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A lot of toolbar widgets in Writer don't seem to be accessible, like the
ones to create forms and such.
Devin Prater

On Tue, May 31, 2022 at 9:31 AM Christophe Strobbe <>

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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