Research

We are developing free software for people with special needs. We focus on commodity computer hardware so that our tools and toys will be accessible to as many people as possible. You can read about and download examples of many of our projects here. If downloading is a problem for you, drop me an email and we will send you a free CD.

For users who are visually impaired:

  • Hark the Sound is a collection of sound-based games for kids who are visually impaired or blind.
  • SonicZoom is a racing game that is fun for everyone. You can play visually, or you can listen for changes in pitch and spatial position.
  • The Last Crusade is a sound-based role-playing game. It comes with a map maker so that you can make your games.
  • SamiSays allows kids to record their stories with sound effects.
  • Blue Bird is an audio-based track sequencer. You can combine pre-recorded clips of music in various ways to make your own mixes.
  • BATS is a program that displays maps with 3D sound, text-to-speech, sound icons, and tactile display.

For users who are mobility impaired

  • Tar Heel Reader is a web site designed to help teachers make easy-to-read books for children with disabilities. It has a growing selection of books to read and a simple process for creating new books using pictures found on Flickr.
  • Tar Heel Typer is an "alternative pencil" application designed to enable people who cannot write using conventional pencils to write using a variety of input and output methods. Supported input methods include one-switch scanning, two-switch scanning, Braille, and conventional keyboard all with optional word prediction. Supported outputs include finger spelling, custom pictures, text (with options for size and colors), synthesized speech and recorded sounds. The program is written in Flash and can be used from within the browser online or standalone after download.
  • WebTyper is a simple switch-accessible typing tool that runs inside the Firefox browser. You can configure many of its features using the control panel.
  • Accessible YouTube is a switch-accessible interface to YouTube.
  • The Hawking Toolbar is a Firefox toolbar that enables switch users to browse the web.

Other Research Interests

I have worked on several other areas in my career including: