Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Audio Workstations for Blind or
Visually Impaired People
Gemma Pedrini, Luca Andrea Ludovico
and Giorgio Presti
Laboratorio di Informatica Musicale, Dipartimento di Informatica “Giovanni Degli Antoni”,
a degli Studi di Milano, Via G. Celoria 18, Milano, Italy
Accessibility, Blind or Visually Impaired (BVI), Digital Audio Workstations.
This paper proposes a methodology to assess the accessibility for blind or visually impaired people of mu-
sic 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 cate-
gory. 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.
Accessibility means enabling as many people as pos-
sible to use a resource, even when those people’s abil-
ities are limited in some way. The International Clas-
sification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)
denotes with the term disability the negative aspects
of the interaction between an individual and that indi-
vidual’s contextual factors. A first assumption is that
an environment can be defined as accessible when an
individual with any impairment can “function inde-
pendently”. Another assumption is that there is some
level of function that can be called minimally accept-
able (Steinfeld et al., 1999).
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities (CRPD) (United Nations, 2006) at Arti-
cle 9 Accessibility” encourages appropriate forms
of assistance and support to persons with disabili-
ties so as to ensure their access to information, pro-
motes their access to new information and communi-
cations technologies and systems, and fosters the de-
sign, development, production and distribution of ac-
cessible information and communications technolo-
gies and systems at an early stage, so that these tech-
nologies and systems become accessible at minimum
The theme of accessibility in the context of
Information Society, also known as e-accessibility
(Klironomos et al., 2006), concerns the integration of
all users into the Information Society, including peo-
ple with disabilities. Such a subject is tightly con-
nected to e-inclusion, which aims to prevent the risk
that people with lack of digital literacy, poor access
to technology and some form of impairment are left
behind, thus experiencing digital exclusion.
Another term often used in parallel with accessi-
bility is usability, an adjective synonymous with fit to
use, functioning, operational, serviceable, valid, and
working. Usability concerns the fulfillment of func-
tional requirements, which makes it different from
accessibility. Nevertheless, some scholars use the
two expressions in parallel, stating that they both
are usually defined in terms of observed task perfor-
mance, and together represent the concept of person-
environment fit (Steinfeld and Danford, 1999). A
comprehensive review about accessibility, usability
and universal design can be found in (Iwarsson and
ahl, 2003).
In the wide context of accessibility, computer ap-
plications presents very specific requirements (Kav-
cic, 2005). As stated in (Mozilla, 2019), most soft-
ware tools assume that users can easily perform all of
the following tasks: read and react to text and images
displayed on the screen, type on a standard keyboard,
select text, pictures, and other information using a
Pedrini, G., Ludovico, L. and Presti, G.
Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Audio Workstations for Blind or Visually Impaired People.
DOI: 10.5220/0010167002250232
In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction Research and Applications (CHIRA 2020), pages 225-232
ISBN: 978-989-758-480-0
2020 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
mouse, react to sounds being played. Conversely,
people with special needs can experience problems
in performing one or more actions, which prevents
them from using, partially or completely, even pop-
ular computer applications.
Focusing on visual impairments, this category in-
cludes the range from low vision (low-grade difficulty
in the use of a visual display) to full blindness (no pos-
sibility to enjoy graphical content). Please note that,
even if the hardest tasks for blind or visually impaired
(BVI) people concern the information displayed on
the screen, especially graphics and pictorial content,
also the use of a pointing device, requiring eye-hand
coordination, can pose a problem.
This work focuses on accessibility issues of Dig-
ital Audio Workstations (DAWs) for BVI users. In
origin, a DAW was a computer equipped with a
sound card and ad-hoc software for creating, editing
and processing recording-studio quality digital sound
(Leider, 2004). A computer-based DAW presents four
basic components: a computer, either a sound card
or an audio interface, digital audio editor software,
and at least one input device for adding or modifying
data. Nowadays, DAW is a common definition for a
software system that provides the interface and func-
tionality for audio editing and uses a PC as a host for
sound generation.
