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BEAM

XVI Screen Reader User Guide

BEAM Ltd. 1999

Release 3.4.3 : 8/11/99

The XVI Screen Reader System Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to the BEAM XVI computer terminal. The XVI terminal has been designed to allow visually impaired and blind people access to computer systems employing the Unix X-Windows user interface system. The XVI terminal behaves like a conventional X-Terminal but has additional features to allow the "viewing" of data on the screen with a speech and/or braille display.

This document is designed to give the user an overview of the system, detailed information on the usage of the BEAM screen reader software and an overview of application usage.

As well as usage of the BEAM XVI terminal it is necessary to understand how applications present their information to the user on a graphics display. This document provides an overview of X-Windows applications to aid in this.

For the new user it can be quite daunting to start learning to use a computer, especially using a speech or braille display device. It will indeed take quite a time to learn and understand how to use the computer system. Some of the areas to learn are:

· Using a computer keyboard

· Understanding of how graphics user interfaces work (the windows system)

· How to use the BEAM XVI screen reader software

· Getting familiar with the speech voice

· Understanding how to "drive" the applications that you are to use.

This document describes the BEAM XVI screen reader software and gives an overview of the windows system. With patience and practice we are sure you will be able to move into the world of computer usage.

XVI System Components

The XVI terminal is based on PC architecture and has a number of components in common. In addition to the graphics display unit, keyboard and mouse the unit has a speech unit and optionally a braille display. These additional interfaces allow the XVI system to speak out and display in braille information on the display.

The unit may also have a BEAM Headphones mixer box attached. This unit allows the mixing of a telephones output with the speech units output to a telephone headset.

The XVI unit consists of the following items:

Base Unit

This is the "brains" of the unit. It is housed in a mini-tower case which normally stands on the floor below the operators desk. It has the master on/off switch, a floppy disk slot for upgrading the software and optionally a CDROM also for updating software.

Monitor

This is the graphics display unit. For users with some vision this can be used to see the terminals data display. The XVI magnification system provides the ability to magnify the image on the display to make it easier to see. For blind users it is useful for colleagues and/or trainers to see what is going on.

Keyboard

This is a standard PC keyboard that allows the entry of data and commands to the computer.

Mouse

This is the pointer device allowing the user to select and manipulate objects on the display. For blind users it is not of any use so it is normally placed in a holder on the side of the monitor.

Braille/speech Display

This unit is placed under the keyboard and will display status information and a line of text from the terminals data display onto a row of braille cells. Each cell consists of a 2x4 array of pins that are raised/lowered under computer control. The unit also contains a speech unit which will speak out data from the display as well as other information. The Braille display has a number of keys and buttons that can be used to control the screen reader software. The unit has a separate power supply and a power switch on the back of the unit. note that if the mains power becomes disconnected the unit will continue to work for a time on the built in batteries. The unit will start emiting a series of beeps when this battery is nearly discharged.

Speech Unit

The speech unit which will speak out data from the display as well as other information.

Headphones box

The headphones box is an optional component. It consists of a small box that is normally sited to the side of the monitor. Its function is to mix the sound from the terminal, the braille/speech unit and a telephone into a conventional telephone operators headset. The unit has a built in loudspeaker which can be switched on with a toggle switch to enable other people to hear what is going on.

XVI Switching on and off

The terminal is switched on by pressing the on/off switch on the base units front panel once. The Alva Braille display has a switch on the rear which should also be operated. The Monitor will switch on and off with the base unit. However, it does have its own on/off switch. This should normally be left on so that the monitor will switch on and off with the base unit.

To power the terminal down, the user should press the CTRL-ALT-DEL key sequence. This will power the unit down gracefully. Once the terninal presents the message "Halting" the unit can be switched off.

XVI Operation Overview

The XVI Terminal is connected to a host Unix system via a network interface. All applications run on the remote host.

The XVI terminal software consists of all of the software necessary to display an image on the display from the host computer. In addition to this the terminal has an application called the screen reader. The screen reader is responsible for interrogating and displaying the information contained on the terminals graphics display and presenting it to the user on a braille display or through the speech unit.

The screen reader creates its own model of what is on the display at any one time. It allows the user to interrogate this model by means of key presses from the keyboard or braille display. It also provides information to the user as to the state of the system and any special changes to the display. There are a number of user options that can be configured and saved.

