D Tool

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This information is outdated but will be left for reference. Please see the "Overview of First Discovery Tools" and "Overview of First Essentials and First DigLit" in the Shared Google Drive folder for the updated information. 

First-Time Discovery Module 

The First-Time Discovery module is a GPII tool that will be used to DISCOVER the needs and preferences of new users (users who have never used computers before or no longer can use computers at all).   These tools are targetted at users with:

  1. No experience with computers
  2. All levels of accessibility need from low to high (e.g. little to no useful vision)
  3. Willingness to try something that would DIscover what they need
    • working with someone who is accessibility aware and trained (or)
    • accompanied only by a non-accessibility aware companion
      • (many people cannot afford a professional evaluation - and no one will pay for it.)
      • (Also accessibility aware people are not available in all locations)
    • solo

No context: The tools must assume that nothing is known about this person other than a language they understand.

Although the First-Time Discovery Tool is targetted at users with no experience, it could work for all potential users.

First Discovery ToolSet  (Modules)

What has been characterized as First Discover Tool(s) may best be thought of as a set of tools to address the needs of different people just coming into the world of “auto-personalization from preferences” -- rather than as a single tool (or single tool with variations).  This is because the people coming to this space may come from very different skill levels and with very different initial-entry needs.  For example the needs of someone who is already using AT would differ from someone who has no AT.  The needs of someone whose only problem is digital literacy would differ from someone whose problem is that they cannot use the standard interface at all.  We therefore currently believe that what is needed is a set of coordinated tools that together would address the needs of the different users and different contexts.  

A first pass set of tools (for exposition purposes only -- we do not know if this will be the final makeup) might look like

  • First Capture tool/module(s)
    • for those using AT already, that would capture current settings and set up a preference set and key token.  (they would then use a First Explore tool to fill out basic preferences)
  • First Discover Tool/module(s) - 
    • for those who cannot use the interface on computers at all unless it is modified and they have no AT or features they already can use. 
    • This tool would just discover what was needed before they could use a computer at all- and save this to a preference set with KeyToken.
  • First DigLit Tool/module(s) -
    • to introduce basic concepts in using a computer for those where this is a primary problem/blocker to any use of computers or even explore tools
  • First Explore Tool/module(s)-
    • once a person had basic use of the computer (via one or more of the tools above) this tool (these tools) would allow them to begin exploring the world of preferences and different features that can make digital technologies easier to use in different contexts.   This aspect was originally envisioned as being part of the First DIscovery Tool but is now believed to be better as a separate tool (tools) in order best accommodate different users, different ages, different interests, and different application areas.    There will also be Advanced Explore Tools - but those are beyond the scope of this Statement of Work.

Personas and what Discovery ToolSet modules they would use

1. Paul - older man with degrading eyesight. Although able to use his computer at home where the text is already enlarged, Paul finds it very difficult and sometimes impossible to use technology elsewhere. Since his daughter configured his personal computer settings, he has no idea how to enlarge text on other computers, so he usually doesn't even bother trying to use them. 

  • Preferred Method: Paul would use the Capture Module by bringing a USB with his settings stored on it to the library. After capturing these settings, Paul could further configure his preferences by using the Explore Module. 
  • Alternative Method: Paul could simply use the Discover Module and have his need for enlarged text discovered before proceeding to the Explore Module.

2. Anne - middle-aged blind woman. Anne has used some technology, namely a basic cell phone, but has never had a computer configured specifically for her. People always tell her how helpful computers are, but she's gotten by just fine without one up until now. Lately she's been running into more automated services, though, so she thinks it might be useful if she knew the basics and had her settings configured in a way that made the automated kiosks accessible for her.

  • Preferred Method: Since a basic cell phone could be used without any special settings, it'd be best for Anne to start with the Discover Module. Should we consider a basic cell phone an ICT? (The configuration of a basic cell phone wouldn't tell us that having text read aloud is needed because users with or without sight could use it in the exact same way. Having text read aloud could be toggled on or off in the First Explore, but the Tool would still need to establish some form of input. A user might be able to use the basic cell phone buttons simply to dial in a number and call someone. Relatively few numbers on a cell phone. Doesn't mean they know how to use a computer keyboard or a screen reader. If we jump to explore right away, how would they respond?
  • Alternative Method: If Anne had several settings already configured on a smartphone (e.g. VoiceOver), these settings could be captured using the Capture Module and Anne could use the Explore module. Possibly have different entry point for someone who is able to use a smartphone or tablet? Touch screen on a smartphone/tablet is a direct control, whereas touchpad on a laptop is an indirect control. Probably can't assume that because they can use a touch screen that they can use a touchpad. Having the Tool accessible from either input method would ensure a user who can use some form of ICT would be able to start from the Explore Module with a familiar input. If the Tool could be used with a touchpad, but not a touch screen, I think it would make more sense just to have someone start from the Digital Literacy Module or possibly the First Discover because an input method

3. Harish - deaf college student. Harish grew up using computers and is able to understand both American Sign Language (ASL) and written English. He finds most technology accessible, but he'd prefer if ASL was available in more situations. 