There is also a business interest towards music
software accessibility. As stated in (W3C Web Ac-
cessibility Initiative (WAI), 2019), accessible design
improves overall user experience and satisfaction, es-
pecially in a variety of situations, across different de-
vices, and for impaired as well as older users. Sup-
porting accessibility can enhance a brand, drive inno-
vation, and extend the market. Among BVI people,
there are users interested in music generation, editing
and production, and they often rely on hardware aid
devices due to the poor support offered by software
This work aims to shed light on the problem of
DAWs accessibility for BVI people, focusing on pure
software aspects and leaving out proprietary or MIDI
controllers that could help solving the problem. Any-
way, the final goal is not to provide an evaluation of
accessibility for software DAWs currently available
on the marketplace, since new versions of the ap-
plications and the operating systems are expected to
introduce novel functionalities to support visual im-
pairments; in this sense, the results of our research
would soon become obsolete. Rather, we will start
from the evaluation of existing software tools in order
to propose an objective methodology to rate the ac-
cessibility of past, current and future DAW releases.
Our proposal has been submitted to visually impaired
professional music producers for appraisal, and their
remarks will be reported and discussed.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Sec-
tion 2 will describe the main assistive technologies
that help BVI people in using computer devices, Sec-
tion 3 will focus on the accessibility of DAWs, de-
scribing the test protocol and showing the scores ob-
tained, Section 4 will discuss the comments made
by experts to the proposed methodology, and, finally,
Section 5 will draw conclusions.
According to (U.S. Government, 1998), the adjective
assistive is assigned to technology designed to be uti-
lized in an assistive-technology device or an assistive-
technology service. Concerning the former aspect,
the expression assistive-technology device identifies
any item, piece of equipment, or product system,
whether acquired commercially, modified, or cus-
tomized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve
functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Regarding the latter aspect, the expression assistive-
technology service means any service that directly as-
sists an individual with a disability in the selection,
acquisition, or use of an assistive-technology device.
Assistive technologies for BVI people have been
widely discussed in literature, e.g. in (Hersh and John-
son, 2010), (Pawluk et al., 2015) and (Shinohara,
2006), to cite but a few. Alternatives to the use of
sight in computer interaction typically involve the use
of other sensory canals, mainly hearing and touch. To
this end, a number of computer-based approaches and
aiding tools have been designed and developed.
Screen readers are a category of software aid tools
for people who do not have useful vision to read text
on the screen. They can analyze, filter, and interpret
the content of a computer display and reproduce it
as audio output through text-to-speech synthesis (see
Figure 1) or pilot a refreshable Braille display (see
Figure 2). Since the beginning of the ’90s, the in-
terface of most operating systems has been no longer
exclusively textual, but it has adopted graphical com-
ponents and pictograms to convey information, thus
becoming a so-called graphical user interface (GUI).
The software running under graphical operating sys-
tems typically presents the same characteristics, sup-
porting non-textual information and relying on a num-
ber of graphical controls. For this reason, recent
screen readers must be able to convert into an alter-
native representation not only text, but also graphi-
cal elements; in this sense, associated metadata, tags,
CHIRA 2020 - 4th International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction Research and Applications
Wave Form
of Words
of Phonemes
Text Speech
Figure 1: Block diagram of a typical text-to-speech system.
Figure 2: A 40-cells refreshable Braille display. Image by
Sebastien.delorme, CC BY-SA 3.0.
and automatic recognition algorithms can help. Many
operating systems integrate their own screen readers
and speech synthesizers: e.g., Orca for Linux, Narra-
tor for Microsoft Windows family, and VoiceOver for
Apple macOS.
It is worth mentioning another category of aid
tools specifically addressing visually impaired users:
screen magnifiers, which are capable of presenting the
output on a larger scale. The enlarged portion of the
screen, called the focus, includes the content of in-
terest and an improved representation of the pointer
or cursor. The focus follows pointer movements, and
usually it can be invoked through a shortcut and ad-
justed in size depending on the user’s needs. Modern
operating systems integrate screen magnifiers as well.
Even if designed for different purposes, assis-
tive technologies of interest in this context can also
include specific hardware controllers, provided that
they support bi-directional communication from/to
the DAW. Examples include motorized faders and
knobs. Anyway, in the analysis of DAWs accessibil-
ity presented in Section 3 we will deliberately ignore
the role played by additional hardware components,
due to their high number and variety, and, above all,
to their extraneity in relation to the original software
When designing software interfaces, developers
should take into consideration the compatibility of
their products with assistive technologies (Edyburn,
2004). Common problems of accessibility in software
include: controls identified only by images, with-
out textual tags; absence of explanatory alternative
texts; wrong tag-reading priority, with descriptors not
following a logical/functional order; the need to use
the mouse to reach controls that cannot be selected
through speech-synthesis focus; display-related infor-
mation not easily reachable or completely unreach-
able by keyboard navigation.
