Developing accessible network simulation software for the visually impaired

The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) blog has initiated a COVID special collection, featuring the latest news about the PT Anywhere network simulator. PT Anywhere, which has been jointly developed by the Open University and Cisco, has recently launched an accessible version for the visually impaired, in the context of the Open Networking Lab Accessibility project.

The Open Networking Lab Accessibility project, funded by the UfI VocTech Trust, allows visually impaired people to acquire basic computer networking skills through the use of accessible network simulation software. In order to achieve this, we have extended the PT Anywhere network simulation tool to offer an accessible interface for visually impaired learners. We have collaborated with instructors from the Cisco Networking Academy, visually impaired users, members of the broader disability community, and accessibility specialists, in order to identify user requirements and test the new software developments.

The accessible version of PT Anywhere can be accessed here, or by visiting the interactive learning activities of our OpenLearn course. Read the ALT blog post here.