OFFICE MEMO Encyclopedia Accessibility
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The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
announces the first technical report from the CD-ROM Access
Project. The report is an analysis of four popular multimedia
encyclopedias, tested with three screen readers and two screen
magnifiers. You can find the report on the project Web page:
Encyclopedias tested are: Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia
1997 Edition for Windows (The Learning Company), Encarta '97
Encyclopedia (Microsoft), Encyclopaedia Britannica CD '97
(Encyclopaedia Britannica), and 1997 Grolier Multimedia
Encyclopedia (Grolier Interactive Inc.).
Access software used in testing is: JAWS for Windows 95
version 2.0, Screen Power for Windows 95 version 3.0 revision
C, outSPOKEN for Macintosh version 1.7.5, LP Windows
version 6.1, and inLARGE version 2.1.
In brief, the report finds that screen reader users will have great
difficulty using any of the encyclopedias except Britannica '97.
Screen magnifier users will have more success but will
encounter complex screen layouts in some products. Read the
report for more details.
The goal of the CD-ROM Access Project is to develop design
guidelines which, when adopted by software developers, will
make CD-ROM-based multimedia more user-friendly and
educationally enriching for blind and visually impaired
students. The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
(NCAM) embarked on this three-year project in December 1996,
with funding from the National Science Foundation, with the
aim of lowering barriers and equalizing opportunities.
Project Coordinator, CD-ROM Access Project
The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)
(617) 492-2777 x3486
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