There is a number of good practices that can be
followed to improve software usability for BVI peo-
ple. A fundamental rule is to provide titles and la-
bels for each element of the interface. The mean-
ing of icons and other pictorial indications should
be conveyed by alternative text, too. The activa-
tion/deactivation of controls like buttons should not
be rendered only visually, but also by providing audi-
tory feedback to users of assistive technologies. Over-
lay notifications like tooltips should persist for a time
sufficient to be read through the screen reader, or their
timing should be adjustable. In general, too com-
plex graphical layouts should be avoided, since they
pose serious problems of accessibility and often re-
quire mouse interaction. Even if the default layout
has not been designed for BVI people, a clear, in-
tuitive and highly-customizable interface, accompa-
nied by accessible documentation, could help. For
example, the support of high contrast color combi-
nations and the possibility of switching foreground
and background colors are useful features for BVI
users. All interface elements should be reachable
through speech-synthesis focus by using appropriate
labels. Moreover, programmers should rely on the
APIs provided by operating systems for standard con-
trols and follow the guidelines for accessibility in the
design of customized ones. Finally, software should
be tested through ad-hoc tools to ensure the accessi-
bility via keyboard or mouse of interface components
such as modules, menus, selection curtains, combo
boxes, check boxes, etc.
In conclusion, assistive technologies can be em-
ployed to provide context information, command de-
scriptions and feedback. Unfortunately, in sound-
oriented software these purposes can pose some prob-
lems: on one side, an excessive stimulation of hear-
ing can cause cognitive overload in BVI users; on the
other side, it is hard to convey some types of infor-
mation (e.g., waveforms or automation patterns) via a
Braille display.
In order to evaluate the accessibility of DAWs, we
analyzed the reachability for a BVI user of a set of
common functions and operarations. To this end, we
selected and tested three very popular software solu-
Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Audio Workstations for Blind or Visually Impaired People
1. Cockos REAPER,
version 5.95 for Windows and
version 5.921 for macOS;
2. Avid Pro Tools,
version 2018 7.0 for Windows
and 2018.10 for macOS;
3. Steinberg Cubase Pro,
version 9.5 for Windows
and macOS.
Tests were performed under Windows 10
version 1803 (build SO 17134.472) and
macOS Mojave 10.14.
It is worth underlining that, at the moment of fi-
nalizing this paper (July 2020), such versions have
been already surpassed by more recent releases, in-
troducing new features in the graphical interface and,
more in general, presenting some differences con-
cerning accessibility. Anyway, we recall that the re-
search question we want to address in this paper is
not to determine which DAW is currently the most
accessible one for BVI people, but rather to highlight
which aspects programmers should take into account
when designing a DAW, and ultimately to propose a
general methodology for an objective evaluation of
DAWs’ accessibility. From this perspective, the re-
sults achieved by specific software versions are not
3.1 Assessment Metrics
The metrics we propose takes into account both the
usability and the access speed for the analyzed func-
tions. To this end, we define an ad-hoc scale with
values ranging from 0 (minimum) to 4 (maximum).
These values correspond to the following accessibil-
ity levels:
Level 0. The command under exam cannot be in-
voked via keyboard, and the vocal synthesis does
not recognize the presence of the control in case
of interaction through the mouse;
Level 1. The command can be reached from the
keyboard using the cursor or via a shortcut only in
a specific context, but context information is not
clearly communicated to the user, e.g. via speech
synthesis. Moreover, there is no feedback about
the success or failure of the invoked operation,
concerning both the activation of the command
and its effects;
Level 2. The command can be invoked through
the keyboard, using the cursor or via a shortcut.
Speech synthesis does not provide a feedback, but
it is possible to check the effectiveness of the com-
Level 3. The command can be reached from the
keyboard using the cursor or via a shortcut, and
voice synthesis produces a feedback, which lets
the user check the effectiveness of the command;
Level 4. The command is fully accessible from
the keyboard and perfectly integrated within the
graphic environment.
