The lecture in Telux is now behind me, at last!

With the exceptions of my car and Eddie’s absence, everything worked by the book.
My car misbehaved previously, so I didn’t use it to arrive at TAU.
Eddie notified us ahead of time that he’ll be unable to come and nominated Shlomif to act as his deputy.
The Sign Language interpreter arrived exactly on time for pre-lecture rehearsal with me, as my laptop was booting in preparation for rehearsal with her.

I started the lecture with few words about my “job” as Accessibility Coordinator.
Then I plunged into the general subject of accessibility and its division into six relevant categories.
Rafi Cohen, a blind software developer, told us how he works with a PC (by combination of Braille display and screen reader which voices the screen’s contents). He is about as oldtimer with computers as I am, give or take very few years. When I worked with IBM punched cards, he worked with terminals connected to mainframes.
The second blind lecturer, Gidi Aharonovitz, told us about the need for accessibility in Web sites and told us the scandalous story of the Web site of the Library for Blind in Israel. This Web site is not accessible to the blind, and the library’s manager advises the aggravated blind patrons to enlist their family members to help them surf the Web site.

After those lectures, I declared a break of 5 minutes. Shlomif declared a break of 10 minutes. He declined my offer to settle the difference by arm strength comparison, so I settled for 7.5 minutes. The actual break was closer to 12.5 minutes.

I breezed through my second lecture, which was about the accessibility provisions available from Gnome desktop. When I mentioned that Gnome has no easy way to set the minimum font size, someone from the audience told me the command to use (gnome-fonts-properties). I then pulled the trump card – I explained that I searched for the appropriate dialogs the way a naive user would search for. If I didn’t find the dialogs, this means that there is an usability problem, which needs to be fixed.

We finished the lectures a bit before 20:30, about 15 minutes after the ending time which I planned when budgeting the lecture times. Since we were allowed to be in the room until 21:00, this was not that bad timing.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.

3 thoughts on “The lecture in Telux is now behind me, at last!”

  1. It's not adding alt=”” that gives trouble. It's adding anything inside those quotes… In some versions of Explorer, the alt is shown, in some, the title is shown.

    The name is Gidi, not Gadi.

    I'm trying to arrange for Gidi to give the same lecture to the people of Tapuz. We'll see if anything comes out of it.

    The low attendance seems typical of Telux. Has nothing to do with the subject matter.

    And as to your additional impressions, I think Rafi referred to the UK, not the USA.


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