

AutoCorrect is now only a click away.  You can see the steps in the video below.

Balabolka – Speaking with Two Voices

So far we’ve covered the basics of Balabloka.  Let’s look at some of the extra things that can be done with Balabolka.

Balabolka Logo
Balabolka Logo

The speech engine for Balabolka relies on an API (Application Program Interface) built into the Windows Operating System.  The most current Speech API is SAPI 5.  SAPI4 and its voices could be installed on the computer but the voices are not as high quality.

Microsoft David and Microsoft Zira are the default US English voices in Windows 10.  Windows 7 had Microsoft Anna 64 bit. There are other voices which can be installed, some free and some purchased.  The bit rate, either 32 or 64 bit needs to be matched with the operating system bit rate.  Otherwise, the 64-bit programs might not be able to access 32bit voice.

The voice in Balabolka can be changed as we’ve seen, by going to the Menu option for Voice, selecting voice and selecting from the list of recognized voices.  This will change the speaking voice.  There is a way to change the voice and its properties for selected lines.  You can alternate between male and female voices.

Because SAPI5 allows the use of XML tags, there are a number of things we can change including a different voice, Volume, Rate, Pitch, Emph, and Spell.

For example the XML tag to change the voice is <voice required=”Name = voice_name“>.  The placeholder, voice_name, is replaced by the full name of the voice, such as Microsoft David Desktop.  The completed tag is placed before the line you want the voice to speak.  The full tag will look like this:

<Voice Required =”Name =  Microsoft David Desktop”>

The video below shows how this will work.

Have fun.

BALABOLKA – Low Vision Aids

There is research showing that using color patterns other than the traditional black font and white background can help not only low vision readers but those with dyslexia.

Text Customization for Readers with Dyslexia

Balabolka has a very simple dialog box to change the background color, the font type and color, the selected color and the highlighted color.

The short video below, show how to use these options.

 

It has been my experience, working with students with dyslexia and those with low vision, that the color choices are best left to the person using the program.