The screen reader can be provided with application information files that provide more information on the applications. This allows the system to provide the following additional functionality:

  • Give a "label" to each object
  • Provide the "type" of the object.
  • Provide additional information on the objects.
  • Set up a "Tab group" of objects. This is a sequential list of the useful objects in the window. This allows the user to easily navigate through the windows main objects for data entry or retrieval.
  • Set up locator keys to specific objects in the window. This allows the user to quickly move to objects in the window.

The X-Windows System

Introduction

In order to gain a better understanding of the BEAM XVI system, it is important to gain an understanding of how the X-Window system and applications work. This chapter gives an overview of the X-Window system from the perspective of the XVI system.

The X-Window system is designed to be able to produce a two dimensional display of text and graphics on a display and allow the user to interact with the display by means of a keyboard and mouse. In order to support many applications running at once and sophisticated user interfaces, the X-Window system splits the two dimensional display into a number of windows. These windows are usually rectangular and can be of any size. They may overlap other windows obscuring some or all of their contents. These windows can be moved, resized and brought forward with respect to the other windows displayed. In essence the windows behave like sheets of paper on a desk.

Applications can have any number of windows on the display, however, there is normally one main window that is displayed when the application is started. The Application may pop-up other windows to display menus, error messages or display other information. Normally a special Application called the window manager provides the user with the ability to move, resize, raise, lower, iconify and perform other functions on the windows. The XVI system provides an easy way to navigate through these windows without having to use the window manager application.

Each Application window is made up of a number of objects. These objects may display information in textual or graphical form and may also respond to user interaction. Some of the major object types are listed below.
 

Object Type

Description

Label

Displays some textual information that is normally static

Button

Displays the name of the button. It can be "pressed" by moving the mouse cursor over it and pressing the Left hand button or by pressing the "Enter" key if active. Pressing the button can do anything the application writer requires including starting off other applications.

Text-Field

Displays some textual information that can normally be edited. When active keyboard entry operates the object. Characters typed are inserted into the text at the position of a text cursor while editing keys provide movement within the text. Textfields can be a single line of text or multiple lines of text.

Menubar

The name given to a line of buttons at the top of the Application window. These buttons, when pressed, normally produce "pop-down" menus which have a top-down array of buttons to control the applications main functions. For example the menubar could have a button named "File". When pressed a "pop-down" menu would appear below which would have the buttons "Save" and "Quit" to save the applications data and to quit the application.

Toggle Button

A Button that has two states on and off. The states can be indicated by the text displayed on the button changing or by a graphical area changing colour.

Option menu

A Textfield that can be changed to one of a number of options. Pressing the mouse Left hand button over the field will pop-up a menu of the possible options. Pressing the mouse Left hand button or the "Enter" key over the desired option will change the Option Menu to this value.

Scrollbar

A graphical object along the side or below an area of the display which will allow the area by the scrollbar to be panned. This is normally used when there is a large amount of information which will not fit on the display at once, so a region of the information is displayed only. The Scrollbar or scrollbars allow the user to move the region of the information that is displayed.

Pull Down menu

A menu of buttons that can be pressed to operate some function Normally Pull Down menus come down from the menubar at the top of the application.

List

A list of entries. Normally one or more entries can be selected from the list. The list may have scrollbars down the side and at the top or bottom to scroll through a large number of entries.

Beeps

The X-Window system has a rudimentary sound ability which allows beeps to be sounded. This is normally used when an error has occurred.

Cursors

A cursor is a graphical object that indicates the position on the display that an operation will be carried out. The X-Window system has two major types of cursor, the mouse cursor and the text cursor. The mouse cursor indicates which object mouse buttons will operate. The XVI system will move the mouse cursor over the objects on the screen in response to keyboard navigation commands. The Text cursor indicates where text characters will be inserted or deleted. XVI provides the ability to track the text cursor in applications and display this position on the braille display or speak out the character under the cursor.

Mouse Operation

The mouse is very important for user interaction with the applications. It is linked to a mouse cursor that moves over the display area. The mouse provides the ability to move this cursor over the two dimensional display and provides three buttons that can be pressed. In most cases the Left hand mouse button is used to operate some object. However the other two buttons are also used depending on the type of object, for different functions.

Most applications provide some degree of functionality by use of the keyboard alone, but some do not. The XVI system provides keyboard driven navigation functions that moves the mouse cursor from one object to the next.