3.2 Choosing the Screen Reader
The choice of the screen reader is critical for the suc-
cess or failure of many operations. For both the op-
erating systems under exam we referred to the guide-
lines suggested by the American Foundation for the
In order to select the most suitable speech
system, this institution poses a number of questions:
What version of the operating system will be used?
Is the screen reader compatible with such a version?
Are there known system configurations with which
the screen reader does not work (color schemes, com-
mon video cards, etc.)? What synthesizers are, or are
not, supported? Considering the most common appli-
cations, are there known limits with the screen reader?
How much speech does the screen reader automati-
cally add during standard functions, such as selecting
or scrolling items? Can the amount of speech be ad-
justed to suit the user’s skill level and preferences?
How difficult is to change simple standard features
(e.g., the voice rate)? Is the manual accessible and
accurate? Is there a tutorial in a usable format?
After carefully evaluating the mentioned ques-
tions, we selected NVDA as the screen reader to be
used under Windows. NVDA, standing for NonVi-
sual Desktop Access, is an open-source screen reader
that uses the eSpeak speech synthesizer and SAPI 4
and SAPI 5 synthesizers.
It is free and updated
frequently, about every 3 months, thus keeping the
pace with technological innovations. This choice has
proved to be effective especially in the program test-
ing phase, allowing an easy investigation of the screen
through the mouse. NVDA is able to read the ele-
ments currently positioned under the pointer. Speech
synthesis does not interfere with common mouse op-
erations, such as button clicking or wheel scrolling.
During our tests, we have experienced only two prob-
lems: sudden and apparently unmotivated slowdowns
in the reactivity of invoked operations and unexpected
restarts. In the latter case, speech synthesis stopped
CHIRA 2020 - 4th International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction Research and Applications
working, and the proper behavior could be resumed
only by restarting the program in use.
Concerning macOS, Apple devices em-
bed a proprietary voice synthesis called
VoiceOver. Installed by default, perfectly inte-
grated in the operating system, constantly updated
and guaranteed to be compatible with all applications,
this solution provides excellent performances with all
Apple devices.
3.3 Test Protocol
The analysis consisted in a test conducted by a visu-
ally impaired user, expert in the field, on a significant
set of DAW commands. The tester invoked the most
common operations of a recording studio, that can be
gouped into the following categories:
Transport. Basic and advanced playback controls;
Track. Operations on sequencer tracks concerning
navigation, management and controls;
Editing. Commands to cut, copy, paste or du-
plicate events, time representations of events and
commands to change the content of each track;
Mix. Audio stream production and post-
production processing;
Project. File and configuration management.
Each command was tested on any version of the
DAWs under exam, and an accessibility level was
assigned according to the scale described in Section
3.1. All combinations to achieve the same result were
tested (menu, keyboard, and mouse commands), and
scores reflected the best option, namely the most ac-
cessible method. Final results are shown in Table 1,
which provides a detailed comparison between the 3
products in their Windows and macOS versions.
Let us briefly discuss the outcome of our analy-
sis. REAPER emerges as the most accessible DAW,
scoring very well under both macOS and Windows.
Only a few operations among the commands under
exam received a low grade. In order to understand
such an impressive result, we have to mention that
Cockos REAPER 5.9 has already been analyzed and
adapted by a community of BVI people, a working
group known as Reaper Accessibility. Their activities
resulted in the design and implementation of a dedi-
cated plugin called OSARA (Open Source Accessibil-
ity for the REAPER Application),
an extension that
makes the DAW accessible to screen-reader users by
interfacing directly with the speech synthesizer. Even
if OSARA is the result of an independent community
of users, it is worth remarking the involvement of the
BVI community in the product design.
Conversely, Cubase 9.5 received a poor score,
showing very little attention towards accessibility is-
sues for BVI people. Nevertheless, Cubase Pro 10.5
(the most recent version available on the marketplace
at the moment of writing) has substantially solved the
problems that affected the previous release.
The test phase, conducted by a low-vision user,
made some issues typically unknown to standard
users emerge. First, many operations present different
effects depending on the context in which they were
performed (e.g., editing commands), hence the impor-
tance to clearly identify the position of the focus. This
aspect can be fundamental in the evaluation of acces-
sibility, above all when the user has no residual sight.
