Re: Story Boards

  • From: "Jim" <jhomme1028@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 18:31:53 -0400

Hi Chris,
I graduated in '81. Thank God I went to school for music and had generally cooperative friends and professors. Been there and done that for the most part too.


Take back your shopping life at

----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris Hofstader" <chris.hofstader@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:08 AM
Subject: RE: Story Boards


If you remember, I went to college well before the ADA, 508 and the related state regulations. NYU had no office of disability affairs and when I asked the CS department to provide me with a new ribbon for the punch card typing things so I could read my Fortran programs with the higher contrast afforded by actually having a decent amount of ink in the machine, I was refused and had to go to a stationary store and buy my own and had to change the ribbon
every time I wanted to change my programs.

As a low vision student I had to take chemistry in a department that would
not let me skip the highly visual tasks like finding chemical signatures by
the portion of the spectrum they excite  so I had to let my lab partner do
the looking and pretend that I had seen those colors myself. Physics was a
real ball in a poorly lit lab where, even more than in chemistry, I had to
rely on a partner to do all of the looking for me and had to assume she was

Life in pre-ADA universities was just a barrel of monkeys - a laugh a minute
- a real party for BLV students.  I got really good grades but without the
value of an indifferent university administration or faculty but with a lot of help from fellow students who pitched in because people who want to live in Greenwich Village tend to be pretty nice. There is a reason I don't even
include my degree from NYU on my resume as they did squat for me and I did
most of my learning as an autodidact.

I would not want to hear about students in the era after the passage of ADA
and other laws having to go through the shit I had to 25 years ago.  Until
we can assume that accessibility will be provided automatically, without
special negotiations with cement headed professors and even stupider
administrators, we are riding in the back of the bus.


-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Sina Bahram
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 9:37 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Story Boards

Wouldn't want to go about it in a sensible way, would we?

100 times out of 100, I have found the DSS office, and not the professor, to
be the most ignorant of both the intention, and even the letter of, ADA,
508, etc. This can be likened to Microsoft caring more about accessibility
than the AT companies, for example.

I think that a lot of these situations can be resolved by simply talking to
the professor in their office hours or on the phone and explaining the
process by which you can translate your internal knowledge into external
representations of that knowledge. Discussions involving lawyers tend to be
counterproductive at best, and costly over an amazing amount of time, at
worst. Not to mention, you are simply feeding the already ridiculous
stereotype that all blind folks are going to sue you if you do even one
thing wrong. This is an unhealthy, unproductive, and amazingly all around
bad idea.

The entirety of Chris's technical suggestions were quite excellent; however,
and I urge you to follow them.

Good luck

Take care,


From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Chris Hofstader
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 8:38 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Story Boards

Hi Marvin,

Drawing tools have taken a back seat in the development priorities at the
commercial AT companies.  We had a contractor (Will Pearson) working on a
audio version of Visio that used 3D sound for us at FS a bunch of years ago.
When I moved on, FS shit canned Will and killed the project.

One way to story board a project would be to make your "slides" using html
itself.  The pages you make will not be fully functional but, rather,
describe the contents of the page when it is finally completed.  This will
provide a set of pages that your instructor can view in any order that he
prefers and will contain all of the information you need to use to develop
the stories for your ultimate project.

Another approach would be to do it using the MS Word Outline mode
(View/Outline in Word 2003, I haven't used it in 2007 yet so I can't tell
you how to get it in that version).  The Word outliner creates kind of a
tree view of information which can be up to 12 (I think) levels deep.  The
person reading the document can set the depth she wants to view so, for
instance, they can read the Heading 1 information to get a "big picture"
overview of the information and, using the outliner button bar, or a number of different useful keystrokes, they can drill down further. This creates a
hierarchical view of your story board which can be corrected to jump from
topic to topic under different headings by using the Word hyperlink feature (I know this works with JAWS but haven't tried it with Window-Eyes or System

Another approach would be to use PowerPoint slides in a logical, albeit
hierarchical manner.  It has been a long time since I did anything
interesting with PowerPoint but, if I remember correctly, you can include
hyperlinks that will let the reader jump from one slide to another in a less
sequential order.  I find it easiest to create PowerPoint slides using the
MS Word outliner - items at level 1 will translate to PP slide titles and
those at level 2 or higher become PP bullets.  Once you have your outline
done in Word, you can go to File/Send To/PowerPoint and it will create your
PP slides for you and open PP to the top slide.  From there, you can edit
the slides to add things like hyperlinks and such to spiff up your
presentation.  I know that editing PP slides can be done pretty well with
JAWS as I've done it myself but I have been told that it works pretty nicely
with Window-Eyes but have no hands on experience with it so can't speak to
its usability.

I'm sure there are other tools that a blink can use to accomplish such a
task but I haven't tried any and cannot remember what other people have told
me over the years as my caffeine levels haven't reached the point where I
can function at full capacity.

If your instructor doesn't like any of the above accessible solutions, I
recommend you get hold of a Braille embosser or Perkins Brailler and make a whole lot of pages in Braille. Do not add any printed information and turn in the project using only Braille and tactile graphics ( has a nice program for doing this). If the instructor complains, tell him that it was the only
accessible solution he hadn't rejected yet and that you will deal with the
Office of the Dean of Students to try to help you negotiate a solution that
will work for you and the instructor.

If your instructor does not allow you to use a technique that is accessible
typically colleges have an office of disability affairs and, if not, they
definitely have a Dean of Students. People in these departments are usually quite helpful and aware of ADA and, if your college gets Federal money (most do), 508 as well. No one wants a discrimination lawsuit and, if it comes to a point where you and your instructor reach a point at which negotiation no longer provides either of you with any satisfaction, your lawyer's office is
the next stop.

You can write to me privately or call me on Skype if you want to discuss
this further.



From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of marvin hunkin
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:00 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Story Boards

doing a project for my website development course.
now, part of the requirements says that i need to create a story board to
represent what content is to be displayed on each page.
Now sighted students, would draw navigation and story board diagrams.
now, had to do this in word tables and tried html.
but my lecturer is still not happy with what i have come up with.
now, just wondering, is there any software, that might be able to represent
the story boards for the four websites that i am developing for this
any tips, tricks, or any other similar experiences.
let me know, if anyone been in the same position.
unfortunately the guy who did start to develop an accessible text to speech drawing software, got his phd, and did not complete the project and still in
he got to the third user tests, and then nicked off.
he did this at Burkely University in Callifornia and the product was to be
called Intercommunication Draw 2.
okay, can you help out or give suggestions or how to resolve these problems?
cheers Marvin.


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