Keyboard operation

The keyboard used with X-Windows on the XVI system is a normal PC keyboard. This has an array of keys most of which are for the letters of the Alphabet but some are special function keys. The special function keys are grouped around the main area of the QWERTY keyboard. They functions are listed below:
 

Key

Description

Escape Key

Escape from the current operation

F3

Most applications use this to exit the application

F10

Move to the menubar on most applications

Tab Key

In multi-line text fields insert a TAB character, otherwise move to the next object in the tab-group

Left and Right Shift

Capitalise the characters that are typed with the shift key down.

Space

Space bar enters a space character in text fields. In other objects causes them to operate. In the case of a button presses it, in the case of a menu or list selects the current item

Enter

In some objects causes them to operate. In text fields enters the data.

Caps Lock

Lock the keyboard to produce only shifted characters

Left Control Key

Pressed with a character key sends a special control key sequence

Left ALT Keys

Pressed with a character key sends a special ALT key sequence

Delete Key

Deletes the character under the text cursor

Backspace key

Delete the character to the left of the text cursor

Cursor keys

When within Textfields moves the text cursor up, down, left or right one character space. Otherwise may move through selected objects in an application. For example will move through the menubars buttons and the buttons on the pop-down menus.

Home key

Moves the text cursor to the start of the line of text.

Page Up Key

Moves a page of text up one page

Page Down key

Moves a page of text down one page

Function Keys

These have various uses depending on the application running. There are twelve keys available.

Numeric Keypad Keys

On the XVI system these keys control the screen reader or can be used to enter numbers

Right Control Key

On the XVI system this key pressed with a character or function key provides a special function.

Focus Window

When an application is running in X-Windows one application and one object within that application has the keyboard focus. This means that all key presses will be sent to the object that currently has keyboard focus. The object that has current focus can be changed by clicking the Left hand mouse button over the new object or using  the "Tab to next object" system.

Applications

There are a number of application types that run under X-Windows. These are based on the developers toolkit that was used to build the program. The look and method of operation of the applications depend on the toolkit that was used.

  • Motif: Applications are based on the popular Motif toolkit. It is the most popular toolkit used when producing applications.
  • Athena Widgets: The Athena Widgets toolkit is the standard one shipped with all Unix Systems. It is a basic toolkit and some of the basic Unix applications use it.
  • Windows4GL:This is a toolkit used for some of banking applications. It is based upon the Motif toolkit but has some of its own features.

X-Windows provides the ability to run text terminal based applications as well. This is normally done through a terminal emulator application called xterm. The xterm application provides an 80 by 25 character cell area where ASCII characters can be drawn. It also provides a text cursor to show where text will be entered.

Screen Reader Operation

Basic Screen Reader Operation

Where ever possible the XVI screen reader attempts to track the applications keyboard focus window, allowing the user to operate the application by the normal applications keyboard interface. In a perfect world the applications should be capable of full operation from the keyboard. However most applications require the use of the mouse for some operations. So in addition to tracking the applications keyboard operation the XVI screen reader provides the ability to move the mouse cursor around the objects and text within the application window and read described information or labels on the display. This allows the user to move around the screen objects and press the mouse buttons as if using a mouse.

Keyboard Operation

The screen reader software is entirely driven from the keyboard and the keys on the braille display. In order to support the many screen reader functions use is made of special keyboard keys as modifiers to modify the function of the standard keyboard keys.

By default the numeric keypad is taken over by the screen reader software and provides the main navigation and information functions. The right hand ALT key toggles the numeric keypad between this XVI mode and normal mode where it behaves like a conventional numeric keypad for entering numbers.

All other screen reader functionality is provided by pressing the XVI Modifier key (the right hand control key) in conjunction with another keyboard key.

The section on the keyboard keys provides full information on all the key presses available. The keyboard help system provides an alternative interactive way of finding out what key does what.

Keyboard Sticky Keys

There is a user option named sticky keys. When sticky keys is enabled the user can press modified key sequences such as CTRL A using just one finger, chords are not required.

Sticky keys apply to the keyboard modifier keys such as Shift, Control and Alt. When enabled a modifier key, when pressed, will "stick" down until another keyboard key is pressed. Thus CTRL A and be sent by pressing and releaseing the CTRL key follower bu the A key. Double pressing the modifier key will make it stay down until released on pressing it again.

