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Xbmc not working for blind users.
#31
Also, to answer your question about screenreaders... we have a virtual cursor that usually follows the visual cursor you see when you hit the tab key or the arrow keys. We can also activate a mode where we can use the mouse to have it read whatever is under it, but this is used in the most desperate of situations. I can post a few youtube videos here but I'm sure if you went to YouTube and searched for JAWS for Windows, NVDA, VoiceOver, Orca, Speakup, or just the word screenreader or screen reader you'd find plenty yourself.
#32
(2013-12-05, 09:43)byron27 Wrote: Anyway, I'm trying not to sound crass or rude, but it is kind of funny seeing how sighted people reacting to the kinds of things blind people want to do. I guess the same air of silliness that I saw in your comment is the same air of silliness you saw in mine. Can we all agree that we're all silly?
I was similarly striving not to be rude or crass in my monty python comment. Actually my cousin played in the NZ Blind Cricket team believe it or not! She lost (most of) her eyesight to diabetes quite early in her life - 20s or early 30s.

It becomes obvious fairly early on in getting video working on a computer that sound is so much more important than video as far as continuity goes. A sound glitch and you lose a whole scene, a video glitch where the sound is OK is annoying but acceptable. I can see how a partially sighted person could very well enjoy entertainment that is regarded by many as primarily visual. See also my comment at post http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...pid1451350

I haven't given this thread any more thought until today when you posted. The summer holidays are coming, and it'll be food for thought playing with screenreaders etc.
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#33
Also, almost every OS you support has a screen reader built in. Many of them might be difficult to use, such as the VoiceOver screenreader in Apple TV. Since you don't use many iOS functions it probably would be a bit of work to implement that. However, maybe that JSON thing might be the trick. I don't actually know how that bit works but it sounds like something that is hooked into the text that is actually written on the screen somehow. Actually, looking at the menus in XBMC, I am surprised that it doesn't talk since all of these menus HAVE textual elements along with artwork. I can't think of one single part of XBMC that ISN'T represented by text. I bet it'll be easier than you are all thinking because you are thinking about voice commands and re-vamping the visual style of XBMC when all of that text is right there and all we need is a way to tunnel it from the GUI to the text processor of the screenreader. God, I hope I didn't just completely insult all of you by making it seem trivial... I guess from the outside looking in having experience seeing how text works with screenreaders, it seems like that hurdle should be too huge. Anyway, I'll shut up before I make someone mad :-)
#34
(2013-12-05, 09:46)byron27 Wrote: Also, to answer your question about screenreaders... we have a virtual cursor that usually follows the visual cursor you see when you hit the tab key or the arrow keys. We can also activate a mode where we can use the mouse to have it read whatever is under it, but this is used in the most desperate of situations. I can post a few youtube videos here but I'm sure if you went to YouTube and searched for JAWS for Windows, NVDA, VoiceOver, Orca, Speakup, or just the word screenreader or screen reader you'd find plenty yourself.
I'll do that. What is the linux screenreader? (to save me a google!)
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
#35
Orca is the major screenreader but there are several. Here's a list of pretty much every single available screenreader. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screen_readers

The biggies are...

For windows:
JAWS
NVDA
Window-Eyes
Narrator *built into Windows*

For OS X:
VoiceOver *built into OS X*

For iOS:
VoiceOver *built into iOS*

For Android:
TalkBack *built into Android*
Spiel

For Linux:
Orca
BRLTTY
EmacSpeak for Emacs
#36
Just a quick question... is there a way to send a copy of the menu text to an iOS device so you can actually see the menu for a particular add-on or section of XBMC on your phone... even if its just list text? I know this isn't true accessibility but if I could use VoiceOver on my iPhone or TalkBack on my Android to swipe through the list of menus and video sources in various apps, then double tap on the item to get it to play on my TV, this would be reasonable. Also, one could write a very simple desktop XBMC helper app that would let you input stuff like repo sources, remote server connectivity info and whatnot into XBMC via config files. This way you could turn on the helper app, get the IP and port of the box the helper and XBMC is running on, put that info into the remote app, then enter info and check boxes necessary in the helper app to set up remote control, then save and apply the changes, launch XBMC and then launch the remote app and connect. The hypothetical remote app wouldn't do any good if it used arrow keys or mouse track pad stuff like the million other apps do but if it could intercept the menu text and the position you are at in the menu then a mobile device could maybe control XBMC. Just a thought, maybe thats harder than just implementing actual screenreader support. Anyway, I await any replies that may contribute to this idea. Thanks!
#37
Maybe try yatse on android.

