Access App Glossary of Terms


A community-driven effort to improve web accessibility.

Accessibility Guidelines

A set of guidelines that specify how to make content accessible, primarily for people with disabilities, but also for all user agents (including highly limited devices, such as mobile phones). The current version, WCAG 2.0, was published in December 2008 and became an ISO standard, ISO/IEC 40500:2012 in October 2012.  (Wikipedia –

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk, Mechanical Turk)

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace enabling individuals and businesses (known as “Requesters”) to coordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. It is one of the sites of Amazon Web Services and is owned by Amazon. Employers are able to post jobs known as “Human Intelligence Tasks” (HITs), such as choosing the best among several photographs of a storefront, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers (called “Providers” in MTurk’s Terms of Service, or, more colloquially, “Turkers”) can then browse among existing jobs and complete them in exchange for a monetary payment set by the employer. (Wikipedia –

API (application program interface)

An application program interface is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API specifies how software components should interact and talk to one another.

Audio Description (also known as visual description)

Audio description, also referred to as visual description, is commentary and narration that makes visual images in theater, television, movies, and other art forms accessible to people who are blind, have low vision, or are otherwise visually impaired. It attempts to describe what the sighted person takes for granted. In theaters, museums, and accompanying television, film, and video presentations, audio description guides the listener with concise, objective descriptions of new scenes, settings, costumes, body language, and sight gags delivered between portions of dialogue or songs. (American Council of the Blind –

Beta Test

In software development, a beta test is the second phase of software testing during which a sampling of the intended audience tries out an early version of the product.

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Content Management System (CMS)

A CMS is a computer application that supports the creation and modification of digital content. It is often used to support multiple users working in a collaborative environment. CMS features vary widely. Most include web-based publishing, format management, history editing and version control, indexing, search, and retrieval. By their nature, content management systems support the separation of content and presentation. (Wikipedia –


In software development, a codebase (or code base) refers to a whole collection of source code that is used to build a particular software system, application, or software component. (Wikipedia –

Community of Practice (CoP)

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a craft and/or a profession. The concept was first proposed by cognitive anthropologist Jean Lave and educational theorist Etienne Wenger in their 1991 book Situated Learning (Lave & Wenger 1991). Wenger then significantly expanded on the concept in his 1998 book Communities of Practice (Wenger 1998).

A CoP can evolve naturally because of the members’ common interest in a particular domain or area, or it can be created deliberately with the goal of gaining knowledge related to a specific field. It is through the process of sharing information and experiences with the group that members learn from each other and have an opportunity to develop personally and professionally (Lave & Wenger 1991). (Wikipedia –


Crowdsourcing is a specific sourcing model in which individuals or organizations use contributions from Internet users to obtain needed services or ideas. This mode of sourcing, which divides work between participants to achieve a cumulative result, was already successful prior to the digital age (i.e., “offline”). Crowdsourcing is distinguished from outsourcing in that the work can come from an undefined public (instead of being commissioned from a specific, named group) and includes a mix of bottom-up and top-down processes. (Wikipedia –

Framework (software framework)

A software framework provides a standard way to build and deploy applications. A software framework is a universal, reusable software environment that provides particular functionality as part of a larger software platform to facilitate development of software applications, products and solutions. (Wikipedia –


GitHub is a web-based version control repository and Internet hosting service. It offers all of the distributed version control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git as well as adding its own features. It provides access control and several collaboration features, including bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and wikis for every project. (Wikipedia –

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

GUIs allow users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and visual indicators such as secondary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels, or text navigation. (Wikipedia –

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

The IMLS is a federal funding agency that supports museums and libraries. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. It provides leadership through research, policy development, and grant making. ( –


iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that presently powers many of the company’s mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. (Wikipedia –

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

An institutional review board is a type of committee used in research in the United States that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans. They often conduct some form of risk-benefit analysis in an attempt to determine whether or not research should be completed. The purpose of the IRB is to assure that appropriate steps are taken to protect the rights and welfare of humans participating as subjects in a research study. (Wikipedia –

Latency (Network latency)

A computing term that refers to the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer. (Oxford Dictionaries –

LEAD Conference (Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability)