Application Windows

Whenever an application is started or stopped the user is informed by means of a spoken message. New application windows are also announced and are automatically moved to the top of all other windows and made the active application window for screen reader operation. XVI provides the ability to move through each applications window in sequence by means of the keypads Next Application Window and Previous Application Window keys. When a new application window is selected it is automatically moved to the top of all other windows and made the active application window for screen reader operation.

Application Window Access

Application windows contain a number of objects each of which may have one or more lines of text. Window systems have the notion of a current keyboard focus object. This is the object to which all keyboard entries will be sent. The XVI system tracks the focus object and will display its contents. Thus if you use the TAB key or CURSOR keys to move through the objects in the window the XVI system will track this and display the contents of the current focus object.

Some times applications do not provide an easy way of operating an object from the keyboard. If this is the case you can use the XVI systems Object Navigation system to move through the objects on the display.

Application operation

Normally applications can be "driven" using the keyboard in a conventional way. Most applications use special keys for navigating amongst the on-screen objects and operating them. The major keys that can be used include:
 

OBJECT OPERATION

TAB

Move to next object

SHIFT TAB

Move to previous object

SPACE BAR

Operate object. In the case of a button push the button in the case of a list or menu select the item If used within a text field enters a space.

ENTER

In some cases operate the object. In the case of text fields enter the data and move on to the next field

CURSOR KEYS

If within a menu or list move to the next/previous list item. Otherwise move to objects within a tab group. 
Can be used to move along the menubar using the Left and Right keys and move down the menubars pop up menu entries with the Up and Down keys.

F3

Terminate application window or application

F10

Move to menubar

ESCAPE

Escape from current operation

TEXT FIELD OPERATION

CURSOR KEYS

Move through characters in the text field

DELETE

Deletes the character under the cursor

BACKSPACE

Deletes the character before the cursor

HOME

Moves to the left most character on the current line

END

Moves to the right most character on the current line

CTRL HOME

Move to top of text

CTRL END

Move to end of text

PAGE UP

Move to previous page of text

PAGE DOWN

Move to next page of text

CHARACTERS

All normal characters are inserted into the text at the current text cursor position

In addition to the normal keys applications sometimes provide accelerator keys to get to the most used functions quickly. The key sequences normally consist of a pressing the CTRL or ALT key in conjunction with another key. Normally the key presses are listed in the menubar's pop up menus.
Some applications are not well written for keyboard operation and require the user to move the mouse cursor over and object and press one of the mouse buttons. As this is difficult for a visually impaired or blind user the XVI screen reader provides the ability to move the mouse cursor over the applications objects using keyboard or braille display key presses.

Object Navigation

XVI provides the ability to navigate through the objects in the current application window and move the mouse cursor over them. The system should be set to "object mode" by means of the keypads mode key. The keypad cursor keys provide the means to move up, down, left or right of the current object. The keypads home and end keys take you to the left most and right most objects. If the XVI Modifier key is pressed with the keypads home and end keys, then this will take you to the top left and bottom left objects.

The next object and previous object keys will move to the next object in the Tab group if the application supports this.  The XVI reader will first look to see if any application information file information exists for the next object, if so this next object will be used in preference to the applications one.

Whenever a new object is selected the mouse cursor is moved over the object. On entering the object the objects label and type are spoken if available followed by the first line of text within the object. The braille display will also be updated with this information. If the object contains more text then a beep is sounded after the first line has been spoken. The keypads speak key will repeat this as required. The keypads info key will give additional information on the object. This information will come from an application specific file if this is available. The speech stop key will stop the system speaking immediately.

The Keypads Insert key can be used to speak the contents of the current object. If pressed with the XVI Modifier key (RCTL) then it will speak the entire objects contents. If pressed with the XVI Modifier key (RCTL) and Shift keys then it will speak the entire application windows contents.

Text Navigation

The Text contained with an object may be a single line of text or multiple lines. The system provides the ability to navigate through characters, words or lines of text. The system should be set to "text mode" by means of the keypads mode key. The keypads left and right cursor keys will now move through the text one character at a time. The braille display will indicate the current position in the text by raising the two lower pins on the appropriate character cell.

The keypads up and down cursor keys move through the lines of text. The Home and end keys mode to the beginning of a line or the end of a line of text. The next and previous keys move through the text word by word. The speak key will reiterate the current line of text.

