TechDis Accessibility Toolbar demoed at TransferSummit
At TransferSummit, Steve Lee demonstrated the JISC TechDis Accessibility Toolbar, an open source, BSD licenced, browser accessibility tool that has just come out of beta. Launched as open source earlier in the year, the new toolbar is a bookmarklet or user-script which allows users to make text bigger, change text fonts, magnify pages, apply page styles for easier reading, have selected text read aloud, have entered text checked for spelling and provide access to a dictionary or references for selected pages. The toolbar can also be embedded into existing websites; a demonstration of this capability is available on the toolbar's web page.
Lee told The H that the tool, developed as an open collaboration between JISC TechDis and University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science, was created to replace a previous toolbar and that it works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Lee said the open development process "May not be obvious from the toolbar" but with the assistance of OSSWatch it has allowed the project to be more sustainable. "Working with them has been a very positive experience" he says, adding "they [Southampton ECS] are undoubtedly a group to watch as they steadily increase their portfolio of widely applicable open accessibility projects".