What is It?
The AIM Explorer is a free simulation that combines grade-leveled digital text with access features common to most text readers and other supported reading software. Magnification, custom text and background colors, text-to-speech (synthetic and human), text highlighting, and layout options are presented in a logical sequence to help struggling readers decide which of these supports might help them to access and understand text.
Who is it For?
The AIM Explorer is designed to be used by a reader working collaboratively with an educator, tutor, parent, or assistive technology specialist as a guide. The guide may create a student account in order to re-assess reader preferences at a later time, or lead the reader on an exploration without creating an account. In both cases a reader summary profile will be created at the end of the exploration, but student preferences will only be saved if an account is created. Alternatively, a reader could initiate an exploration independently.
How Does it Work?
The AIM Explorer combines server-side account creation and maintenance with a downloadable application that can be used with or without an Internet connection. It takes approximately 20–30 minutes to complete an exploration. The application download is large—approximately 50 MB.
AIM Explorer Installation
The AIM Explorer has a two-part installation for both PC and Macintosh. To run AIM Explorer, download and install the software in the correct order. Installation instructions are available on the AIM Explorer Installation page.
The AIM Explorer is designed to be used on screens no smaller than 15” diagonal (4:3 aspect ratio) set at 1024 x 768. On a smaller screen, the AIM Explorer display will appear clipped. Press the ESC key while Explorer is open and running to enable scroll bars to navigate the display on smaller screens.
AIM Explorer Accessibility
The AIM Explorer is designed for readers with low vision, physical challenges, and learning and attentional difficulties who may benefit from enlarged, spoken, highlighted, or re-formatted text. It does not address Braille use, and the Explorer assumes that the guide using the application has vision. Navigation elements on each of the AIM Explorer pages support keyboard navigation, but grade level text presented for reader use is not selectable; therefore, a guide using a screenreader must use the application controls to have sample text read aloud.
A note about screenreader access: the AIM Explorer is built using Adobe AIR version 2.0 beta release and includes support for screenreader software (JAWS, etc.) see http://www.adobe.com/products/air/. When a full release version of Adobe AIR is available, the AIM Explorer will be updated accordingly.