Tech collaboration improves accessibility features for Lightkey

Date posted: 10th November 2022

Software package Lightkey is now more accessible for blind and partially sighted people thanks to Thomas Pocklington Trust’s (TPT) Tech Team.

Designed for Windows, Lightkey suggests word, phrase and sentence predictions as well as corrections as people type.

The team at TPT discovered the app through its UK distributor, Aventido at the 2022 Getting AT Ready Festival. This conference increases awareness of assistive technology available to disabled students across higher education institutions.

The tech team immediately saw the benefits of Lightkey.

Peter Hayton, Education Technology Coordinator, said: “We saw how this could really help blind and partially sighted people as they typed – both in an education and work environment.”

They approached the software developers to look at how they could help to make the app more accessible.  Lightkey was keen to involve the team and gave access for initial exploration and evaluation.  Throughout the following two months TPT tested various iterations of the software.

This collaboration resulted in the development of new accessibility features in Lightkey. These include a new high-contrast text selection theme, which matches the high contrast themes already available on computers and tablets running Windows. This provides enhanced clarity for partially sighted users.

Additionally, the team at TPT helped Lightkey develop a new read-aloud feature. This has different voices for predictions and corrections allowing users to clearly distinguish between them.

Guy Katabi, CEO of Lightkey, said: “As part of the process of fine tuning our latest edition of ‘Lightkey Pro AT’, we were seeking hands-on experience from users who are visually impaired.

“We were very lucky to be introduced to the team at Thomas Pocklington Trust. Their feedback resulted in some major improvements to our product making it even more accessible to people with visual impairment.”

Peter said: “After seeing first-hand the potential offered by Lightkey to improve productivity for everyone, it was great to be able to work closely with the developers to improve the accessibility of the product. It now means visually impaired people can also take full advantage of these features.”

The new accessible version of the software – Lightkey Pro AT is now available. For more information on Lightkey visit the Aventido website.

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