Mohamed Mansour, who’s actually a software engineer for RIM, has created a Chrome extension to make Google+ hangouts more accessible to blind people.
It uses text to speech technology, reading content from the chat box to the user.
“Today I was in a hangout, where I met a blind war veteran,” says Mansour no Google+. “It was really inspiring to see him use such technology. But it was really hard for him to use it since it wasn’t accessible friendly. I was writing on the chat on the left, and it was really difficult for him to read the text. I am really into Accessibility, and I worked on it a lot in Chromium in the past, and I really wanted to help him.”
“So I told Tim, ‘what if the chat spoke to you?’ Tim said, ‘that would be awesome’. When I saw the big smile on his face, I had to do it! So I created this extension for Chrome!” he adds.
In the description in the Chrome Extension gallery, it says the first version focuses on the blind, but Mansour hopes to add more features to make it even better and more accessible, and is looking for feedback to that effect.
Mansour notes in his Google+ post that he hopes Google will adopt this for Hangouts itself.