University of Maryland
Trace Research & Development Center

Software + Tools

The following are available from the Trace Center or others – and described on this page:

Some of these were developed directly at the Trace Center; others were developed in collaboration with or under funding from the Trace Center. We want to thank the following sponsors for funding this work: 

  • Funding agencies
    • European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme
    • National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, Administration for Community Living, US Dept of Health and Human Services
    • National Science Foundation
    • Rehabilitation Services Administration, US Dept of Education
  • Companies
    • Adobe Corporation
    • Apple
    • Consumer Electronics Association Foundation
    • Google
    • IBM
    • Microsoft Corporation

Data and Data Repositories

The following data sets are available (free) from the Trace Center. Other datasets will be added as we collect them and are sure they are properly clean. 

TEgO dataset

The Teachable Egocentric Objects dataset includes egocentric images of 19 distinct objects taken by two people for training and testing a teachable object recognizer. Learn more about TEgO and download the dataset.

IncluSet — Data surfacing repository for wellness, accessibility, and aging

IncluSet is a data surfacing repository enabling researchers and the disability community to discover and link to accessibility datasets. IncluSet stores metadata about where the datasets can be found, the populations represented, data types, and technology used such that the datasets can be surfaced in engines like Google Dataset Search. Learn more about IncluSet and find it online at https://incluset.com 


Software Tools (and Code)

This software is available free; however, we have no funding for support of these software packages so they are provided ‘as is’ and will provide support as we are able. Donations to enable our continued support are welcome.

Trace Online Hand-Raising Utility (TOHRU)

The Trace Online Hand-Raising Utility (TOHRU) is an online hand-raising tool that allows enhanced accessibility and meeting participation and control. It has the following features:

  1. Keeps track of who raises their hands and in which order
  2. Shows who is speaking at any point in time (for people who cannot hear or cannot identify speakers from their voice)
  3. Allows each person to add a comment to their raised hand
    • This acts as a reminder to them of what they wanted to say
    • It provides a hint to the moderator of the topic/purpose of the hand raise
  4. It allows each user to flag their raised hand with one of the following tags
    • Same Topic
    • New Topic
    • Answer to Question (that was asked by current speaker)
    • Propose Resolution  (that addresses all current issues on table)
  5. Allows the Moderator to use information from 2 and 3 (and 4) to bring people from deep in a queue to the front if they are answering a question or speaking to the same topic VS someone raising a new topic or question. 
  6. Allows the moderator to inject themselves without disturbing the queue when they are moderating – but get in line like everyone else when they are just adding a comment to the discussion. 
  7. Allows the moderator to add someone manually to the queue if they cannot add themselves (e.g., they are on the phone or just jump in rather than getting in line) 
  8. Allows moderator to be alerted with quiet or loud sound when a new entry has been added to the queue
  9. Provides a full list of attendees – even if someone drops off. 
  10. Is compatible with assistive technologies and keyboard navigation

The enhanced TOHRU is available online at https://tohru.raisingthefloor.org

The source code for TOHRU to allow you to mount your own is available via the
Github repository for Trace Online Hand-Raising Utility (TOHRU)

PEAT — Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool 

The Trace Center’s Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) is a free, downloadable resource for developers to identify seizure risks in their web content and software. The evaluation used by PEAT is based on an analysis engine developed specifically for web and computer applications.  

PEAT can help authors determine whether animations or video in their content are likely to cause seizures. Not all content needs to be evaluated by PEAT, but content that contains video or animation should be evaluated, especially if that content contains flashing or rapid transitions between light and dark background colors.  Learn more about PEAT and download the tool.

Morphic  — Making computers simpler

Morphic  is a new open-source extension to Mac and Windows Operating Systems. It works to make computers simpler and more accessible through a combination of its three major capabilities:

  • Always and Anywhere Accessibility – Allows people’s accessibility settings — and even their assistive technologies — to follow them, appearing on computers they encounter and need to use (and disappearing when they leave) 
  • Easier Discovery and Use of Accessibility Features –  Users can much more easily discover and use built-in accessibility features
  • Ultra-Simple Interfaces – Allows people to create ULTRA simple 1-click experiences for people who can’t use computers today

Learn more and get a free download of Morphic Basic.

EZ Access — Cross-disability access to public kiosks and ATMs 

EZ Access is a simple set of interface enhancements which can be applied in the design of electronic products and devices so that they can be used by more people including those with disabilities. EZ Access is a proven way of making touchscreen-based devices cross-disability accessible and is currently used in thousands of kiosks and transaction machines across the country.   Learm more about EZAccess.


Unified ICT Accessibility Standards Compilation — A comparison tool

This compendium contains all of the provisions in all of the accessibility standards and guidelines internationally in a manner that allows researchers, students, and policymakers to easily compare side-by-side all of the different provisions in different standards that relate to the same topic. The compendium has two objectives. First, to facilitate comparing and contrasting the different versions of the same provision in different standards.  The second is to work toward better harmonized standards and ensuring that new standards both harmonize with older standards, and provide the best or better language than past standards. Watch a short video demonstration to learn more about how to use the Unified ICT Accessibility Standards Compilation. Download the Unified ICT Accessibility Standards Compilation tool.