Another problem concerns the possibility for BVI
people, like our test user, to access documentation.
Even if all the DAWs under exam have a complete
user’s guide, sometimes accessing it through assistive
technologies was a hard task. Therefore, it was essen-
tial to retrieve supplementary material, provided by
developer communities such as Github.com or shared
on platforms such as Youtube.com. Focusing on the
latter approach, video tutorials often use the voice
to explain instructions shown via desktop recording,
therefore BVI users cannot understand the context.
Furthermore, instructions are invoked via both key-
board and mouse inputs, and the sequence is not eas-
ily repeatable through assistive technologies.
cerning audiovisual material made accessible to the
blind, it is worth mentioning the Access Music Tech
a community-driven virtual place dealing
with assistive music technologies. The contents of
this channel have been fundamental in finding DAW
instructions for macOS software, while the corre-
sponding instructions under Windows were inferred
by attempts, also considering the mapping of key-
board commands under the two operating systems.
In order to check the validity and significance of the
data gathered by our protocol when applied to the
mentioned DAWs, we organized a focus group involv-
ing BVI experts in the field of music production and
asked them to provide observations and remarks about
the scores obtained by the test.
Anyway, desktop recording can help visually impaired
people with residual sight.
Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Audio Workstations for Blind or Visually Impaired People
Table 1: Scores in the range 0 (minimum) to 4 (maximum) obtained by the DAWs under exam for each tested task.
REAPER Pro Tools Cubase
Task Feature OSX Win OSX Win OSX Win
Start 4 2 4 2 0 0
Stop 4 2 4 2 0 0
Pause 4 2 4 0 0 0
Record 4 3 4 2 0 0
FFW/RW 4 1 4 2 0 0
Home/End 4 4 3 2 0 0
Loop on/off 4 4 4 3 0 0
Cursor snap/scrub 4 4 0 0 0 0
Cursor fine locating 0 4 0 0 0 0
Create marker 4 3 4 3 0 0
Marker window 3 3 0 0 0 0
Move to marker 4 3 0 0 0 0
Delete marker 3 4 2 2 0 0
Grid settings 4 2 0 0 0 0
BPM 4 4 2 4 0 0
Signature 4 4 2 2 0 0
Tempo track 0 0 0 0 0 0
Metronome on/off 4 4 3 4 0 0
Metronome setup 3 4 4 0 0 0
Create track 4 4 4 4 0 0
Rename track 4 4 3 4 0 0
Delete track 4 4 4 4 0 0
Track focus 4 3 3 1 0 0
Track selection 4 4 4 1 0 0
Track type 0 0 4 3 0 0
I/O Mapping 0 0 4 2 0 0
Arming track 4 3 4 4 0 0
Record mode 4 4 2 3 0 0
Import audio 3 4 4 4 0 0
Sample selection 4 4 0 0 0 0
Select all 2 4 4 4 0 0
Ripple Edit 4 4 0 0 0 0
Cut 4 4 4 1 0 0
Copy 4 4 4 1 0 0
Paste 4 4 4 1 0 0
Duplicate 4 4 4 1 0 0
Split 0 4 0 0 0 0
Undo/Redo 4 3 4 4 0 0
Show mixer 3 0 4 0 0 0
Show master track 4 4 4 3 0 0
Track fader 4 0 4 0 0 0
Master fader 3 3 4 3 0 0
Track pan 3 2 4 3 0 0
Mute/Solo 4 3 4 4 0 0
Insert FX 4 3 2 0 0 0
Open project 4 4 4 2 1 1
New project 4 4 4 4 1 1
Save project 4 4 4 4 1 1
Save project as 4 4 4 4 4 4
Close project 4 4 4 4 1 1
Close all 4 4 4 4 1 1
Mixdown 4 4 3 4 0 0
We received answers from two experts who have
been working for years with DAWs at a professional
A first aspect we asked to validate was the set of
commands chosen for our tests. In order to be present
in all the tested DAWs, we limited it to the basic op-
erations typical of a recording studio, not taking into
account articulated sequences of commands, complex
sound-processing operations, nor third-party plugins
usage. From this point of view, both experts consid-
CHIRA 2020 - 4th International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction Research and Applications
Table 2: Comparative analysis of the three DAWs under exam.