  • Preferred Method: Harish already has his computer configured for his needs, so he'd use the Capture Module first before moving on to the Explore Module. Within the Explore Module he could indicate that ASL is his preferred output. 
  • Alternative Method: Since Harish is proficient with computers, the Discover Module process would take very little time for him to complete and would determine his needs without requiring a USB or personal device.

4. Isabella - elderly woman with minor arthritis and relatively good vision for her age. Isabella has tried using a computer a couple of time, but every time she tries she feels overwhelmed by the interface and numerous options. The keyboard was never a problem because she used to have a typewriter at work, but navigating the screen was often too complicated. Her family tried to show her how to use the mouse to get around the screen, but they would forget to mention things that seemed obvious to them. She'd really like to use email and see pictures of her grandkids, since most of her family lives across the country, but a default computer setup doesn't currently work for her. 

  • Preferred Method: Because Isabella's computer isn't used regularly, it'd be preferable for Isabella to start with the Discovery Module.
  • Alternative Method: Since Isabella has had some computer experience and is able to use a keyboard, it might be possible to start with the Capture and Digital Literacy Modules, but the Digital Literacy Module would need to recognize that Isabella's mouse skills might be lacking.

5. Cindy - forty-year old woman with cerebral palsy. Some of Cindy's friends tried to set her up with a computer a few years ago, but they had no idea what assistive technologies would help given her limited fine-motor skills. Cindy thinks that a computer with voice recognition might work for her since speech is usually the easiest and fastest way for her to communicate, but she isn't sure where to begin.

  • Preferred Method: Cindy is currently unable to use a computer, so the Discover Module would be where she would start.
  • In its current conception, the First Discover Module would determine all viable outputs (through speech recognition) and also determine that Cindy needs a keyboard and mouse alternative (equivalent) because she cannot reach the mouse or keys. Following this, however, Cindy would be recommended to a clinician for an AT evaluation and could start the Digital Literacy Module once she acquired an AT that worked for her. 

6. Yun - thirty-year old blind man. Although he's unable to see, Yun has had great success using computers with his screen reader. He has the screen reader software installed on his work and home computers and loves that he can access information at his own pace rather than waiting for a news channel to cover the topics he's interested in. With the growing number of e-books available, Yun's also been listening to books more often. He usually purchases e-books, but he heard that his library is now offering e-books downloads. Unfortunately, some e-book downloads require Yun to use a library computer, and he needs to have the screen reader settings configured each time he logs in. He could ask for help, but he finds it embarrassing to do so every time. Once Yun creates a needs and preferences profile for GPII, though, this will no longer be a problem.

  • Preferred Method: Yun is able to use a computer and has personalized settings for his screen reader, so he should start with the Capture Module and then configure any additional preferences using the Explore Module. 

7. Lawrence - middle-aged man who recently developed ALS. After developing ALS, Lawrence could no longer use technology in the ways he was accustomed to. Once speech became difficult, Lawrence sought professional help and now has a computer outfitted for him that serves as his primary means of communication. 

  • Preferred Method: Lawrence would use the Capture Module since he already has settings configured on his personal computer. 
  • Alternative Method: If Lawrence hadn't sought professional help, he would need to start with the Discovery Module since he is no longer able to use computers. With limited input options, the Discovery Module would likely require the help of an assistant in this scenario. It has yet to be determined what course of action would be taken in this scenario, but eventually Lawrence would be recommended to an AT professional who could recommend him an AT.  

8. Sarah - twenty-five year old with moderate intellectual disability. Sarah's caretaker tried to show her how to use a computer, but her caretaker demonstrated actions like moving the mouse and clicking on object all at once, making it difficult for Sarah to learn. Eventually her caretaker gave up because she assumed Sarah just wasn't able to learn. 

  • Preferred Method: Sarah would start with the Discover Module because she can't currently use a computer. Once Sarah's basic needs are discovered, the Discover Module would teach her basic inputs in a variety of contexts. The ToolSet would also recommend return visits and assess skill retention each time Sarah logs in. 

