Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, December 19, 2011


Ever since the initial release of the Skype client in mid 2003, people from all around the world have used it to initiate high-quality voice and text conversations, send and receive files, and stay in touch with one another. The visually impaired community, likewise, has used Skype since then to facilitate equal communication with each other and their sighted counterparts.

However, as the service has grown, so too has the program. For years, screen reader users have kept up with Skype's ever-morphing interface either with custom patches, scripts, or apps. While largely successful, such utilities must be constantly maintained as any new version of Skype can, and often will, cause previously working scripts or apps to stop functioning properly.

In mid 2011, Skype announced its SkypeKit developer program. This service allows program developers to directly access nearly all Skype services without the additional need of traversing its user interface. Developers, therefore, can create their own interface to Skype and seamlessly integrate it into their own products. And, because the underlying Skype services are much less likely to change on a whim, GW Micro decided to take advantage of this service and create a simple, elegant, fully accessible interface to Skype which is designed with the visually impaired community in mind. Having full control of the user interface also means that unlike the official Skype client, GWSkype's interface will not dramatically change from version to version. When you learn how to use GWSkype today, you can be confident that your knowledge will continue to apply in the future as new versions are released.

Click this link to learn more about GWSkype.

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