REAPER Pro Tools Cubase
macOS Windows 10 macOS Windows 10 macOS Windows 10
Transport 4 3 3 2 0 0
Track 4 4 4 3 0 0
Editing 4 4 4 1 0 0
Mix 4 3 4 3 0 0
Project 4 4 4 4 1 1
ered the list of commands in Table 1 as exhaustive and
significant to test software accessibility.
Moreover, they both agreed on the general out-
comes of our investigation, confirming that Cockos
REAPER is more user-friendly for a BVI user than
other software tools.
As we might expect, they also gave us useful sug-
gestions to refine the test protocol. First, they under-
lined how the choice of the screen reader may alter
results significantly. For instance, one of them sug-
gested a commercial software solution that, in his/her
opinion, was essential to cope with REAPER 3
plugins under macOS. Consequently, it is important
to periodically evaluate the advancements in screen
readers and to choose the most suitable one, as dis-
cussed in Section 3.2.
Another aspect to consider is the inverse correla-
tion between the richness in the graphical interface
and the usability of software by BVI people. In fact,
not only ancillary pictorial content is partially or com-
pletely useless for this category of users, but it is hard
to be rendered through a different sensory canal and
can be even misleading with respect to fundamen-
tal audio-related information. Consequently, one of
the experts suggested to take into account the graphi-
cal complexity of the interface and the customization
possibilities offered by the DAWs, in order to help
some screen readers.
As a final remark, it is worth underlining that pro-
fessional users often adopt only one operating system
and become skilled with a specific product. Thus,
their opinions can be relevant when comparing the
updates of the same DAW across major or minor re-
visions, or at least when cross-checking the function-
alities of different DAWs under the same operating
system, but they rarely have a synoptic view like the
one we provided in our analysis, involving many soft-
ware tools and their variants under different operating
The experience conducted with three popular soft-
ware DAWs underlined that accessibility for BVI peo-
ple is an aspect sometimes overlooked by designers
and developers.
For the sake of clarity, we have summarized the
results obtained by applying our protocol in Table 2,
where we have reported the median score of each
command category for each software. The table
shows that Cubase is inaccessible in almost all its
functions, probably due to the use of a proprietary
GUI environment instead of the one provided by the
operating system’s APIs; moreover, the focus of com-
mands is not clear. REAPER 5.95 and Pro Tools 2018
perform better, but the operating system in use deeply
influence the results. In particular, macOS provides a
higher level of accessibility. During our tests, Win-
dows caused also a number of system crashes un-
til the RAM of the PC was upgraded from 8 to 16
GB, as the simultaneous use of speech synthesis and
a DAW takes many resources. In general, we no-
ticed several compatibility issues between such soft-
ware tools and voice synthesis, which required set-
tings update, additional external devices (that some-
times turned to be incompatible with the software),
and program restarts. It will be interesting to apply
our protocol to more recent DAW releases, under new
versions of the operating systems and with more pow-
erful hardware configurations.
In order to overcome usability issues, a user with
special needs has to choose the right combination of
products (operating system and DAW), master their
settings, run the DAW and speech synthesis on a high-
performance computer, and sometimes rely on addi-
tional technologies to gain access even to basic func-
tions. Our hope is that impaired users’ needs will be
given more attention in future software releases.
Concerning future work on the proposed evalua-
tion protocol, the first step is to repeat the analysis
with more testers, in order to improve the validation
by assessing the statistical validity of the proposed
methodology. Then, the obtained results will be the
Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Audio Workstations for Blind or Visually Impaired People
basis to provide design guidelines for developers.
We also plan to extend tested functionalities to
common combinations of operations, such as com-
plete editing tasks on waveforms (e.g., complex edit-
ing for tempo correction) or the application of stan-
dard behaviors (e.g., select and fade out multiple au-
dio events). Moreover, we need to better clarify the
goal, choosing between the evaluation of the acces-
sibility characteristics of a software per se, or its us-
ability when benefiting from “external” support tech-
nologies, such as suitable extensions, screen readers,
operating-system aids, etc. Another aspect to con-
sider in the overall evaluation will be the influence
of assistive technologies on the performances of the
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