[plt-scheme] DrScheme for blind users

From: Geoff Knauth (geoff at knauth.org)
Date: Tue Sep 11 10:17:12 EDT 2007

On Sep 11, 2007, at 09:56, Aleks Bromfield wrote:
> I am a TA for an introductory CS class, and one of our students is
> blind. She uses the JAWS screen reader. Unfortunately, we haven't yet
> been able to figure out how to make JAWS work with DrScheme.
> Does anyone have any suggestions for what we can do so that this
> student can use DrScheme? I found a couple of threads on this mailing
> list about JAWS, but they're very old and don't contain much
> information, so I'm (wishfully) hoping that the situation has gotten
> better since then.

I wish I were current on this topic.  15+ years ago in at Marble in  
San Jose I was a developer for a computer for blind users that had no  
monitor but users would crank the reading speed up to the max (700  
words per minute), and 1988-1999 I was a volunteer at Recording for  
the Blind & Dyslexic in Boston, usually assigned to read computer  
textbooks, including some in Lisp.  Something like this:

   (list-ec (:range n 5)
            (and (even? n) (> n 2))
            (:range k (+ n 1))
            (list n k) )
   => '((4 0) (4 1) (4 2) (4 3) (4 4)) )

would have been read by the human reader (me) as:

open paren my dash check newline

indentation level 1
open paren list dash ec space open paren colon range space n space 5  
close paren newline

indentation level 2
open paren and space open paren even questionmark space n close paren  
space open paren greaterthan space n space 2 close two paren newline

open paren colon range space k space open paren plus space n space 1  
close two paren newline

open paren list space n space k close two paren newline

indentation level 0
evaluates to single quote open two paren 4 space 0 close paren space
open paren 4 space 1 close paren space
open paren 4 space 2 close paren space
open paren 4 space 3 close paren space
open paren 4 space 4 close three paren newline

I learned from my work at RFB&D that blind readers are very good at  
putting all this together in their heads, and what they wanted from  
us readers more than anything was for us to read faster.  They had  
speed controls on their players so they could speed us up, but I  
never heard them say it was too fast.  They have the need for  
speed!  :-)

Posted on the users mailing list.