9. Jim - elderly man whose hearing is getting progressively worse. Jim knows his hearing has been a problem for awhile, but he doesn't think hearing aids are worth the cost. Most of his daily activities don't require him to hear anyway. He picked up basic computer skills about five years ago and almost everything on his computer is text or picture-based, so he's never bothered personalizing his settings because the default settings are "good enough". He uses captions on his TV, but isn't aware he can do the same on the Internet, so he usually doesn't bother with videos on the web. 

  • Preferred Method: Jim would start with the Explore Module with "default" settings since he can already use a computer, but doesn't have any specific AT settings to capture.


Before starting Discovery ToolSet have library assistant ask:

Have you used a computer before?


  • Discover Module


Do you have any personalized settings or controls you use?

  • Yes:
    • Capture Module.
  • No:
    • Explore Module
  • Not sure:
    • Discover Module (e.g. someone set up a computer for them years ago and they have no idea what settings are configured. Also might say they've used a computer even though it was very briefly or a very long time ago.) Although the Discover Module probably wouldn't be required in this scenario, it might be safer to start the user with it anyway. Could also possibly have the user start with Explore and then revert to certain First Discover steps if any problems are experienced. 

10. Amara - older woman with severe arthritis. Amara has wanted to use a computer for quite some time, but a standard keyboard won't work for her. She can type a few words, but typing sentences is essentially imposible for her. 

  • Preferred Method: Amara should use the Discover Module because she is currently unable to use a computer. 

11. Matt - teenager who cannot hear, speak, or use a keyboard. Matt primarily uses ASL to communicate. He has a communication board so he can interact with people who don't sign, but it's such a slow process that he doesn't think it's worth the effort sometimes. He thinks a computer would make communicating with others far easier, but he doesn't know what he might need for a computer to be usable. 

  • Preferred Method: Matt should use the Discover Module. An assistant will likely be required and a clinician evaluation will likely be recommended before Matt can continue to the Digital Literacy Module. 

12. _____ - blind with gross-motor skill limitations. 

13. _____ - Deaf blind user.


To access Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a user must be able to:

  1. Perceive and understand the information presented to them. (Information is presented as an output)
  2. Respond to the information. (A user responds with an input method)

Information may be presented with a variety of outputs, including text, image, or audio, but many users need the material presented in formats different from the original output for the information to be accessible. Additionally, users must be able to use an input method to perform tasks such as navigating pages, selecting objects, and entering information. Input methods that work for one person, however, may not work for all others.

The purpose of the First-Time Discovery Module is to discover what the user needs to accomplish these goals.   

Input Methods

  • Speech recognition
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Body movement (feasible? needed? Likely would only be able to detect movements requiring gross-motor skills)


  • Text
  • Audio
  • Speech
  • Visuals
  • American Sign Language (ASL)


Needs - things the user requires to be able to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT). (e.g. text size of 12 needed for a certain user to be able to read a web page) 

Digital Literacy - knowledge about ICT that the user must possess to understand how to interact with ICT. (e.g. concept of scrolling required to access entire web page)

Preferences - things that aren't user requirements, but are desired by users when using ICT. (e.g. minimum text size of 12 needed to read a web page, but size 16 preferred)


The First-Time Discovery Module will seek to:

  • Determine all input methods the user can respond with.
  • Determine all outputs that can be used to communicate with the user. 
  • Determine the user's accessibility needs. 
  • Determine the user's proficiency with basic input methods such as a keyboard or mouse.
  • Determine the user's understanding of digital concepts and metaphors. 
  • Teach the user input functionality they might not know. (e.g. Shift key, space bar, "clicking", etc.)
  • Explain digital concepts the user might not understand. (e.g. Scrolling, dragging, etc.)


  • Someone will launch the First-Time Discovery Module for the user.
  • The user's language will be specified before the module starts.
  • No assumptions will be made about the user before the module starts.
  • This process will occur in a library, but will be possible at any computer.
  • The computer will have the following hardware:
    • ​display
    • keyboard
    • mouse
    • headphones
    • large-print keyboard
    • webcam

    ​Barriers to ICT Access

    Barrier Barrier For Need
               Potential Solutions                                                      
    Program presents essential information as text only People who can't read or can't see text Alternative way to receive text-based information

    - text-to-speech / Screen Reader
    - text-to-sign
    - braille (?)

    Program presents essential information in a small text size People who can read text, but only when it's above a certain size A way to make the text larger

    - increased text size
    - magnification
    - text-to-speech
    - text-to-sign

    Program presents essential information as audio only People who cannot hear or have difficultly hearing Alternative way to receive audio-based information - captions
    - visual notifications of audible system alerts
    - ASL captions and alerts
    Program requires mouse pointing or keyboard inputs that are too complicated
    Person who can't use standard mouse Alternative way to do mouse pointing other than standard mouse

    - Nonstandard mouse
    - MouseKeys
    - Alternative pointing device

    Program requires mouse clicking or keyboard inputs that are too complicated Person who can move standard mouse, but can't click Alternative way to do mouse clicking

    - Dwell click
    - Alternative pointing device

    Program requires mouse dragging or keyboard inputs that are too complicated Person who can use standard mouse, but can't click and hold. 

    Program requires information to be input using a keyboard Person who can't use a keyboard Alternative way to input information other than a standard keyboard - Alternative keyboard
    - Speech recognition 

    Person who can use a keyboard, but has a very high error rate Way to prevent errors so that keyboard is usable - SlowKeys
    - DebounceKeys
    - Keyguards
    - etc. 

    My only concern with presenting the barriers this way is that barriers would eventually need to be described for every alternative possible. For example, if a person is unable to use a standard mouse or keyboard, the next option might be an alternative pointing device. Using this way of classifying 

    Things the Discovery Module Will Determine

    Output Things

    • Visuals Viable? (Y/N)
      • If viable, determine:
        • Color Replacement/Inversion Needs
    • Text Viable? (Y/N)
      • If viable, determine:
        • Minimum Text Size Needed
        • Contrast Needs
        • Dyslexia Needs?
    • Audio Viable? (Y/N)
      • If viable, determine:
        • Minimum Volume Needed
    • ASL Viable? (Y/N)

    Input Things

    • Speech Recognition Viable? (Y/N)
      • If viable, determine if:
        • Sentence-length dictation viable
    • Keyboard Viable? (Y/N)
      • If viable, determine if:
        • Individual Key selection viable
          • If viable, determine if:
            • Shift key viable and if training is needed
            • Space Bar training needed
            • Symbol training needed
            • Error Prevention needed
    • Mouse Viable? (Y/N)
      • If viable, determine if:
        • Movement viable
        • Clicking viable
        • Dragging viable 
        • Right Click/Control Click


    The First-Time Discovery Module will progress through the following stages:

    1. Welcome Screen - all outputs (text, audio, ASL) provided simultaneously.
    2. Input 1 - Determine an input method that the user can use and respond with reliably. 
    3. Output 1 - Determine all outputs that can be used to communicate with the user and that the user can understand.
    4. Input 2 - Determine a second input method that the user can respond with. 
    5. Output 2 - Confirm all viable outputs or determine remaining outputs. 
    6. Input 3 - Determine specific needs related to various input devices. This stage will use tutorials or training as needed. (e.g. Shift key, space bar, etc.)
    7. Digital Literacy - Determine what digital concepts can be used and what concepts might need to be taught. This stage will use tutorials or training as needed. (e.g. Scrolling, Dragging, etc.)
    8. Input Preference - Determine the user's preferred input method.
    9. Output Preference - Determine the user's preferred output method.
    10. Begin First-Time Explore Module

    Note: These stages represent the broad overview of the process and will likely be rearranged as needed. Each stage will contain several substeps that will be used to determine specific needs. Any and all feedback is welcome. 


    The First-Time Discovery Module will be designed to work in a variety of situations, or dimensions. 

    • With Barriers and Without Barriers - The Discovery Module will work with all levels of accessibility need.
      • Barriers - something that prevents a user from using a device even if the user is digitally literate. 
    • With Assistance and Without Assistance - The Discovery Module will work with various levels of assistance.
      • No Assistance - user is completely independent following basic setup
      • Some Assistance - user is helped by an individual with fairly limited experience
      • Good Assistance - user is helped by an individual with significant experience
      • Negative Assistance - user is helped by an individual who enters information for the user or invalidates the results in any other way
    • With Special Hardware and Without Special Hardware - The Discovery Module will work with with a basic computer setup or with additional hardware.
      • Basic Hardware - Display, keyboard, mouse, headphones, large-print keyboard
      • Special Hardware - Additional Assistive Technology that a library or individual might have available. [Options and Functionality TBD]

    The First-Time Discovery Module will be modular and function slightly differently based on these dimensions. This may mean that a user will have more steps when special hardware is available or that an assistant will answer questions when a user is unable.

    See also