A presentation document interface for the blind based on automated meta-data

Recently, presentation documents play important roles in many fields, such as business and education.
The principal purpose of presentation documents is to convey information visually, so recognizing the visual layout is essential for understanding those documents.
However it is inherently difficult to make accessible presentation documents, because current presentation applications do not provide functions to add the semantic structure to visual presentation slides.
This paper proposes a method to automatically create meta-data describing the semantic structure of presentation documents.
This meta-data describes the relationships of objects that have semantic connections.
We also introduce meta-data describing information about the source-destination relationships of arrows, which is also important to understand diagrams.
This paper proposes a tree-based interface that can represent the semantic structure of visual documents based on the automatically created meta-data.
By using this interface, blind people can understand presentation files easily, because it represents the semantic structure that current screen readers cannot expose.
The GUI of this interface is so simple and intuitive that blind people can access it without extensive training.
Our experiment shows that our method for automatically creating the meta-data can be applied to various types of presentation documents.

By: Tatsuya Ishihara, Hironobu Takagi, Takashi Itoh, Chieko Asakawa

Published in: RT0659 in 2007

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