Best Practices - Glossary

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Accessibility Architecture Glossary

Term Definition

A printer which produces braille output instead of text.

Public Accommodation

A private entity that owns or operates a place of business to which the public is invited. The place where the entity conducts its activities is referred to as the place of public accommodation. Typical examples of such places include restaurants, retail stores, hotels and doctors' offices.

Refreshable Braille Display

Refreshable braille displays offer blind computer users another braille-based output alternative. Driven by text-to-braille translation software, the refreshable braille display connects to a standard PC serial port, and allows users to "read" the contents of a computer screen on a special strip made up of retractable braille dots. This is an especially attractive option for computer users who are deaf-blind and cannot rely on speech-output technologies.

Refreshable Braille Displays are electronic devices that are used to read text that a computer sends to the monitor. The device is connected to the computer by a serial cable and produces braille output on the braille display. Refreshable braille displays only read one line of text at a time. These displays generally include directional keys which allow the user to navigate through a document. Larger displays (80 cells) also include a cursor routing function. Each cell contains eight small pins, allowing eight dot computer braille.

Scan and Read Software

Optical character recognition (OCR) is the process of converting an image of text, such as a scanned paper document or electronic fax file, into computer-editable text. The text in an image is not editable: the letters are made of tiny dots (pixels) that together form a picture of text. During OCR, the software analyzes an image and converts the pictures of the characters to editable text based on the patterns of the pixels in the image. After OCR, you can export the converted text and use it with a variety of word-processing, page layout, and spreadsheet applications. OCR also enables screen readers and refreshable braille displays to read the text contained in images.

Screen Magnification Software

Screen magnification software helps visually impaired persons to use computers by enlarging the picture on the screen by any factor they choose. The magnification programs run simultaneously with the computer's operating system and applications and magnify by choosing a small portion of the screen that is usually viewed and fitting it to the whole screen. Some programs enlarge the entire screen while others only enlarge the area around the mouse, producing a moving enlargement area.

Speech Synthesizer

A device that is capable of accepting digital or analog data and developing intelligible speech sounds that correspond to the input data, without resorting to recorded sounds or without simply being a speech scrambler operating in reverse.