Using EchoMac with VoiceOver
This is a supplement to the article EchoMac Accessibility for blind and vision-impaired hams. This page gives details about how to operate EchoMac from a keyboard using the Mac OS X VoiceOver screen reader.
By moving the VoiceOver cursor around in the EchoMac window, you can (1) select text to be spoken by VoiceOver and (2) operate the EchoMac controls. The cursor is a rectangle that surrounds an item, such as the list of active stations or the button for connecting to a station.
VoiceOver keystroke commands start with the control-key combination "Control-Option," called the "VO Command." (VO is shorthand for VoiceOver, and it does not represent use of the "V" or "O" key.) For example, Control-Option-1, written as VO-1, moves the cursor to an item previously chosen by you. If this item, called a "hotspot," is a control button, then the commands "VO-1" followed by "VO-Spacebar" will activate the button.
In addition, EchoMac has a useful built-in Push To Talk shortcut, "Command-Return," which toggles the Transmit/Receive button.
Some important items in the EchoMac window are difficult to reach via the arrow keys. Also, the Tab key (which can be enabled in the Mac System Keyboard Preferences) does not function for navigation in EchoMac. Fortunately, VoiceOver hotspots make EchoMac easy to use.
Any accessible item in EchoMac can be designated a hotspot. For the following example of a QSO, the Station List was defined as one of the hotspots by moving the VoiceOver cursor to the text box around the List and pressing VO-Shift-3.
Example of a QSO
First, connect EchoMac to the network:
Step Keystrokes What VoiceOver Says
Go to Online Checkbox VO-1 "Online. Unchecked Checkbox."
Connect to network VO-Space "Check Online Checkbox."
Next, find out whether KD7CO is connected:
Go to Search Field VO-2 "Search Text Field."
Type Call Sign KD7CO-Enter "K-D-7-C-O."
Go to Station List VO-3 "KD7CO..."
KD7CO is online. Next, connect to his node:
Go to Connect Button VO-4 "Connect Button."
Connect VO-Space "Press Connect Button."
Push To Talk Cmd-Return.
"KD7DO this is AE7PD."
Push To Listen Cmd-Return.
When the QSO is over, disconnect from the EchoLink system:
Disconnect VO-Space "Press Disconnect Button."
Go to Close Button VO-5 "Close Button."
Close EchoMac VO-Space "Press Close Button."
The only keystrokes during a QSO are the Command-Return shortcut to operate the Push To Talk button. VoiceOver commands manage the EchoMac connections before and after the QSO.
Peter DeNeef, AE7PD, is an Extra Class amateur radio operator in the U.S. This Web site has no ads or conflicts of interest.
Email: HamRadioAndVision "at" gmail "dot" com.