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Accessibility in Virtual Labs
Today in the IT Accessibility Constituent Group meeting we discussed, among other topics, this question posed by Carmen Schafer of the University of Missouri: > All our computer labs for students are going to a Virtual desktop infrastructure. What is the repercussions from an accessibility standpoint? Greg Kraus of North Carolina State University responded in depth since NCSU has had success in this area. Greg's comments echoed a recent post by Saroj Primlani to the ATHEN list on this same topic (Saroj is Greg's predecessor at NCSU, now retired). She said: NC State we use virtual labs to deliver all types of lab environments 24/7. JAWS, Window-Eyes and Supernova can be used to access remote (virtual) computers using Windows Remote Access Protocol (RDP), however all three require the application to be installed on both on the remote (virtual) and personal computer. With Window-Eyes and SuperNova the licensed copy is installed on the remote system and user can use a unlicensed version (demo version). JAWS on the other hand is the opposite, the remote version is unlicensed while the user needs a licensed remote enabled version of the software. Since JAWS uses a license serve to authenticate for license, at NC State we have our own license server and JAWS is available in computer labs or on any computer within campus. For home use, the user needs to have their own license or could VPN to the university to use their license. In addition to the products Saroj mentioned in her post, Greg said that he also successfully tested NVDA. However, he also said that he has not had similar success using Zoomtext in this environment (magnification works, but voicing does not). He currently has an active ticket with AI Squared (maker of Zoomtext) in hopes of resolving this issue. Anything you'd like to add, Greg? Anyone else have comments, strategies, solutions, or follow-up questions? -- Terrill Thompson Technology Accessibility Specialist DO-IT, Accessible Technology UW Information Technology University of Washington firstname.lastname@example.org 206-221-4168 ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.