Proposal talk:Accessibility for deaf and visually impaired communities

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From Strategic Planning

Surely this is a good ideaTM. The foundation should think about hiring a Web accessibility expert, to improve MediaWiki software. Currently, the gallery extension has no alt text, LaTeX needs improvement, the timeline extension is not accessible, several other things need improvement and many small mistakes need to be fixed. So we definitely need an expert here, I hope the foundation can hire one. Dodoïste 23:02, 31 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's an obvious difficulty in making articles open to edit available to the blind in that subsequent edits would presumably require a re-reading of the entire article. However, I do think it would be good to establish a practice whereby every article that makes Featured Status gets an audio version. That would immediately make thousands of articles eligible for prioritisation. Perhaps volunteers could be appealed to for help? A specially designed interface, linked to from the main page, could make those quickly accessible to blind users. There is another proposal called Audio offerings, so you may want to collaborate on your proposals. I'm not qualified to discuss braille and LaTeX. --Bodnotbod 17:33, 13 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This could be made into a grant proposal; an audio books version of Wikipedia's best and/or most accessed articles. I'm sure that funding agencies would jump at the chance. Joey the Mango 17:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What special help do the deaf need with Wikpedia? Joey the Mango 17:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have already research the potential of having having automatic text to speech of article after a few project did it. There are no open source system that produce good speech. So it would have to be a closed sourced system, ruling out running on WMF server. But the Toolserver is allowed to run closed source software.

Now, the pricing to run this software on the server is going to be high (certainly more than for a single user). If we work with the vendor (adding "power by XXX tech", software demo) I think we could get license for free. Then we do stuff with processing, a iPod download link, caching system,

Also on the picture you might be interested in en:User:Zocky/Picture Popups, I ask for it to be made into a gadget but it was refused as since it didn't work in IE. Its also gotten a bit dated. Dispenser 01:07, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you elaborate on your evaluation of the state of open source software text-to-speech solutions?--Eloquence 01:24, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is already a website, Pediaphon, that converts articles into speech automatically.

It uses MBROLA and eSpeak. ::As a blind user, I find the output of free or open-source text-to-speech systems like those mentioned above to be intelligible but not natural. Graham87 05:33, 10 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These are features of a browser - not MediaWiki

Increasing the size of text and having text-to-speech are not attributes that belong to any particular website - they are things that a web browser for impaired readers needs to have. This is a "FireFox" project - not one that Wikimedia should be involved with. SteveBaker 04:40, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not everyone, for example people in impoverished countries browsing on inexpensive mobile devices, can afford screen reader systems. 21:57, 20 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Why the heck are ABBR and ACRONYM tags disallowed by the software? There's an easy fix right there, simply to allow that. I'm sure that some sort of sematic markup in articles could allow for automatic generation of these tags and their content as well at least in cases such as hyperlinks. --Struthious Bandersnatch 19:05, 23 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SignWriting extension

The SignWriting foundation is working on a MediaWiki extension that will allow deaf people to write their sign language with the SignWriting script. There is a request for a Wikipedia in American Sign Language and it will be made "eligible" once the software is able to include content.


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]