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Introducing Accessible Hangouts for Google+
My new Chrome Extension!

Today I was in a hangout, where I met a blind war veteran. 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!

Help me spread the word to those who are blind, and please help me test it, I really want to eliminate the bugs and implement more features to make it easier for them to use this great service!

Download it from the gallery:
As usual, Source Code in GitHub: (fork and contribute!)

This extension uses text to speech technology and reads everything that appears in the chat box to the user. This will add a whole new experience for the Blind to use hangouts, and hopefully Google+ can integrate that natively!

I have added this demo on how the extension works. Thanks to +Cam Meadows for helping me demo this :)

Thanks to +M Monica and +Robert Anderson for introducing me to +Ken Smith and +Tim Hornik. I hope Google integrates this into Hangouts, so that the blind could enjoy hangouts as much as we do :)
António Mota's profile photoVijayakumaran Kaimal's profile photoMonique Cloutier-Briand's profile photoWarren B. Jobs's profile photo
Rae O.
brilliant and shared!
Great example of social justice activism and compassion through technology, Mohamed. Thanks for your work!
I like that it says who joins an leaves the hangout. Looks and sounds really helpful to me.
It's amazing how many useful extensions the community has been able to contribute back to Google+. Awesome job +Mohamed Mansour! I almost wish I were better at picking apart javascript and doing stuff like this, but I think I'll stick with Python ;)
Selfless: Adjective:
Concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one's own; unselfish.
Such a list would break the internets due to it's length and awesomeness!!
Nice job! I checked out the source, very clean. Happy to see people using the chrome.tts API I co-authored. (Please make more talking apps!!!)

FYI, did you look into making it a live region? If you just add the attribute aria-live="polite", that should make the screen reader read updates to the chat area automatically...should be supported by JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver on OS X Lion and higher...but this definitely wouldn't work with older screen readers.
+Dominic Mazzoni aha, your tts api rocks :) I forgot about the ARIA polite attribute, should be easy for Google+ to add that in /cc +David Bennett :) I will add that attribute myself as well!
Charm G
Totally agreed.... Its so good of you to think of our Vets and any other disable person to make technology easily accessible for them. Your only a role model to others. Great Job!!
Great work there any feature to repeat a chat message or go back to previous chat text?
Great efford! So i am not critical at all. But why didnt you talk out loud in the first place?
Thank you for creating this! I have a brother who has been blind since the 70's from a car accident and he's just now getting into using technology. I'm sure this will come in handy for him one day.
This is so awesome! Great job and thanks for the contribution to the Google+ community, especially to +Ken Smith and +Tim Hornik for their efforts!
+Sussan Javid he is completely blind, he would see nothing, that is why letting the chat talk back to you is helpful for him :)
Awesome! Shared of course, what else...
Keep up the good work :-)
willl u tell me how i delete my previous account in galaxy s gti9000
is this extension work with chat box or only with hangouts ?
An Hu
good idea!technology is changing our lives.this is a very good really help a programmer,I was inspired.
Rose T
Amazing :)
Absolutely awesome idea. will share and try to spread the word (spoken and typed).
This is a good for G+ and so many people. Some directly concerned. Some, like me, very impressed by this 'social' technology and what you were able to do with it.
+Mohamed Mansour Well Chines or Arabic speaking peoples also getting the problem during the hangout where they not speak or understand English very well.Is there any extension which help them to translate from other language to English in hangout chat.
What +Noman Sadiq said. Have you heard about the en2de ,... Chat translation bots? Do you think it's possible to integrate them as well? Or in a separate extension?
It's a lab in gmail if i remember it correctly. Based on google translate. would be more interesting if it available with hangouts :)
There are 25 Million American veterans in the USA, of which 100,000 are vision disabled blind, 625,000 are hearing disabled deaf and 5300 are spinal injured quadriplegic. When +Mohamed Mansour came into a hangout and watched a combat wounded Blind American Veteran struggle with Hx, he then acted, he did what he does best, he improved this whole community by working on accessibility features for that one blind veteran who lost his eyes in Iraq. For that reason, the +Blind Veterans Help Desk is presenting to +Mohamed Mansour its highest award (The Harold Russell Award) for his contributions to the disability community . +Anne Espiritu , your help is appreciated spreading the word of this accomplishment in-house to. +Chee Chew and +David Bennett . Gentlemen, this needs your attention. +Robert Anderson has been instrumental as the little engine that could. Your efforts are recognized and same to you +Gary Levin
Lastly +M Monica , your angelic light shines in some very dark rooms and brings hope and inspiration to many of the disabled. Thank you.
that's wonderful idea
great may god give you all great ideas to help them.
What, you mean like causing a plague, or setting off a volcano, or causing a flood to wipe him out? Or maybe you mean forcing him to partake in a sick joke where he is told he must kill his son in order to prove his belief? They were some of God's finest moments eh? Sigh.

