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Hi Alex,

At 02:25 7/12/2010, Alex Midence wrote:
Well, my thinking is and always will be that Libre Office is better
off making itself accessible no matter what screen reader is used.

That is why LibreOffice (like needs to support accessibility APIs, keyboard access, desktop themes, etcetera. For a screen reader to work with an application, the application needs to implement the accessibility API (for example the Java Accessibility API, which is not tied to a specific operating system), and the screen reader needs to support that API. As far as I know, screen readers on Windows have generally weak support for the Java Accessibility API.

(Note: Java accessibility on Windows requires the Java Access Bridge. Oracle is working on a new version of this bridge that will be part of the Java Runtime Environment instead of a separate download.)

Best regards,




Alex M

On 12/6/10, Octavian Rasnita <> wrote:
> The same danger from the perspective of the blind computer users also appear > in other EU countries where the governments prefer paying for screen readers
> made in EU, even though none of them are as good as JAWS.
> The governments don't care that just a few computer users need to use
> complex applications like Visual Studio, Eclipse or even a simple text
> editor like TextPad which is absolutely inaccessible with NVDA (or at least
> it was inaccessible a few months ago).
> Octavian
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christophe Strobbe" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 8:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [libreoffice-accessibility] Laws and standards
>> Hi Alex,
>> At 18:53 6/12/2010, Alex Midence wrote:
>>>(...)  I use Jaws and NVDA as my screen readers in
>>>windows and Orca in Linux.
>> It is good to hear that there are screen reader users on this list!
>>>(...)  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. (...)
>> Do you mean agencies that refund (in whole or in part) assistive
>> technologies? It is true that these agencies are not always aware of
>> free and open-source alternatives. This is also the case in Belgium,
>> where I live.
>> Informing these agencies about free and open-source assistive
>> technologies is not without risk, unfortunately: they might just say,
>> for example: "Now that free screen readers are available for Windows,
>> we will stop refunding JAWS, Window-Eyes, Hal, Supernova, etctera",
>> without checking if the free alternatives are good enough to replace
>> the commercial ones.
>> (I heard this from someone who provides technical advice to such an
>> agency in Belgium.)
>> For example, JAWS and Window-Eyes support language switching inside a
>> document; free alternatives do not necessarily support this and
>> require the user to switch the TTS language manually.
>> Best regards,
>> Christophe
>> --
>> Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
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Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
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