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Hi Michael, Caolán, all,

I don't have a comprehensive overview of LibreOffice UI accessibility either, unfortunately. 
However, if you are looking for ways to prioritise issues, one way may be based on the 
accessibility requirements in the ETSI standard EN 301 549, which defines the requirements that 
software, documents and a number of other IT products will need to fulfil in the EU starting June 
2025. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, my recommendations are the following: 
(1) With regard to the UI, focus on Windows-based accessibility issues first, since that is where 
(a) the majority of people with disabilities are and (b) the version that is most likely to get 
audited if accessibility audits get done. (As a Linux user, I would also like GTK-related to get 
fixed, but I am not representative of the market.) With regard to applications, I would focus on 
Writer before Impress or Calc. (I don't know how often Base and Draw are used in professional 
contexts, if at all.)
(2) With regard to document formats, continue improving PDF/UA conformance for exported PDF 
documents. PDF/UA conformance currently requires expensive extensions or plug-ins for Microsoft 
Office (Adobe Acrobat's PDF Maker plug-in has completely dropped the ball on PDF/UA) or Adobe 
InDesign. PDF/UA conformance in documents exported from Writer (and eventually also Impress) would 
be a strong selling point; there is currently no office suite that pulls this off natively. 
(Institutions that have been established to monitor compliance with the EU's Web Accessibility 
Directive often simply check for PDF/UA conformance as a substitute for a real accessibility check.)

Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe

On 31 May 2022 at 01:57 Michael Weghorn <> wrote:

On 30/05/2022 11.08, Caolán McNamara wrote:
For a11y I don't know what is seen as the major problems, is there some
fundamentally missing pieces (like in the past not having direct
windows IAccessible2 support and needing a java access bridge). Or are
the fundamentals ok and its a matter of a general malaise. Is the
general widgetry ok, but particular components have poor document level
a11y. Or is there an endless amount of fairly easy entry level problems
that there isn't enough people to take care of.

I don't have a comprehensive overview at this point.
At least from the little experience I have by now, I *tend to think* 
it's mostly the latter, at least as far as root causes for the major 
problems are concerned.
(I have also *heard* that Base seems to be most problematic in general, 
but haven't had much to do with it myself yet.)

 From what I have seen so far while looking at some a11y issues 
affecting Windows and Linux (gtk3 and qt5/qt6 VCL plugins), the 
fundamentals look fine, and it seems to be mostly that various smaller 
issues in LO a11y code of the single components and the platform 
integrations (and sometimes in other projects, like the NVDA screen 
reader or the Qt library) cause a lack of a11y in the UI (lack of 
usability with accessibility technology, like screen readers, e.g. 
because not everything is announced) and documents (like a11y-related 
attributes not being properly set in docs, in particular when exported 
to other formats like OOXML, PDF, (X)HTML).

The a11y meta bug tdf#101912 [1] currently lists ~200 specific issues. 
(I also have a ranked list from Richard, CCed, a blind user who uses the 
NVDA screen reader on Windows.)
Working on some issues requires some level of understanding/experience 
with AT (accessibility technologies, like a screen reader), others (like 
doc export to other formats) shouldn't.

I don't know about the situation on macOS.

IIUC, the gtk4 VCL plugin currently doesn't have an a11y implementation 
yet, and there has been a change of how a11y is handled at least within 
the Gtk library itself. [1]
@Caolán: Is that correct? And is it something you are planning to look 
into at some point or something that should be covered otherwise?

I've added the accessibility mailing list; maybe others have further 
insights to add here.


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