Note that this mode is usefully for reading the text within any object. To edit the text within an edit-able text-field object is recommended to use the normal applications text-field editing and cursor keys.

Text Cursor

If the current object is a text entry object then it normally has a text cursor. The XVI system provides the ability to track the text cursor to ease the entering of data. The normal cursor keys will move through the text one character at a time. The speech unit will speak the current character while the braille display will indicate the current position in the text by raising the two lower pins on the appropriate character cell.

The up and down cursor keys move through the lines of text. The Home and end keys mode to the beginning of a line or the end of a line of text. The next and previous keys move through the text page by page. The speak key will reiterate the current line of text.

Graphics

Some objects can contain graphical icons. When this is detected a number is given to the graphic and this is spoken when the object is selected. If the information system knows about this graphic, then a textual description of the graphic is given.

Locator Keys

There are ten locator keys available. These keys aid the user in object navigation by providing a quick way to get to certain objects within the application window. To operate press one of the locator keys (0-9) in conjunction with the XVI Modifier key.

They can be configured by an application information file of by the user during operation. The user can define these keys using the F6 key. In order to do this move to the required object and press the F6 key in conjunction with the XVI Modifier key. Press the required locator number key (0-9) in conjunction with the XVI Modifier key to set.

There are also three pre-defined locator keys which will move to the Menubar or the "Ok" and "Cancel" buttons for the current window, if they exist. These are accessed using the XVI Modifier key with the 'm', 'o' and 'c' keys respectively.

User Options

There are a number of options available to the user. The following keys are pressed in conjunction with the XVI Modifier key:
 

Option

Key

Description

Speech Volume

l and q

The loudness of the speech

Speech Speed

f and s

The speed of the speech

Speech Voice

v

The voice to use for the speech

Speak Keys

k

Speak all key presses

Speak Modifier Keys

w

Speak modifier keys such as shift, control etc.

Number Mode

n

Select the format of speaking numbers

Braille Format

b

Select the format of the displayed braille, either grade 1 or grade 2.

Braille Capitals

r

Toggle Braille Capitals mode

Track Application

t

Track application following tab-groups and any other navigation

Label Mode

y

Toggle Label display mode

Reader on/off

.

Toggles the screen reader on or off

Telephone Volume

[ and ]

The loudness of the telephone if connected

Auto speak

;

Toggles Auto speak. If Auto speak is on the screen reader will automatically speak when a new window is drawn onto the screen or the user moves the object of interest in object mode.

Loudspeaker Mode

-

Toggles the loudspeaker mode on or off. This adjusts the output level so that it can be heard on the Headphones boxes internal loudspeaker.

Speak all

a

Speak the entire contents of the object not just the first line.

Stop on key

z

Toggles the stop speaking on key-press mode

Object X

x

Toggles the Object X mode. This changes which object is selected when the user moves up or down objects

Sticky Keys

j

Toggles the sticky modifier keys on and off

Help System

The XVI system can provide help on its operation and on the current state of the application and whole display. The function keys provide this ability. The following functionality is provided:

Function Key

Operation

F1

Help on the system. Pops up a window that displays the help information. Will pop the window down if its is already up.

F2

User options. Pops up a window that displays the user options and allows the user to change them. Will pop the window down if it is already up.

F3

Information on current application

F4

Information on display as a whole

F5

Toggle keyboard information mode. Will speak each key press and indicate what it is used for.

Speech

The XVI system provides speech output to the user. Three different voices are used for different types of information. There is a data voice for speaking out data on the display. There is an information voice for speaking out information from the system. There is a keyboard voice for speaking out key presses.
There are a number of user configurable settings for the speak interface. These include volume, speed and data voice to use.

Braille Display Operation

The Braille display consists of a line of 2 by 4 dot cells with a number of keys.
The first three cells provide status information. The first cell is used to indicate the current XVI mode. It will be set to either 'o' for object mode or 't' for text mode. The second cell is used to indicate the type of object, if known and also specify if it is the current focus object by raising the lower two pins.
 

Status Display

Object Type

b

Button Object

t

Text Entry Object

l

Label Object

i

List Object

s

Scrollbar Object

The third cell gives the object line number if in object mode or the text line number if in text mode. The line number starts at 0 and moves from 9 to a, b etc.

The rest of the cells display the label and the text on the screen from the currently selected object. If label mode is on then the first 10 cells contain the objects label. If the text is to big to fit on the display the first and or last cells will be set with all pins up to indicate that there is text beyond.