I installed orca on my laptop last night, started it and got yelled at by the computer, then quizzed by the others present. Didn't get to try it with XBMC LOL.
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
#38
Ah that is too bad, hope you get a chance at some point in the near future. Thanks for looking into it at least. :-)
#39
(2013-12-05, 23:13)byron27 Wrote: Just a quick question... is there a way to send a copy of the menu text to an iOS device so you can actually see the menu for a particular add-on or section of XBMC on your phone... even if its just list text? I know this isn't true accessibility but if I could use VoiceOver on my iPhone or TalkBack on my Android to swipe through the list of menus and video sources in various apps, then double tap on the item to get it to play on my TV, this would be reasonable. Also, one could write a very simple desktop XBMC helper app that would let you input stuff like repo sources, remote server connectivity info and whatnot into XBMC via config files. This way you could turn on the helper app, get the IP and port of the box the helper and XBMC is running on, put that info into the remote app, then enter info and check boxes necessary in the helper app to set up remote control, then save and apply the changes, launch XBMC and then launch the remote app and connect. The hypothetical remote app wouldn't do any good if it used arrow keys or mouse track pad stuff like the million other apps do but if it could intercept the menu text and the position you are at in the menu then a mobile device could maybe control XBMC. Just a thought, maybe thats harder than just implementing actual screenreader support. Anyway, I await any replies that may contribute to this idea. Thanks!

The official XBMC iOS remote in the App Store will do a pretty good job at navigating add-ons. You can get to a lot of content directly through it without having to use XBMC's TV interface.
#40
While the Official XBMC iOS Remote may work very well, I hope if it does work that it doesn't put an end to potential work on making the actual program accessible. Actually, if it works maybe we can figure out how to do something similar on the desktop so you could load XBMC, minimize it, then use the desktop equivalent to control XBMC via a screenreader. Even if you can't see, you could alt-tab back to XBMC after you start the media you want so sighted friends can watch too. :-) Okay, I'm gonna go download it right now to see if it works... more in a bit!
#41
(2013-12-06, 01:07)Ned Scott Wrote:
(2013-12-05, 23:13)byron27 Wrote: Just a quick question... is there a way to send a copy of the menu text to an iOS device so you can actually see the menu for a particular add-on or section of XBMC on your phone... even if its just list text? I know this isn't true accessibility but if I could use VoiceOver on my iPhone or TalkBack on my Android to swipe through the list of menus and video sources in various apps, then double tap on the item to get it to play on my TV, this would be reasonable. Also, one could write a very simple desktop XBMC helper app that would let you input stuff like repo sources, remote server connectivity info and whatnot into XBMC via config files. This way you could turn on the helper app, get the IP and port of the box the helper and XBMC is running on, put that info into the remote app, then enter info and check boxes necessary in the helper app to set up remote control, then save and apply the changes, launch XBMC and then launch the remote app and connect. The hypothetical remote app wouldn't do any good if it used arrow keys or mouse track pad stuff like the million other apps do but if it could intercept the menu text and the position you are at in the menu then a mobile device could maybe control XBMC. Just a thought, maybe thats harder than just implementing actual screenreader support. Anyway, I await any replies that may contribute to this idea. Thanks!

The official XBMC iOS remote in the App Store will do a pretty good job at navigating add-ons. You can get to a lot of content directly through it without having to use XBMC's TV interface.

