Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Audio Workstations for Blind or Visually Impaired People

Gemma Pedrini, Luca Andrea Ludovico, Giorgio Presti

Abstract

This paper proposes a methodology to assess the accessibility for blind or visually impaired people of music production software known as Digital Audio Workstations. The products chosen for the tests are Cockos REAPER, Avid Pro Tools, and Steinberg Cubase, three of the most popular solutions falling in this category. Both Microsoft Windows and macOS versions were tested, since these two operating systems natively integrate assistive technologies which provide a further layer to be considered. The degree of accessibility was evaluated in relation to the possibility for blind or visually impaired people to invoke key functions and perform basic operations. Finally, a focus group with visually impaired professional music producers was organized in order to assess the proposed evaluation methodology.

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