NOTE: I'm commandeering this thread as an adjunct to the Mudcat FAQ. I reserve the right to edit this thread to make it a guide to making Mudcat accessible to handicapped people.
Somebody asked me how to make Mudcat (and the Web in general) more accessible to the blind. It's a question I've wondered about for quite some time, since I have muscle and nerve problems that sometimes make it difficult for me to use a mouse. Let's work on it and see what we can come up with.
First of all, let's see what we can do with links. The person who contacted me wanted to help a friend access Mudcat Radio, and they wanted to get there by typing an URL (Web address) into RealPlayer, I think it would be better to make a folder of shortcuts.
- Right-click on an open space on your desktop and a menu will pop up - select "new" and choose to create a new folder. A folder icon will appear on your desktop.
- Now, right-click on that icon and choose "rename," and rename it to anything you'd like. HOWEVER, I would prefer if you could check the items that come up when you hit the "start" button - rename that new folder to something that starts with a letter that's different from the first letter of all the items that come up with the "start" button (I called mine "quisling").
- OK, now, here's the trick: drag that new folder onto the "start" icon on the bottom-left corner of your screen. A shortcut for that folder will appear when you push the "start" button (I'm hoping you have a Windows 95 keyboard that has "start" keys on the bottom row of keys, on the outside of the "alt" keys.
- All right, now after all that, you can see the results of your labor.
- If you hit the "start" button, the "start" menu will open.
- Now hit the first letter of your folder ("Q" for me), and the folder will open. Trouble is, the folder is empty. Not for long, though.
- NOW, go to a link (blue clicky thing) that you want to access, and click on that link with your right mouse button. From the menu that pops up, select "Copy Shortcut." Then, go back to your "Quisling" folder and right-click on a blank space in the folder. Select "paste," and a shortcut to that link should appear in your folder. You can right-click on that shortcut icon and rename it to anything you like.
- OK, so now you have your shortcut folder on your Start button, and you have one or more shortcuts in the folder. You can do the same for the shortcuts to Mudcat Radio. To access those shortcuts, hit the "start" button, then the shortcut folder's first letter ["Q" for me], then the first letter of your shortcut, and then
to open whatever that shortcut links to. Be sure to check the names of the shortcuts in that folder. To make it simple, be sure to name the shortcuts with distinctive letters - so you have 26 letters and 10 numbers to choose from. If you have two shortcuts beginning with the letter "A" the first is highlighted if you hit the "a" key once, and the second if you hit twice - but that can get confusing.
That's a start. What else can we do to help people access Mudcat?
-Joe Offer, Sacramento, California-