The row of buttons above the status cells are defined the status keys. The first status button will shift the contents of the display right, while the second button will shift the display left.

The second row of buttons above the status cells operate the Left, middle and right mouse buttons respectively.

The buttons above the main text display cells will move the mouse cursor to this position on the display and press the left mouse button. If used when within a text field the text cursor will be moved to the given location.

The second row of buttons above the main text display cells perform the following functions from left to right: Prev application window, next application window, find Ok button, find cancel button and find exit button.

The main keys at the front of the braille display mimic the keypads main keys. The first main key switches the XVI mode between; object mode and text mode. If this key is held down while another key is pressed it acts as a modifier key for the second key pressed. The second key re-displays and speaks the text in the currently selected object. The third key TABS to the next object.
The rest of the keys perform the move left, up, down, and right actions for the corresponding XVI mode.
The shifted operations of these keys are given in the keys chapter of this manual.

Information Display

Normally when the XVI system gives some information, it speaks this information out but does not display it on the braille display. The system provides the means to scroll backwards and forwards through the previous messages both speaking them out and displaying them on the braille display. The XVI Previous message and Next message keys provide this ability (XVIMod key with "i" or "u").

Label Mode

Label mode can provide the user with information on the current object automatically. When this mode is turned on using the XVI LabelMode key, information on the current object is spoken before the data within the object. The Braille display will also display the information on the object in the first 10 cells with the data in the rest of the cells.
This mode will only work if the application info file has information on the object.

Operating Scrollbars

Some applications require the user to manipulate scrollbars. The XVI system provides an easy way to do this for the current object. If the XVI Modifier key is used with the normal Cursor keys, the scrollbars located above, below or to the side of the object have there arrow buttons pressed automatically.

Operating Pick-Boxes

Some applications use pick-box objects. These consist of a text-field describing their state with an arrow button to the right which will pop up a menu list of options. To ease the operation of these objects the key 'p' pressed in conjunction with the XVI Modifier key will operate the pick box. When pressed over the text-field this key will "press" the arrow button to the right and move to the pop-up list. When the use has finished the selection the menu list can be close by pressing the 'p' XVI Modifier key sequence again.

Headphones Box operation

The headphones box mixes the speech output from the Braille/speech unit with the terminals sound card and a telephone and present the sound into a single earpiece on a telephone headset. The Headphones box has a switch on its front panel that enables an internal loudspeaker so that the sound can be heard by others. This is useful for training.

The screen reader software provides the ability for the user to control the volume of what is heard. The following keys are used:

Function Key

Operation

[

Telephone volume down

]

Telephone volume up

-

Toggle Loudspeaker mode. This increases the headphones boxes volume for operation with a loudspeaker.

l

Speak louder

q

Speak quieter

Overview of typical usage of the XVI system

When an application is started up the XVI system will announce its arrival on the display and switch the focus to this new application. The user can now move around and operate the application. If the application has a good keyboard interface this can be used to good effect. The F10 key will move to the main menu bar, the TAB and cursor keys will move through the main data entry and control objects. Whilst on the menubar the normal cursor keys can be used to move left or right along the menubar entries and up and down the pop-up menus entries. The Space-bar or enter key can be used to select the operation required. The Escape key will leave the menu bar.

The TAB and normal cursor keys will navigate around the main objects. Text can be entered and buttons can be pressed using the Space-bar or Enter keys.

To "look" around the applications window the XVI screen reader can be set to Object Mode. The keypads up, down, left and right keys can be used to move the centre of attention from one object to the next. This will move the mouse cursor from one object to the next. Most applications have a menu bar along the top with a number of pull down menu's. If you move onto one of these menus and press mouse button 1 then the pull-down menu will appear. The XVI system will move to this new pop-up window and allow the user to navigate though the buttons within the menu. Note that some menus are built with a separate object for each button while other menus may be one object with a line of text for each button. To access the buttons which are drawn as lines of text the user will need to move the XVI system to Text Mode.

The user can also navigate amongst the objects using the XVI TAB Next and TAB Previous keys. These keys will move to the next "XVI TAB object in the application. These will normally be the standard applications TAB group objects but can have additional objects added via the XVI application info system. The "Tab" objects are normally the objects containing the interesting data within the application.