I have sad news to report. While the actual Official App for iOS is COMPLETELY accessible in terms of buttons being properly labeled and such... I couldn't find an Add-Ons section on the main screen after connecting to my XBMC. Am I doing something wrong or does the remote app not have support for showing the add-ons?
#42
Select "TV Shows" in the left-hand menu, and then there should be an add-ons icon that looks like a puzzle piece at the bottom of the screen, 4th from the left.
#43
Ned and everyone else, I have great news. The XBMC app works great and the add-ons section also came through. I was able to use almost every part of my XBMC setup remotely with text-to-speech by using my iPhone. The one part I couldn't make work was the programs section of the add-ons... but this is a major leap toward accessibility. Knowing that most of the information conveyed inside XBMC can actually be read aloud by SOMETHING is wonderful. Thanks for the tip on using a remote app! Hopefully knowing this bit of info will make using XBMC with a native screen reader possible. The only question is, how would one turn on remote control without any vision at all? Also, I noticed that there was a Get More section in the iOS add-ons area but it didn't seem to see any add-ons that I could install remotely. Is this something that I need to change so I can install add-ons remotely?
#44
Has there been any more thought or development in the direction of making the menus in XBMC talk? I think this would really be a cool addition to the project. It would open it up to so many people. Those who are blind or dyslexic, anyone running a headless media center for music, those who have kids who can't read yet... the possibilities are endless.
#45
Hello,
From time to time I am googling around and trying to find out if someone has tried to use XBMC even if he or she is blind. This is the closest to my issue I was able to find so let me add my story here and maybe we might able to cook something up.
I am blind so currently I am just organizing my media through file manager and playing them in a variety of audio players mostly VLC media player. I have three kids and they don't find particularly easy hunting for their favorite songs, cartoons and movies searching the folders tree inside the file manager. While I am at it I would also like to concentrate viewing movies, playing music, access to youtube and possibly other sources at a single place.
I would like to use this on linux on a typical desktop PC and if I will master XBMC enough so it becomes usefull to me and convenient for my kids I am considering buying raspberry pi or other cheap computer for running it.
I haven't yet installed XBMC on linux because its default behaviour is that it uses its own X session and is not shown inside a desktop enviromment. Most accessible on linux is gnome with included screen reader called orca. Starting a new X session with an app not yet known to me after reading rumours it might not be accessible is not something I might be able to make some use of. So I have started my XBMC venture by installing it on windows.
Unfortunatelly the situation is not much better while running XBMC in windows. In order to gain access to windows apps I am using free and open source screen reader NVDA (http://www.nvda-project.org/ ). From my point view the main XBMC window as shown to me when starting XBMC for the first time appears to me as an empty window. For sure it may look well and the controls are visible on the screen I am unable to access them at all. However what is positive that when pressing arrow keys I can hear a clicking sound so at least I know XBMC is running.
Now I would like to ask for my options. I would really like to start with something really simple so I might be able to make something out of this. Looking through the folder structure of installed XBMC I think there is an web UI addon. Am I correct and can I enable it somehow at least to get some initial settings configured?
For the actual viewing / browsing the media I might use the IOS / Android remote clients if I find them accessible enough. The prior postings here indicate at least IOS remote client might be usefull. Can I somehow configure my instance of XBMC running on windows to accept connections from remote clients if I have no access to the XBMC graphic interface?
Here is page on mithspeech an attempt at providing some basic text to speech output to mithtv: http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/MythSpeech I guess the user interface paradigm of XBMC is somewhat similar to mithtv. As I have read earlier in this discussion thread all the textual information is there somewhere it just needs to be conveyed to the visually disabled user some how. Writing MSAA accessibility support in order to make XBMC accessible on windows, writing ATK interfaces in order to provide accessibility support on linux would be a complex task. Unfortunatelly I haven't even thought about IOS, android and perhaps more platforms XBMC can run on. Making XBMC into a self-voicing app would perhaps be a good idea for an addon. On linux, windows and android there is a light weight speech synthesiser called eSpeak which can do TTS in more than 40 languages so if indeed possible I would be happy to make some good use of it. Do you think there are APIs for intercepting current menu position within XBMC? Alternativelly is there a way to hook into the procedure which plays those tick sounds while navigating XBMC UI using the keyboard? Can you describe XBMC UI controls a bit? Are they derived from any toolkit or is the UI specific to XBMC? Are there common UI elements such as menu items, checkable menu items, edit fields, collections etc? Is there some material I can read in order to better understand this?
I apologise for a detailed post hopefully it is not completelly boring and it makes some sense. I would welcome any kind of cooperation, hints and even a speculations about how this might be done. If indeed possible without having access to the graphical UI I would also like to get hints on how I might be able to configure my instance of XBMC.

Thanks and greetings

Peter
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