Accessibility Features in Mainstream Products Today

These software features/utilities are built into commercial software and are therefore free to use — and supported by the respective companies.

StickyKeys

StickyKeys allows one-finder (or stylus or headstick) access to all of the modifier-key-based characters and functions on a keyboard (e.g., “@” or CTRL-C). Once activated (for example by pressing the shift key 5 times) one can press any sequence of modifier keys and then another key to have them all “typed” as one modified keystroke. 

StickyKeys was First released as “1-finger” in the 1980s.  It later was named StickyKeys when the Trace Center created the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.). It was built into the OS for Apple IIGS and Macintosh in 1988, into Solaris 2.4 in 1994, and into all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95 and all iOS devices starting with the advent of external keyboards with iOS. (Onscreen keyboards always had a StickyKey like functionality).

MouseKeys 

MouseKeys allows the mouse cursor and mouse buttons to be controlled from they keyboard allowing full mouse access using only they keyboard for those who cannot use a mouse. Normally, the keys on a keypad are used to control the mouse but the keys on the keyboard itself can be used for portable computers. MouseKeys worked with StickyKeys allowing shift-clicks and other compound keyboard/mouse actions. 

MouseKeys was first released by Trace as part of the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.).  It was built into the OS for Apple IIGS and Macintosh in 1988, into Solaris 2.4 in 1994, and into all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95 and all iOS devices starting with the advent of external keyboards with iOS.

SlowKeys 

SlowKeys delays the acceptance of a key until it has been pressed for an adjustable amount of time.  This allows people with Tremor and other spontaneous and unintentional movements (e.g., Cerebral Palsy) to type without having any keys they momentarily bump be activated. 

SlowKeys was first released by Trace as part of the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.).  It was built into the OS for Apple IIGS and Macintosh in 1988, into Solaris 2.4 in 1994, and into all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95 and all iOS devices starting with the advent of external keyboards with iOS.

BounceKeys 

BounceKeys prevents the accidental activation of a key more than once.  For those who have tremor or hit a key very hard, a double character (or more) can result. BounceKeys does not slow down typing rate like SlowKeys can — but will eliminate extra characters when a key is struck more than once — more rapidly than would be done intentionally. 

BounceKeys was first released by Trace as part of the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.).  It was built into Solaris 2.4 in 1994, all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95 and all iOS devices starting with the advent of external keyboards with iOS.  In Windows it is now found under the FilterKeys group

FilterKeys 

FilterKeys is the name given to a grouping of the SlowKeys and BounceKeys Features. Since they can interact with each other (i.e., there is no need for BounceKeys when SlowKeys is turned on), they are sometimes grouped together as FilterKeys.

FilterKeys was first released by Trace as part of the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.).  It has been built into all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95.

ToggleKeys 

ToggleKeys is a feature for people who are blind or have low vision and cannot see the small indicator lights that indicate when capslock, numlock, or scroll-lock are on.  When ToggleKeys is turned on, the computer will provide audible indications whenever these locking keys are turned on or off.  

BounceKeys was first released by Trace as part of the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.).  It was built into Solaris 2.4 in 1994, and is now in all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95.

RepeatKeys 

RepeatKeys extends the standard key-repeat settings of keyboards to accommodate individuals with slower reaction times.  

RepeatKeys was first released by Trace as part of the Access Utility Pack for Windows (2.0, 3.0 etc.).  It was built into Solaris 2.4 in 1994, and is now in all Windows OS’s starting with Windows 95. 

SerialKeys 

SerialKeys takes input from a serial port (using the Trace Developed GEDEI standard) and converts them into keyboard and mouse actions — allowing full control of Microsoft  and Apple Computers computers from external devices such as communication aids or other computers running special software.

Developed in 1989 – it is no longer needed with the advent and widespread use of USB.  It was available as part of:  AccessDOS, Windows (95,98,ME,NT,2000,Vista), TTAM (for Apple IIGS, Macintosh and Windows computers) and  AACKeys 


Legacy Software

There is no support provided for any of these software programs. They are provided for historical/archival purposes only. 

Access Pack for Windows

First created for Windows 2.0 the Access Pack for Windows was available free from Trace and also was included by Microsoft in their $5 Supplemental Drivers Disc. It was updated for subsequent versions of Windows until its features were built into Windows 95. Features in the Access Pack for Windows include StickeyKeys, MouseKeys, FilterKeys (SlowKeys, BounceKeys), RepeatKeys, ToggleKeys 

AccessDOS 

The AccessDOS package of accessibility add ons for IBM DOS was the first (and only) time since DOS that IBM commissioned an external entity to write software that they would not control. AccessDOS was created by the Trace Center and distributed by IBM through their software services as an IBM product, but with a price tag of $0. Later, Microsoft asked if it could also distribute AccessDOS, and with IBM’s permission, Microsoft also distributed AccessDOS free of charge to their customers. AccessDOS added the following features to both IBMDOS and MSDOS:  StickyKeys, MouseKeys, FilterKeys (SlowKeys, BounceKeys), RepeatKeys, ToggleKeys, SerialKeys, ShowSounds.

AccessX

The X Windows version of the Access pack.