Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Assistive Application Testing

Assistive applications are computer applications specifically designed for specialized hardware used by physically challenged people.

I got the opportunity to test such software during one of our migration project. I thought this information may be helpful so sharing with you all.
Following applications are specialized applications for special people. They are well suited for windows environment.

1. Dragon

The application is from Nuance. The complete name is called as Dragon-Naturally speaking. This application helps to create professional reports, spread sheet, Documentation and Presentations with fast and accurate dictation.

Dragon is a speech recognition solution which helps to document, digital voice dictation and can be used from the workstation which does not have dragon installed through Citrix Server.  

Dragon also provides shortcuts which user can use with verbal instructions to avoid repetitive tasks.
The headphone connected to laptop is an essential gear to use Dragon. After installation user requires to create its profile, which is to tune the application for audio etc. This step is essential to make the application understand the user more accurately.

You can improve dragon’s vocabulary to help you. The words which you use often may be slangs need to be added to dragon’s vocabulary.

If the dragon is used with in work flows then we need to test the complete end to end flow with dragon commands. These commands are customized for users to handle different workflows efficiently. The commands should be easy to maintain and should be used in multiple flows.


JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is a computer screen reader program for Microsoft Windows that allows blind and visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a Refreshable Braille display.

Freedom Scientific has developed JAWS for people whose vision loss prevents them from using computer screens.

JAWS have very useful training material. With key combinations JAWS can start speaking reading screen. JAWS can be completely controlled using Keyboard keys. Windows 10 compatible version is available.

The tests are usually around reading other applications help files, PDF and Web contents. Special keyboards are used by visually impaired people.

3. Read & Write Gold

Read & write Gold is developed by texthelp. This application helps people with dyslexia. Many people use this application to get help in reading and writing at school or workplace. This is useful for anyone whose first language is not English and requires assistance to read and write.
The tests around this application are reading webpages, text documents, PDF, test files for other applications, Screen masking and adding voice notes to word etc.

The above applications are proprietary products. We are sharing our experience only from testing perspective with these applications.

We will see more testing topics in next post.

Keep reading!