Once on an object the user can enter Text mode in order to move around the text within the object. The keypads Up, down,, left and right keys now move between individual characters in the text. The Next Word and Previous Word keys when in XVI Text mode allow the user to move through a word at a time.

The XVI find keys allow the user to quickly locate the OK, Cancel and Exit buttons and used in conjunction with the locator keys can speed up operation of an application.

The XVI System Keys

Introduction

The XVI system is completely driven from the keys on the systems keyboard and braille display. The numeric keypad on the right of the keyboard provides the main keys used for navigation of the display. There are three main keys that control the operation of the other keys.

  • XVI Keypad key (Right hand ALT key, just to the right of the space-bar) this toggles the keypad to be in XVI mode or normal numeric/cursor mode.
  • XVI Mode key (Numlock key when in XVI Keypad mode, top left of the keypad keys) this toggle between Object mode and Text mode.
  • XVI Modifier key (Right hand Control key, bottom right of the keyboards QWERTY keys) this modifies the action of other keys on the keyboard to perform special functions.

In addition on keyboards supporting the Microsoft Windows Keys, these keys are used to operate the main XVI functions to save using the keypad in XVI mode.

Function Keys

There are a number of functions that can be accessed by pressing the XVI Modifier key (Right hand Control key) in conjunction with another key on the keyboard. These functions are:
 

Function Key

Operation

F1

Help on the system. Pops up a window that displays the help information. Will pop the window down if its is already up.

F2

User options. Pops up a window that displays the user options and allows the user to change them. Will pop the window down if it is already up.

F3

Information on current application

F4

Information on display as a whole

F5

Toggle keyboard information mode. Will speak each key press and indicate what it is used for.

F6

Set up a locator key to the current object. The systems expects the user to press one of the locator keys to set it. 

.

Toggle xvisb screen reader on and off

t

Toggle track application mode

y

Toggle Label Display Mode

f

Speak faster

s

Speak slower

l

Speak louder

q

Speak quieter

v

Change main data voice

k

Toggle Speak key presses

w

Toggle Speak modifier keys

z

Toggle stop speaking in key press

n

Toggle numeric speak mode

b

Toggle braille display mode

r

Toggle Braille Capitals mode

g

Shift braille display left

h

Shift braille display right

i

Display and Speak previous information message

u

Display and Speak next information message

0 - 9

Locator Keys. Moves to user defined object within application window

o

Find Ok Button

c

Find Cancel or Close Button

e

Find Exit Button

m

Find menubar

Enter

Move to object that has keyboard focus

Cursor Up

Operate Scrollbar for Object Up

Cursor Down

Operate Scrollbar for Object Down

Cursor Left

Operate Scrollbar for Object Left

Cursor Right

Operate Scrollbar for Object Right

p

Operate OpenRoad pick-box objects

[

Telephone volume down

]

Telephone volume up

-

Toggle Loudspeaker mode. This increases the headphones boxes volume for operation with a loudspeaker.

a

Toggle XVI speak all of object mode

d

Load XVISB default user settings

x

Toggle object movement option from object X to graphics X position

Space

Move to object under mouse cursor and speak out the contents

;

Toggles the Autospeak feature on or off

j

Toggles the sticky keys feature on or off

CTRL-ALT-DEL

Power down the XVI Terminal

The Windows keys perform the following actions:
 

Key

Action

Windows Left

XVI Tab to next Object

Windows Right

Speak text within Object

Windows menu

Give information on the Object

 

Keypad Keys in XVI Object mode

This section describes the usage of the keypad keys when in object mode. The modified action is obtained by pressing the XVI Modifier key.
 

Keypad Key name

Normal Action

Modified Action

Numlock

Change to Text Mode

7 or Home

Move to left most object

Move to top left object

1 or End

Move to right most object

Move to bottom left object

9 or Page-Up

XVI Tab to previous object

Move to previous created object

3 or Page-Down

XVI Tab to next object

Move to next created object

8 or Up

Move to object above

Speak contents of object above

2 or Down

Move to object below

Speak contents of object below

4 or Left

Move to object to left

Speak contents of object to the left

6 or Right

Move to object to right

Speak contents of object to the right

5

Give information on object

0 or Insert

Give text within object

Speak all of text within object.

