Case Study: Vision Australia
HSD helps blind and low vision users access online library.
Vision Australia required a technology partner to help deliver online resources to its user base of blind and low vision users. HSD developed a flexible and fully accessible solution to meet this important service’s requirements.
Vision Australia delivers a library service for people with a print disability providing access to information in accessible formats such as audio, braille and electronic text. Vision Australia has a collection of over 35,000 titles comprising of books, newspapers and magazines. Currently content is distributed on CD via post however Vision Australia is increasingly providing online access to this collection.
Vision Australia required an application that would help their library members simply and easily download content from its Vision Australia Online Catalogue website. Given the majority of these library members are people who are blind or have low vision accessibility was a fundamental requirement. For example, the application had to provide:
- Keyboard access to all functions for those who are unable to see or follow the mouse pointer on the screen.
- The ability to adjust text size and/or colour for those with low vision and unable to read standard text.
- Support for the use of assistive technology such as screen magnifiers that display an enlarged view of the information on the screen; or screen readers that read out the contextual information based on the current focus (e.g. such as the label and data for the currently selected field).
HSD developed the i-access Online Downloader application. This is a tool which enables users to selectively or batch download content which they have identified using the Online Catalogue website. Users also have the ability to pause, cancel and resume any given download. A seamless upgrade process was also provided to ensure a simple process for non-technical users.
Accessibility on both a Windows and Mac platform was delivered through technical testing by the HSD and Vision Australia team and seeking feedback from user testing completed by Vision Australia Library members.
The i-access Online Downloader has been deployed to Vision Australia Library members – a user base of over 2,000 people and growing. This is supporting Vision Australia’s objectives of increasing the proportion of library members that are accessing their content online.
The application delivers almost instant access to the content in an accessible, simplistic and easy to use manner that caters to users of varying levels of IT skills.
Vision Australia is the largest provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. Vision Australia offers a range of services tailored to a person's level of vision and needs over the course of their lifetime, from children's services, to study, employment & recreation programs, through to information and library services, equipment solutions, technology & training, low vision services, independent living services and orientation & mobility including seeing eye dog services. Vision Australia is also recognised as an industry leader in the provision of digital accessibility services, assisting organisations to ensure their digital services are accessible to all.
- Application Development
Implement downloader application to allow users to access content from the Online Catalogue website, ensuring that the application is accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.
- Windows forms application
- Mac OSX application
Allows users to access audio books and accessible versions of newspapers and magazines available through the Vision Australia Online Library using a simple and accessible process.
TechnologiesWindows forms application:
- .Net 4
- Objective C