Accessibility and Usability: notes for authors

#61

I’m not sure the type of command prompt matters. The default is fine for me. I think the only danger of having text would be that some new players may not realize they don’t have to listen to the whole prompt. Short might be better, but the difference in time to read out “greater” or “what next” or even “what do you want to do now?” is probably negligible. Again, it probably just becomes background noise.

I think it should be consistent, though, otherwise some people might wonder why it’s changing and focus on the prompt as part of the game.

Neil

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(bg) #62

I’ve made a small extension out of the code I posted earlier and posted it on github. It’s called “Spelling for Screenreaders.” You can find it here: github.com/i7/extensions/blob/m … eaders.i7x

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(bg) #63

After thinking about this some more, I wondered if something more flexible than my previous code would be potentially more useful. I’m thinking of code that would allow the player to request the spelling of any visible thing. Like this:

[code]A thing has a number called a spelling reference number.

Listing visible items for spelling is an action out of world.
Understand “list all” as listing visible items for spelling.

Check listing visible items for spelling (this is the clear all spelling numbers before assigning new numbers rule):
repeat with item running through things:
now the spelling reference number of item is 0.

Carry out listing visible items for spelling (this is the list the visible items and their spelling numbers rule):
say “To spell the name of something, type the word SPELL followed by a number.”;
let N be 0;
repeat with visible item running through the list of visible things:
increment N;
now the spelling reference number of visible item is N;
let current name be the printed name of visible item;
say “To spell [current name in upper case], type [spelling reference number of visible item].”.

Spelling a numbered word is an action applying to one number.
Understand “spell [number]” as spelling a numbered word.

Check spelling a numbered word (this is the make sure there is a visible item with the given spelling number rule):
repeat with visible item running through visible things:
if the spelling reference number of the visible item is the number understood:
continue the action;
say “There are no visible things assigned the number [number understood]. To list visible things and their numbers, type LIST ALL.” instead.

Carry out spelling a numbered word (this is the spell the word that has the given spelling number rule):
repeat with visible item running through visible things:
if the spelling reference number of the visible item is the number understood:
let current name be the printed name of the visible item;
say “[Current name in upper case] is spelled[run paragraph on]”;
repeat with N running from 1 to the number of characters in current name:
say " ";
let current letter be character number N in current name;
if current letter is " ":
say “space”;
otherwise if current letter is “-”:
say “hyphen”;
otherwise if current letter is “[’]”:
say “apostrophe”;
otherwise if current letter is “.”:
say “[if American dialect option is active]period[otherwise]full stop[end if]”;
otherwise:
say current letter in upper case;
say “.”.

Place is a room.

Glove is a thing in Place. The printed name of the glove is “Ms. Everly Hopkins-Browning[’]s glove”.

The player carries a phx-bljv.

Test me with “list all / spell 1 / spell 2 / spell 3 / spell 4”.

[/code]

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#64

This would be useful when the author isn’t sure which words are going to be a problem. It also has the advantage of reading aloud punctuation. The verbosity of screen readers can be adjusted, and some players may not have them set to read aloud marks like hyphens or apostrophes. At low verbosity, words like “F.B.I.” would be pronounced “F B I.”

Neil

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(bg) #65

Thanks Neil! I’ve made a small extension out of this code as well, called “Simple Spelling,” and put it on Github for now.

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#66

Screen reader support is something I have considered for TAVERN, although details are not currently defined. It is my intention that with this, control character 22 and the SPEECH.SYN lump can be used to control the speech synthesizer in text output, and that the FEATURE? opcode (when given the correct feature code as input) can be used to allow the game to check if a speech synthesizer is being used.

With help of people who understand these things more, we can add these specifications to TAVERN wiki.

One thing is that some word have same spelling but are pronounce differently, so this is one thing that has to be taken into account. Other thing is if it is not a real word then you should indicate not only the spelling but also pronounce, so that the computer can prounce it correctly… There are also many other kind of things.

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(Daniel Stelzer) #67

Is there a footnote style which is preferable for screen readers? For instance, is one of these three styles preferred over the others?

Asterisks:

[code]ELIXIR OF LIFE Study Aid

Can’t stay awake in class? Spent half the night studying for an exam? Forget about setting an alarm! Simply throw an ELIXIR OF LIFE* packet against a hard surface, and everyone in the vicinity** will be wide awake in seconds!

  • Registered trademark of the Frobozz Magic Stimulant Company
    ** Only useful in enclosed*** spaces
    *** Hermetically sealed[/code]

Varying symbols:

[code]ELIXIR OF LIFE Study Aid

Can’t stay awake in class? Spent half the night studying for an exam? Forget about setting an alarm! Simply throw an ELIXIR OF LIFE* packet against a hard surface, and everyone in the vicinity† will be wide awake in seconds!

  • Registered trademark of the Frobozz Magic Stimulant Company
    † Only useful in enclosed‡ spaces
    ‡ Hermetically sealed[/code]

Inline:

[code]ELIXIR OF LIFE Study Aid

Can’t stay awake in class? Spent half the night studying for an exam? Forget about setting an alarm! Simply throw an ELIXIR OF LIFE (registered trademark of the Frobozz Magic Stimulant Company) packet against a hard surface, and everyone in the vicinity (Only useful in enclosed (Hermetically sealed) spaces) will be wide awake in seconds![/code]

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(heartless zombie) #68

I tried the quotes in NVDA. I’m not an expert so you should seek more reports. For what it’s worth, with my configuration, NVDA reads asterisks (*) as “star”. The other symbols, cross and vertical double-cross († ‡) were not vocalised.

I found “star” versus “star star” less easy to distinguish than numbered footnotes (“1” versus “2”…). Using a hypertext link for each reference with a target to the respective footnote would be convenient. Screen readers support hypertext links in HTML.

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#69

The screen reader JAWZ does read out the symbols, but I think it is always safest to assume some readers won’t. I like the numbered footnotes, and they are probably the safest to use because all readers recognize numbers (but not necessarily as superscript; parentheses are okay).

My reader won’t announce hyperlinks coded in Inform, although I can click them. If I remember correctly, the links do “appear” on their own line in online interpreters (e.g., Quixe), but users of newer versions of JAWS can customize the software such that links aren’t read out this way, and they may therefore be indistinguishable from regular text.

If you want to use hyperlinks in an Inform game, and you want visually-impaired players to recognize and use them, you should probably mark them somehow, with an asterisk for example.

Neil

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#70

The problems here then is that the VM does not support these kind of screen reader hint and that can cause the problem. In VMs that can use HTML output, then you could also perhaps to use CSS to control the speech synthesis (and PLS for pronunciation). For non-HTML systems, a different way can be used (which is what I am intending to do with TAVERN).

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#71

I’ve released a text based game a week ago and received some feedback through this forum on the its accessibility (or the lack of it) using interpreter software. Mainly, the graphics caused a lot of interference. I’ve added a graphics on/off button on the top left side of the screen to turn all graphics off. From my own tests it seems the game has become more accessabel. But since I have no need for an interpreter, I’m not to judge on this. Is there any change anyone can give the game a try using an interpretator of narrator and see if the accessibility has indeed approved? And maybe I can get some more feedback on other issues as well?

http://www.beachedadventure.com/

Thx in advance.

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