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Marc Paré wrote:

educational, NGO, etc.), would these different levels have each of their own requirements for 
adoption of LibreOffice/ODF adoption depending on their criteria of accessibility options of a 

Typically, requirements are country-specific, but some organisations, and regions have stricter requirements than the national law requires.

or are there large differences in accessibility options between such organizations

Something that is hard for people outside of A11Y to grok, is that a feature that enhances a11y for one individual, may enhance inaccessibility for a different individual.

Do the accessibility options found in LibreOffice suffice for all criteria of adoption for most of 
these organizations?

How about completing a VPAT for LibO that conforms to EN 301 549 Standard.
Assuming the URL is still valid, should provide a good starting point, in discovering what is required.

FWIW, over the years, individuals and corporations have posted requests for VPATs on various LibO lists. Invariably they are surprised and upset that LibO does not have one, and usually do not understand why the organisation that set LibO up on their system is responsible for providing the VPAT.

Due to potential legal liability, amongst other things, LibO has not provided a generic VPAT. It is possible to craft a VPAT that is both accurate, and has minimal legal liabilities, when organisations grab it, without paying attention to what they are obtaining. The ethics of providing such a document is up to the individual, and/or corporate master.

Is there an organization that regulates accessibility requirements for software packages?

These are country specific.

Are there any missing accessibility options in LibreOffice that would
Doing a copy/paste for a report I wrote for a different software suite:
(I have not removed the Markdown formatting. I did remove text related to that specific software.)


"Computer Accessibility" \-\-- hereafter referred to as "A11Y" \-\-- is
the ease with which an individual who has a disability can use computer
hardware and software. A short list of disabilities that can impact the
ease of using computers are:

Auditory impairments

-   Mild;

-   Moderate;

-   Severe;

-   Profound;

-   High tone;

-   Low tone;

-   This list is not exhaustive;

Cognitive disabilities;

-   Dyslexia;

-   Autism;

-   ADHD;

-   This list is not exhaustive;

Learning Disabilities

-   This list is not exhaustive;

Motor, mobility, and dexterity impairments;

-   Paralysis;

-   Cerebral Palsy;

-   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome;

-   This list is not exhaustive;

Seizures and related phenomena

-   Protoepileptic Seizures;

-   This list is not exhaustive;

Vision impairments

-   Colour blindness;

-   Low vision;

-   Legally blind;

-   This list is not exhaustive;

### Auditory Impairments

The major classifications of hearing impairment are:

-   Mild;

-   Moderate;

-   Severe;

-   Profound;

-   High tone;

-   Low tone;

-   Unilateral;

Mild Hearing Loss

With this form of hearing loss, one can miss 25% of the conversation.
The major issue here is the clarity of the person who is talking. Noisy
backgrounds or weak voices contribute to the inability of the individual
with this type of hearing loss to comprehend what is said.

[]{#anchor}Moderate Hearing Loss

With this form of hearing loss, one can miss 50% of the conversation.
Conversations at a normal volume may be difficult for an individual with
this type of hearing loss to follow. Consonantal speech is usually not

[]{#anchor-1}Severe Hearing Loss

With this form of hearing loss, one can miss 75% of the conversation.
Speech is comprehended only if it is face to face, with a very quiet

[]{#anchor-2}Profound Hearing Loss

With this form of hearing loss, one can miss 100% of the conversation.
Individuals with this type of hearing loss are forced to rely on visual
cues as their method of communications. I.E.: Use American Sign
Language, Speech-reading[^1], etc.

[]{#anchor-3}Unilateral Hearing Loss

This is when an individual has normal hearing in one ear, but not the
other ear. Individuals with this type of hearing loss are unable to
locate the source of sounds. They may have difficulty understanding what
is said, if the background noise is "loud".