If Shift key is also pressed this will read the entire application windows content

. or Delete

Stop Speaking

+

Next application window

Enter

Previous application window

/

Left mouse button

Left mouse button one shot

*

Middle mouse button

Middle mouse button one shot

-

Right mouse button

Right mouse button one shot

Keypad Keys in XVI Text mode

This section describes the usage of the keypad keys when in text mode. The modified action is obtained by pressing the XVI Modifier key.
 

Keypad Key-name

Normal Action

Modified Action

Numlock

Change to Object Mode

7 or Home

Move to start of text line

Move to start of text

1 or End

Move to End of text line

Move to end of text

9 or Page-Up

Move to next word

3 or Page-Down

Move to previous word

8 or Up

Move to line above

2 or Down

Move to line below

4 or Left

Move one character to the left

6 or Right

Move one character to the right

5

Give information on object

0 or Insert

Give current text line

Speak all of text within object

. or Delete

Stop speaking

+

Next application window

Enter

Previous application window

/

Left mouse button

Left mouse button one shot

*

Middle mouse button

Middle mouse button one shot

-

Right mouse button

Right mouse button one shot

Keypad Keys in Normal Numeric mode

This section describes the usage of the keypad keys when in numeric mode. The modified action is obtained by pressing the XVI Modifier key.
 

Keypad Key-name

Normal Action

Modified Action

Numlock

None

7 or Home

Number 7

8 or Up

Number 8

9 or Page-Up

Number 9

4 or Left

Number 4

5

Number 5

6 or Right

Number 6

1 or End

Number 1

2 or Down

Number 2

3 or Page-Down

Number 3

0 or Insert

Number 0

Display current text

.

Period

Stop Speaking

+

Next application window

Next application window

Enter

The Enter Key

/

Left mouse button

Left mouse button one shot

*

Middle mouse button

Middle mouse button one shot

-

Right mouse button

Right mouse button one shot

Braille Display Keys

This section describes the usage of keys on the braille display. The modified action is obtained by pressing the Mode key in conjunction with the required key.
 

Key

Normal Operation

Modified Operation

Mode (Main Key 1)

Change XVI mode of operation (Object, Text). If held down is the braille modifier key.

Speak(Main Key 2)

Display and Speak current text

Speak information on current object

Tab (Main Key 3)

Tab to next object

Tab to previous object

Left (Main Key 4)

Move Left 

Move to the far left

Up (Main Key 5)

Move Up

Move to the top

Down (Main Key 6)

Move Down

Move to the bottom

Right (Main Key 7)

Move Right

Move to the far right

Status Row 1 But 1

Shift Display Right

Status Row 1 But 2

Shift Display Left

Status Row 2 But 1

Mouse Button 1

Status Row 2 But 2

Mouse Button 2

Status Row 2 But 3

Mouse Button 3

Cell Buttons 1 - 40

Move to given position in text and press mouse button 1

Cell Row 2 But 1

Next Application Window

Cell Row 2 But 2

Prev Application Window

Cell Row 2 But 3

Find Ok button

Cell Row 2 But 4

Find Cancel button

Cell Row 2 But 5

Find Exit button

 

Glossary

X-Windows

The Unix operating systems graphics system

Application

A program that can be run

Application Window

A top-level window of an application.

Pop-up

Window appears above all other windows

Pop-down

Close window

Cursor

Graphic showing current mouse position or text entry point

PC

Personal Computer

Tab Group

A set of objects that can be moved through using the TAB key

Raise

Raise a window above others so that it becomes visible

Lower

Lower a window below others so that it disappears

Iconify

Change an application window to a small graphic icon

 Index

Introduction 3

XVI-SB System Components 3

XVI-SB Operation Overview 4

Introduction 5

Beeps 6

Cursors 6

Mouse Operation 6

Keyboard operation 6

Focus Window 7

Applications 7

Basic Screen Reader Operation 8

Keyboard Operation 8

Application Windows 8

Application Window Access 8

Application operation 8

Object Navigation 9

Text Navigation 10

Text Cursor 10

Graphics 10

Locator Keys 10

User Options 11

Help System 11

Speech 11

Braille Display Operation 12

Information Display 12

Label Mode 12

Operating Scrollbars 13

Operating Pick-Boxes 13

Headphones Box operation 13

Overview of typical usage of the XVI-SB system 13

Introduction 15

Function Keys 15

Keypad Keys in XVI Object mode 16

Keypad Keys in XVI Text mode 17

Keypad Keys in Normal Numeric mode 17

Braille Display Keys 18