We are updating ATbar all the time and working on new features such as the ability for the Text to Speech to read the Arabic dictionary if you want to highlight a definition and have it read back.
We have also found that if you maximise the Mindmeister map presented on this page by selecting the window in the map’s bottom toolbar – it opens a new window in the browser and you can launch ATbar to read the text on the mind map branches, add a tint overlay, use the dictionary etc.
The plan is to develop an automatic checking system to make sure the toolbar is always up and running as well as allowing us to keep individual statistics on each plugin so that we know they are robust over time. This will help us when we complete quarterly reports.
ATbar mockup site
I have created a mock-up of the ATbar website, which will contain the main features of the toolbar, download, instructions and help files. It is quite basic at the moment and just displays some simple information. The links are just ‘anchors’ but do not go anywhere.
The “kit” (module development) and “API” (application interface) links are intended to be for two subsites and are therefore highlighted in orange. They will be changed to be more elegant in the future. The page has enough space for plenty of content and both images and text work with the colour scheme.
ATbar mockup site in Arabic
Currently there is no Arabic version, but there are language links in the footer. The Arabic link uses Google translate for a quick demonstration of how it might look. Plans for an Arabic site need to be discussed.
Please comment on the layout, colour scheme and design, this is only the first draft.
The ATbar is a browser based option to aid accessibility of websites with the option to change the look and feel of webpages through text only enlargement, font style and colour changes plus increased line spacing. There are also features for text to speech, a dictionary and spell checking.
The original toolbar was funded by JISC TechDis as an open source BSD licensed plug-in. Fix the Web collaboration allowed for an additional element to be added to the toolbar – a small heart logo to the right of the ATbar logo. Users of websites can report any issues with accessibility to the Fix the Web team for further checking so contact can be made with the developers.
To date the ATbar has had over 5 million uses with downloads occurring all over the world. This has resulted in requests for versions in different languages and this blog is going to track the way the toolbar is being adapted to suit the Arabic language thanks to a grant from The Qatar Assistive Technology Center (Mada).