The LEAD Conference brings experienced and new professionals together to explore practical methods for implementing accessibility in cultural environments. Participants share resources and knowledge, develop best practices, and experience accessibility in action. (The Kennedy Center –


In computing and interface design, a module is any of a number of distinct but interrelated units or blocks from which a program may be built. Modules are similar to subsections of a page that can be moved around the page when designing an interface. (Oxford Dictionaries –

Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

In product development, the minimum viable product is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future development. (Wikipedia –

Open-source Software

Open-source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. ( –

Question Prompts

Questions prompts get people to think critically, analyze, reflect, and relate to a subject. They are often used to elicit focused and detailed responses.

Roundware (RW)

Roundware is an open-source software platform developed by sound artist Halsey Burgund. It is an open, flexible, and distributed framework that collects, stores, organizes, and re-presents audio content. Roundware lets developers collect audio from anyone with a smartphone or web access, upload it to a central repository along with its metadata, and then filter it and play it back collectively in continuous audio streams. See the Roundware Technical Glossary for additional information. (


Swift is a programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, and Linux. (Wikipedia –


TAP is a collection of free and open-source tools that supports the creation and delivery of mobile tours. The tools also serve as examples of producing and consuming tour content using the TourML specification. Currently TAP consists of authoring tools built on top of the content management system Drupal, a native iOS mobile application, and a web-based mobile application built upon the jQuery Mobile library. (


TourML is a specification for building, sharing, and preserving mobile tours that can be used by museums of all types and sizes to create and deploy mobile experiences. This project is meant to deliver mobile standards and open-source tools for the benefit of the entire cultural technology community. TourML was created to serve as a simple and portable representation for tour content. Having a common language for this content will enable content management systems, kiosks, and mobile applications to speak a common language. Additionally, users of TourML will be better positioned to share and sustain their content no matter how the technology used to deliver these tours changes. (

Universal Design

Universal Design refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products, and environments that are inherently accessible to everyone, including seniors and people with disabilities. (Wikipedia –

User-generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content, alternatively known as user-created content (UCC), is any form of content created by users of a system or service and made available publicly on that system. UGC most often appears as a supplement to online platforms, such as social media websites, and may include content like blog posts, wikis, videos, or comments. (Wikipedia –

Visual Cues

A visual cue is a signal and reminder of something. Aiming to be self–explanatory and pre-attentive, it brings to mind knowledge from previous experiences providing a framework for its own interpretation. (Sandra E. Moriarty, An Interpretive Study of Visual Cues in Advertising

Visual description

See “audio description.”

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3). Founded and currently led by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium is made up of member organizations that maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together to develop standards for the World Wide Web. The W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software, and serves as an open forum for discussion about the web. (Wikipedia –

Roundware Technical Glossary

The following terms are specific to Roundware.


An individual piece of media contributed by a user. Roundware currently handles audio, photo, and text assets and will soon handle video assets as well.


A linear assemblage of audio assets and silence (“dead air”) that dynamically forms part of each audio stream by incorporating audio assets into the stream.


Any computer or device that is used by a user/participant to connect to the service, in this case, Roundware.


A collection of assets and tags submitted by a user/participant. Envelopes can contain multiple assets (several audio recordings, audio and photo, etc.) collected at the same time by the same user.


A record of each time a client pings the server with an API call. All events are tagged with an event type, such as “startsession,” “startlisten,” “uploadrecording,” etc. Event data provides the core source for all RW system analysis.


The highest level of segmentation/grouping for all RW data. One RW instance can run many projects simultaneously, governed by CPU, bandwidth, and memory resources.


A client server connection established when the client is started and terminated when the client app is closed. Session_id is established by the server and is used to keep track of multiple simultaneous sessions.


A speaker is a geo-located object that broadcasts continuous audio over a certain geographic area.


A unique session-based audio stream generated by RW based on the evolving filters supplied by a particular client; streams consist of a summation of speaker audio and asset audio (per the audiotracks).


Metadata used to describe assets. Tags are arranged by tag category. For example, the tags within the “age” tag category could be “young” and “old”. Tags are very flexible and allow for collecting many different types of metadata to be used for filtering the assets at a later time.