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Hello, list,

I am a recent subscriber and felt I might have something of use to
contribute on this topic.  I use Jaws and NVDA as my screen readers in
windows and Orca in Linux.  I will attest to the above-mentioned
statements that Jaws works poorly with Open Office and NVDA has less
than optimal accessibility with it.  I have found it to be
particularly weak in Impress.  Orca works exponentially better in
LInux than these two solutions do in Windows.  I have a demo copy of
Window Eyes on my hard drive which did not do much better than Jaws
when I tried using it in the past.  Please feel free to contact me
whenever you need someone to test features for you in any one of these
solutions.  I think it is enormously important that Libre Office be as
accessible as possible to anyone who uses a screen reader regardless
of which one they choose to use.  I am relieved to see mention of
closed source, non-free screen readers in this thread.  Believe it or
not, very few people in government agencies (at least the ones here in
Texas) with whom I have spoken have heard of NVDA.  Also, NVDA does
not appear to be as configurable as Jaws or Window Eyes are where
special scripts can be created to customize the speech output it gives
out in different applications.  Orca is quite scriptable in Linux,


Alex M

On 12/6/10, Christophe Strobbe <> wrote:
Hi Marc,

At 20:42 2/12/2010, you wrote:
Le 2010-12-02 11:27, Christophe Strobbe a écrit :
At 07:41 2/12/2010, Marc Paré wrote:

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
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
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

Hi Christophe: Thanks for the great information.
Yes there is need for a wiki on this.

Re: windows and java, there was some talk of
trying to move the suite away from java
dependency. I don't know how much this would affect AT on LibreOffice.

I don't know where all the Java dependencies are.
I think the Java Accessibility API is just one of
them; extension development is another one that I
know, but there may be other areas that I don't know.
Moving away from Java for anyting in the UI (and
some extensions also use Java to create a UI)
means that LibreOffice would need to implement
another accessibility API, like IAccessible2
(maintained by the Linux Foundation
this API complements the old MSAA) or Microsoft
User Interface Automatin (UIA). I have absolutely
no idea how much work this would require.

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.

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