AsTeRICS Grid: Accessible YouTube Player

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AsTeRICS Grid: Accessible YouTube Player

YouTube - probably the world's largest collection of videos of all topics. Music and entertainment, tutorial videos, live broadcasts or repair instructions - everything can be found there. For many people YouTube became a daily companion. Reasons enough to ask the question: How can YouTube be used by people with severe motor restrictions (e.g. tetraparesis, locked-in-syndrome)? And what about possibilities for people with cognitive impairments? In short: What about accessible YouTube players?

For my research I've tried two solutions from market leaders in the field of AAC: Communicator 5 by Tobii Dynavox and Grid 3 from Smartbox. Both are advertising "accessible apps" for YouTube access on their homepages and in their videos. The result of my practical test was sobering: in Grid 3 I've found a "YouTube App" that wasn't much more than the YouTube Homepage and it wasn't possible to do anything with the predefined buttons. In Communicator 5 I didn't even find the advertised YouTube app. Very disappointing for expensive Software that costs about 1000$ (we have used the bought version for testing).

So - what to do? Correct: program a free tool that works better. It was released recently - AsTeRICS Grid now is able to search for and play YouTube videos! AsTeRICS Grid therefore is the only existing accessible YouTube Player with completely adaptable interface and flexible input options. Entirely free and without registration. YouTube search and video control therefore are possible for instrance with a single switch or also just by blinking with the eyes using an eye-tracker!

Screenshot 2 shows the new YouTube Player in AsTeRICS Grid. You can also try it for yourself at https://grid.asterics.eu/. In the following video most functions are explained (video is German, but English subtitles can be used): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDQVvVnvx0A

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at office@asterics-foundation.org or via the contact form on this website.

* there is also this player, which however is not really customizeable: https://www.cs.unc.edu/~gb/Accessible-YouTube/index.html

Screenshot 1: YouTube interface in Grid 3 from Smartbox

Screenshot 1: YouTube interface in Grid 3 from Smartbox

Screenshot 2: YouTube interface in AsTeRICS Grid

Screenshot 2: YouTube interface in AsTeRICS Grid

Info: The introduced functionalities were developed within the project "Knowledge Hub for Accessible Technologies", funded by department MA23 of the city of Vienna.

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