Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last

(This e-mail didn't get through the first time because I put in CC.)

At 07:41 2/12/2010, Marc Paré wrote:
Le 2010-11-29 09:23, Christophe Strobbe a écrit :
> Hi Florian,
> At 12:01 28/11/2010, Florian Effenberger wrote:
>> on yesterday's LinuxDay in Austria, the request for a separate
>> accessibility mailing list came up. (...)
> (...)

This seems like quite an important developer detail to work out right from the very start. Are the developers aware of accessibility concerns? Also from a marketing point of view, if we are to market the suite to governmental agencies subscribing to accessibility rules in their procurement of software applications, then we should be discussing this sooner than later.

I don't know to what extent the LibreOffice developers are aware of accessibility. As far as I understand, LibreOffice accessibility doesn't start from scratch. See <>. However, the problem with using the Java Accessibility API on Windows is that screen readers don't support it very well. NVDA and Window-Eyes are said to provide better support than JAWS (which many consider to be the dominant screen reader in the English-speaking world), but even access with NVDA is not considered excellent. The accessibility page mentions plans to implement the IAccessible2 API, but I don't know if the project ever got started on this. Access to (I don't know if LibreOffice has changed the UI) with VoiceOver on Mac OS and with Orca on GNOME seems to work better.

Of course, there is more to accessibility than screen reader access; two other important issues are support for desktop themes (high contrast, large font size, ...), and keyboard access (also relevant to sighted users).

(...) We could also get links to any governmental rules/laws relating to this for reference. (...)

In the US, Section 508 is being updated; see <>. In the EU, I know about laws and regulations related to Web accessibility, but not about laws and regulations for software accessibility in general. In some EU countries, the only relevant legislation is the general anti-discrimination legislation, which is probably not something you can refer to in procurement. We will have to wait a few more years for a European standard that defines accessibility requirements for ICT that can be used in public procurement. (A call for experts for a committee to write that standard went out quite recently; see <>.)

If you want references to standards on software accessibility, I can give you these: * ISO 9241-171:2008 (not available for free; see <>); * ISO/IEC TR 29318 (3 parts): freely downloadable at <>. * the W3C's Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (under development) focus on authoring tools for Web content, but many criteria can be generalised to authoring tools in general (I have this in another mail if you want it): <>.

The accessibility of the ODF format itself was taken in hands when the state of Massachusetts announced a move to the OpenDocument Format; see for example Peter Korn's long blog post about this at <> and the OpenDocument Accessibility Guidelines by the ODF Accessibilit SC <>.

We really need a wikipage for this, don't we?

Best regards,


Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
"Better products and services through end-user empowerment" -
Please don't invite me to Facebook, Quechup or other "social networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but I haven't.

E-mail to for instructions on how to unsubscribe
List archives are available at
All messages you send to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.