handicapped_symbolThrough our development work on MAS (Media Application Server), SAI is especially concerned with accessibility requirements and section 508 compliance. SAI's consciousness of such issues goes beyond merely providing a basic audio alternative to the vision-impaired.

Many of the visually impaired have finely tuned auditory sensibilities, allowing them to react quickly to sound. From its beginning, MAS was designed to handle timing issues exceedingly well. It was optimized to provide tight synchronization of multiple media streams. More importantly, for users dependent on audio cues, it is designed to stop some functions and start others quickly. For example, a user, hearing the opening syllables of a menu option, can either select it or move to another option without waiting for a complete articulation of the option. MAS's original accessibility requirements, developed with leading accessibility authorities, included:

  • Ability to stop utterances quickly
  • Controllable low latency
  • Format independent media handling
  • High audio quality
  • Multiplexing--with priorities
  • Small memory footprint
  • Synchronization of multiple media stream