Don't bother replying, this is not the thread for it +chetan bhagat

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
we have google talk to reduce the need for visibility
It is fantastic what you did - Two thumbs up!!
+Mohamed Mansour You are freaking awesome and Thank you for using your expertise to create things that will make a difference for people.
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Hell of a lot more useful than an extension that turns your browser into Asteroids.
+Mohamed Mansour you have done so many cool things - but this one right here my friend takes the cake. You are an outstanding human being and I am so very proud to call you my friend.
You knocked it out of the park with this extension eh
Excellent. I have a good friend who is blind. We were college roommates. He is now a professional musician and utilizes all sorts of tech stuff to interface with the web. I'll forward this to him and see what he thinks of it.
Mohamed Mansour, you are a good person and the world needs more like you for everything else.
Thanks everyone, accessibility is important, and every developer should remind him/herself on applying those techniques when developing the web! We don't have to just make it structured, fast, and make it look nice (all these fancy HTML5 CSS3 stuff), we should in the same time make it accessible.
My buddy is getting his PhD in Education specializing in utilizing technology to teach people with disabilities. His focus is on blind students. This is so close to what he does, it's practically like you wrote it for him. Thanks!
Wow - awesome!!!!! This is the best extension ever!
Well Done!!!!!!!! You do have your heart on the Pulse of G+
I am so glad to see this. I am a ed tech specialist in a special needs school. This will be a great too.
Very cool :) +Mohamed Mansour, would you ping me a mailing address as a direct mail? I'd love to send you an honorary accessibility team t-shirt. This is really nifty.
This is really great! Well DONE! Since you seem to be both motivated and a do-er, have a look at this technology which I have been working with to develop solutions to help the disabled have better interactions with their computers.

The first unit retails for $99.95 the second for $299

I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas?
Thanks everyone! +Enoxh Eloe that is pretty cool, brain wave sensors in software sweet! Is there a NPAPI plugin for it so we could tap into the device drivers from browsers, otherwise we have to create the NPAPI interfaces ourselves. I did that for Haptic devices to be accessible from the web, which was pretty cool.
The emotiv device has a fairly decent collection of API's including some browser support and also for dev platforms like Unity3D. The less expensive unit offers less in the way of developer support but I do believe there is a basic
browser API for that as well.
Mo you are awesome!! Plus is lucky to have you, and we are all lucky to witness your genius <3
Absolutly awesome! Keep up the great work!
Wow, what a wonderful story... awesome that you did that!
I have updated the extension to version 1.0.0, you should now see three new options, you can adjust the Volume, Speed, and Pitch! This is how you force the update:
Dann D
God bless u Mohamed Mansour
My lord protect you and lord Chris protect ur family
That's a great thing you did. Taking your IT skills and interest and using it to make activities that many of us take for granted possible for folks like Cam. Bravo!
Really util extension, +1, this give a plus to the Hangouts
Thanks everyone! Did any of you update the extension to version 1 to test the new option controls for Volume, Pitch, and Speed? If I have time tonight or in the weekend, I will add a disable/enable hot key binding.
I love it when clever people use their powers for good. 
incredible job...!!!congrats....thank u 4 dis sort of great changes..keep it up:)

Overall rating
Awesome to the nth degree!
This is great! I'm a co-founder of +Stutter Social and I'm trying to help a blind user access our Hangouts. I just found out about your plug in and was wondering if it makes the entering of a Hangout accessible as well? My friend told me that her screen reader can't detect the Hangout buttons.
+Daniele Rossi if she uses JAWS, it should detect the buttons (but it would take some effort), the accessibility traversal in hangouts is not optimized yet.
oh ok. I'll check with my friend. Thanks for your quick and kind reply.
She is using a Mac which there is no version of JAWS :(
+Mohamed Mansour is this still working. We have someone who would like to use it, but it doesn't seem to work anymore. Do you have any thoughts?
+Brad Newman I just got my computer couple of days ago from my move to USA (From Canada), and I am fixing some broken extensions now. Currently, I am fixing this extension :)
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