Important Messages, such as Service Disruption.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM UK time. We will try to give assistance to those people not living in the UK outside of those hours if possible.

We are closed for the Christmas holidays from the evening of Wednesday 20 December 2017 through to Tuesday 2 January 2018.

We would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Accessible Skype and TechTalk Presentation for Leasey!

It has been an interesting week as far as access to Skype is concerned. Very sadly, GW Micro announced that the highly popular program, GWConnect, will no longer be continued due to the development tools it uses not being available. As a user of GWConnect for some time, like many others I found this disappointing.

Why is this news frustrating to some, given that most of the screen-readers do support Skype quite well, and for one or two, there are additional scripts available which help to make it more accessible?

What people seemed to have very much appreciated with the GWConnect application was the ease and simplicity of how it worked. It didn't just make Skype accessible. It's very structured interface made it more usable for many.

Skype is a very popular tool used for communication for text chat, Skype and phone calls too, so it needs to be as easy to use as possible and support through screen-reading should be high priority. I remember I did advocate to Freedom Scientific, along with others, that at least some support for Skype should be part of the JAWS product when it is installed, given its popularity. This has been done.

This change in circumstance I wrote about earlier came when we were on the point of including some access for Skype into our Leasey product. For more information about Leasey, please read my earlier blog post on this subject, or read the end of this entry about our forthcoming presentation.

As part of Leasey, we believe that we have created a simple interface which uses the existing Skype program rather than something which could potentially not be accessible in the future. The user is presented with an interface where they cannot focus on an area which subsequently they could find it difficult to get away from. So, by default, the user is faced with his or her contacts list. It is not possible for example with our interface to move into Skype's own search edit field, either by typing or pressing Up Arrow as is traditionally the case.

Given that information, how do you search for a contact? You type into the list of contacts, just as you would with any list. Focus is then moved to it if found. So, if I type Lulu, or her Skype username, we'll get there and I can press Enter to call or Control+T if I want to text chat with her.

Here are some other highlights.

  • When in the list of contacts or recent events, press Control+Insert+1 through to 4 in order to hear the individual Skype details, such as the name or mood text. Press twice quickly to virtualise the information perhaps for copying elsewhere. This is standard JAWS practice.
  • View a user's profile by activating it from the context menu. When in the profile, read it with the Up or Down Arrow keys. People previously found this difficult to read.
  • The Dialog Box to manage your own profile is completely accessible with appropriate help given where the purpose of a field is not clear.
  • When a user chats to you, and the conversation does not have focus, press a keystroke to set focus to the most recent conversation.
  • When hearing incoming messages, or repeating them, elect to have date and timestamps spoken, or whether or not to hear the username. If you were chatting with someone on a one to one basis, you wouldn't want to hear the username.
  • From within the Emoticons list, quickly find what you are looking for and enter it into your conversation.
  • Select and copy text easily from the chat edit window by marking the start and end points of the selection without the need to use the Shift key.
  • Easily set your Mood text or hear your Skype balance. With the mood text, press a keystroke, update the text, and press Enter to save. It's easy.
  • From LeaseyConnect, (which is our fully featured Address Book), quickly find the person you'd like to call via Skype or maybe chat with them using text.
  • The Dialog Box to change Skype Hotkeys is completely accessible.

We hope that this added support for Skype will give people the confidence to use the main Skype for Windows Desktop program. Context sensitive help is of course included all the way!

You can hear a demonstration of the Skype support within Leasey during TechTalk, part of Accessible World, this coming week. If you cannot make the presentation live so as to ask questions, it will be available as a downloadable podcast. Here is the Press Release regarding this event. There is a lot to talk about, and we look forward very much to being with anyone who wishes to be there.

Tek Talk Presents, "Leasey: Learn, Enable, Advance - So Easy!

Have you just purchased your first computer and don’t know where to start? Do you find saving files into folders difficult? Or maybe you're an advanced user of the JAWS screen-reader, and you’re in a place of work and you need to have phrases from web pages spoken to you automatically or to set intelligent bookmarks as you edit the presentation you need to deliver to the boss. Leasey is your friend and can help - at home, in the workplace or for study!

Leasey is the world’s first application ideal for people wishing to learn computing for the first time through to the power user. Through its easy to use menu system for complete computer beginners, context sensitive help spoken by a human being, and dedicated quick shortcut keys for the power user, Leasey allows you to write documents, manage your Email, read your talking books, keep track of your appointments, manage your contacts, hear radio stations, scan documents or PDF files, talk to your friends on Skype and so much more!

Tek Talk has an exclusive. On 11 August at 8 PM Eastern time, please join a presentation to hear the first ever in depth demonstration of what promises to be an amazing product in the years to come! Every JAWS user should have Leasey. Please attend the seminar to find out why!

Date: Monday August 11, 2014

Time: 5:00 p.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. Mountain, 7:00 p.m. Central, 8:00 p.m. Eastern and elsewhere in the world Tuesday 12:00 GMT.

Approximately 15 minutes prior to the event start time; go to The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room. Alternatively select The Pat Price Tek Talk Training Room at:
Enter your first and last names on the sign-in screen.

If you are a first-time user of the Talking Communities online conferencing software, there is a small, safe software program that you need to download and then run. A link to the software is found on every screen to the rooms.