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ONEBLINDGUY dot COM. Touch Church. In Your Pocket
Tech Stuff. Touch Church
I use the freely offered NVDA screenreader which works with Windows based operating systems. It is light, fast and has been updated to run on Windows 10. It is also backward compatible to Windows XP.
Although I have a laptop running Windows SP, my online connections to these faith organization websites is through my tablets running Windows 10 and 8.1.
I also use a Kindle Fire tablet. It allows me to see how well these streams connect. That tablet is also purely touch based although I can connect with a bluetooth keyboard. The Windows tablets I usually work with a full-size usb keyboard.
There are two major players in the streaming market used by the listed faith institutions.
They are Livestream and Ustream (an IBM company).
Others are Youtube Livestreaming (a Google company) and 360 network which uses Streaming Faith (this link is to the Trinity UCC streams) as the carrier for it's product.
The platforms work very well, but, for those using a screenreader to navigate, there can be an obstacle to finding the stream button on the referenced page. The best streams are programmed to launch automatically. A few sites use this format.
Personally, I really don't understand why sites make it so difficult to run the stream. The audience is captured. They want to have the live stream run. Not given a choice.
So, what's the big deal? For some navigation can be a nightmare especially when there is so much content and links loaded on a page.
This is especially noticeable on website pages where the stream is embedded on a standard website page. I believe that a specially created page just dedicated to the stream would be more effective. Just sayin'.
Notes on particular websites and accessibility:
This is my #1 fav stream, but, directions and loading could be better.
First Congregational United Church of Christ of Berkeley. The navigation to find this stream is a bit more complicated/involved if you are working from the church home page.
The stream is not a embed in the website. Rather, the stream runs when a secondary page is opened.
Because of this, the stream, when linked from the home page (the first link click) does not start automatically when linking from the home page.
When working from the church home page, look for the Webcastlink, and, then, on the newly opened page, look for the following link First Church Berkeley Sunday Services is LIVE if you are using a Windows machine.
That link works with my Windows 10 and 8.1 tablets.
Using a screenreader/keyboard? I use the NVDA screenreader and cannot get that link to open with the Enter key. I have to use the Application key (same as a right click of the mouse) and Open a new window/tab for the ustream stream. From the dark side, that is just too daunting for the average web surfer.
Note: Few of these churches using a streaming platform take advantage of linked in the program client. This allows for easy access to the stream along with archived streams.
Covenent United Church of Christ is an exception. Linking and streaming with that page is a breeze!
To experience what I'm speaking, look for Covenent United Church of Christ in the Connect section.
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