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Yesterday, the K.U.Leuven released AccessODF, a new open-source extension for LibreOffice Writer and Writer that helps authors evaluate and repair accessibility issues. You can download the extension from <>. A press release is available at <> and <>. The extension does not only identify accessibility issues and provide repair suggestions (like Microsoft Office 2010) but also provides automatic or semi-automatic repair functionality where possible. For example, if the checker finds an empty heading or a table where rows are allowed to break across pages, you can simply press the repair button to fix that ("automatic repair"). If the checker finds an image without alt text, pressing the repair button will open the dialog where you can enter a text alternative, which saves you a few steps ("semi-automatic repair"). AccessODF complements to other extensions: odt2daisy, which exports Writer documents to DAISY, and odt2braille, which exports Writer documents to a Braille format or sends them to an embosser. Both extensions are available on SourceForge. Accessibility evaluation was a feature frequently requested by users of odt2daisy and odt2braille.

Unfortunately, due to limitations in the APIs provided by LibreOffice and, the AccessODF user interface is not accessible to screen reader users and other keyboard users. (This will require changes in the office suites.)

This is the first release of AccessODF, and I look forward to comments and suggestions.

AccessODF was developed within the AEGIS project, an R&D project funded by the European Commission that aims at integrating more accessibility into mainstream software. Most of the software developed by AEGIS is or will be available under an open-source licence.

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
Open source for accessibility: results from the AEGIS project
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