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Re: Running ChromeVox as a library in a web page?


From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Sep 1, 2017 8:19AM

It's my understanding that the current ChromeVox that is available (classic) uses the DOM and that the new version that uses the API is only available on the Chromebook machines at this time. So building support for something that only supports DOM based access is not headed in the same direction of future assistive technology.


Jonathan Avila
Chief Accessibility Officer
Level Access, inc. (formerly SSB BART Group, inc.)
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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Robert Fentress
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 5:36 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Running ChromeVox as a library in a web page?

I was wondering if anyone knows enough to say how hard it would be to port the ChromeVox browser extension to be a JavaScript library that someone could load in a browser on a per-page basis without having to install the extension. I suspect that, under the hood, Google is using standard web technologies, like JavaScript and the Web Speech API, but I really have no idea.

I've mentioned this before and folks seemed to be baffled by why one would want to do such a thing, but I didn't totally understand the criticism, so I'd appreciate anyone who wished to (kindly) enlighten me. Basically, my thinking is that, if this were an option, developers could code their page or web application to standards, as best they could interpret them, and then test with ChromeVox. If it worked with that, and the developer could, essentially, include that screen reader as an option on the page itself, then it would help ensure at least a floor for screen reader accessibility. It would also provide another option for users, in general, to interact with their site.

I think many developers want to do right, but don't have the time to learn all the ins and outs of how different screen readers interpret things or to test in a half dozen or more different screen reader/browser/platform combinations, guessing, without any really reliable data, on what those might be. I know ChromeVox is not a great or complete screen reader, but, if people started using this as a back up, and it started to gain traction as a strategy, it might prompt Google to improve it. Then that might begin to serve as sort of a reference standard for other screen readers in terms of how to interpret and present things. I can hear the groans already, and I'm not saying ChromeVox is the best thing to serve as that reference, but I'm suggesting it here solely because I suspect it would be easier to port to be just an in-page Javascript-based screen reader.

OK. Have at me, but be kind.

Rob Fentress
Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer
Assistive Technologies at Virginia Tech
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