Case studies

SCENARIO 1 – Desktop accessibility

Martin is 27 years old and suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that affects the light sensitive part of the eye and results in loss of day vision. Being a schoolteacher in a specialised school for blind, Martin is fully aware that conventional printed material is problematic to read for most of his pupils, and so are the electronic means like e-mail, the web, etc., unless they acquire a plethora of assistive technology devices and software. The latter is often problematic as they sometimes have compatibility problems and require various installations, lacking typically integration possibilities, and are furthermore platform dependent, making it expensive for his school for example to acquire Windows driven PCs, while also making it less affordable for his students. He was therefore delighted to hear of the AEGIS suit of tools, which provided him the possibility of an all-in-one solution, which benefits his daily work, as well as that of his students. Namely, AEGIS allows Martin and his pupils to produce accessible material since AEGIS software e.g. allows Martin to create textual documents, which he can then seamlessly transfer into DAISY format books for people with print impairments. Martin and his pupils will also have access to accessible material because they can now use the open source assistive technology which will be embedded in the desktop tools provided by the project, and with no extra burden on the school’s limited budgets. In addition, being fully platform-independent, the users are no longer bound to one platform or the other. This allows Martin and his students to operate the software from any computer they have, whether it is running a proprietary operating system or not. Finally, the extent of the AEGIS consortium will ensure that multilingual support will be available for the AEGIS software. 

Cost-effective on-line Accessible Classroom tools offered by ÆGIS.

Cost-effective on-line Accessible Classroom tools offered by AEGIS.

SCENARIO 2 - Web application accessibility

Julian is running a small assistive technology consultancy company that aids companies to make the working environment more accessible in terms of used software, so that they will be able to employ people with disabilities. In this respect, he recently accepted a job to make an existing but poorly accessible Rich Internet Application (RIA) more accessible and also cross platform. For this, he uses the AEGIS developer toolkit. The AEGIS tools for creating Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and the user interface component sets Julian can choose from – already tested and proven to be accessible via assistive technologies on multiple platforms - allow Julian to transform the existing RIA in one that provides the same interface to all his employees, while also allowing every kind of assistive technology to be fully working with these RIAs.

The ÆGIS RIA toolkit allows collaborative work of peoplewith various impairments in a single application.
The AEGIS RIA toolkit allows collaborative work of peoplewith various impairments in a single application. 

SCENARIO 3 - Rich cell phone & PDA accessibility

Molly is 20 years old, and is blind from birth. This has however not stopped her from using all latest technologies to support her, nor has it stopped her from having a very active life. A friend of Molly told her recently about the AEGIS mobile companion that can be freely downloaded to your mobile, and features a wide range of accessibility support. Molly uses since some years speech technology (TTS) for her mobile, however the supporting software has been expensive and was not always working on every mobile she could purchase. Hence, Molly is more than interested and goes to her regular shop, where she normally purchases her mobile. She goes into the store, and finds several cell phones based on AEGIS, which include a framework that supports assistive technologies, and where all of the built-in phone applications are already accessible. After discussing her needs with the salesclerk and trying several phones, she selects one. The salesclerk, as a courtesy, downloads the AEGIS screen reader to her at no charge, which integrates perfectly into the phone (she could have done this herself later had she wanted to – and had some assistance in getting the phone to do the download). The result is that Molly bought her mobile already totally equipped to support her main need: having a talking mobile through TTS. Few weeks later, Molly wants to get software onto her phone to track her expenses for her work trips. She browses the selection of software for sale - using the accessible AEGIS web browser built into her phone - and finds one that incorporates the AEGIS accessibility framework which she purchases, downloads, and installs. When she then launches it, she is pleased to see that it speaks just fine with the now integrated speech system on her phone. This is the result of the fact that the AEGIS speech software is open source and free, so that every software vendor can get it at no charge and develop with it. 

The ÆGIS mobile companion.

The AEGIS mobile companion.