[]{#anchor-4}Sensorinearal Hearing Loss

This is the result of damage to the inner ear. Typically, it is caused
by one of the following:

-   Exposure to loud noises;

-   Infections, or a result of a disease;

-   Genetic disorders;

-   Natural ageing;

[]{#anchor-5}High Tone Hearing Loss

This is when an individual can not hear a specific tone. Typically, it
centres around 4,000 Hz and is a result of long term exposure of high
volume[^2] of noise. This individual can not hear conversations at a
specific tone. Typically, a woman's voice can not be fully comprehended.

[]{#anchor-6}Low tone Hearing Loss

Typically, this is the result of prolonged exposure to sound at a
constant, but low volume. These individuals can not hear conversations
at a specific tone. Typically, a man's voice can not be fully

#### Designing for Auditory Impairments

Design criteria for individuals with these accessibility issues:

-   Visual cues are mandatory;

-   Audio cues must be clearly articulated;

-   Audio cues must be clearly differentiated from each other;

-   Audio cues must be available in a variety of tones;

### Cognitive Impairments

Examples of cognitive disabilities are:

-   Dyslexia;

-   Autism;

-   ADHD;


This is a reading/writing/perceptual disability. Individuals perceive
two characters as the same, if they have the same shape.


Whilst generally defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder, the major
symptoms are related to how the individual interacts with other
people[^3]. On a cognitive level, the major issue is in how the
individual will understand the material.

Common factors for individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder:

-   Material is taken/understood very literally;

- Sensory input will affect individuals with autism differently than it affects those without autism;


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) is characterized by not
paying attention to things, and hyperactive impulsive behaviour.
Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD) is a subcategory of ADHD, characterized
by inattention.

#### Designing for Cognitive Issues

Design criteria include:

-   Clearly written;

-   All details are included;

-   Visual differentiation of different parts of the material;

The following are bad design[^4]:

-   Animated images;

-   Blinking text;

-   Cluttered page layout;

-   Justified text;

-   Large blocks of text;

-   Lots of capitals;

-   Lots of italics;

-   Moving text;

-   Poor contrast with the background;

-   Small fonts;

In some instances, the following accessibility tools are helpful:

-   Screen readers;

-   Voice recognition software;

#### Implications

The clearer and simpler the presentation markup in the resource is, the
more suitable it is for individuals with these issues.

### Motor, Mobility, and Dexterity Impairments

This section is not an exhaustive list.

-   Paralysis;

-   Muscular Dystrophy;

-   Cerebral Palsy;

-   Carpal Tunnel Syndrome;


Depending on the limbs, and extent of paralysis, the accessibility tools
needed can be as complicated as tongue controlled virtual keyboards, to
as simple as voice recognition software for data input.

Muscular Dystrophy

This is a generic group of roughly thirty diseases of the muscles. The
most obvious symptom is a progressive deterioration of skeletal muscles.
Depending upon the degree of motor loss,

Cerebral Palsy

This disease can cause a number of issues, the most common of which is a
loss of motor control.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is the disability of the computer generation. Prior to circa 1985,
the only people who suffered from this condition were individuals who
worked in poultry factories.

Whilst good keyboarding habits can prevent the onset of this condition,
that is of little help to individuals who suffer from this condition.

#### Designing for Cognitive Issues

Design criteria include:

-   No blinking Images;

-   No flashing images;

-   Visual differentiation of different parts of the material;

The required accessibility tools depend upon the specific issue. This
list is the most commonly used tools:

-   Dual switch mouse;

-   Joystick;

-   Screen readers;

-   Tongue controlled keyboard;

-   Voice recognition software;

#### Implications

The big issue is being able to accurately select the resource that one
wants. To that end, it would be helpful, if there was a keyboard
shortcut for each icon.

### Seizures and Related Issues

### Vision

These can be split into the following categories:

-   Age related deterioration;

-   Colour blindness;

-   Low vision;

-   Legally blind;

Age Related Deterioration

This is not a recognized division of vision impairments. I use this term
to refer to those whose eyes are still good enough to drive by, but not
as good as when they were in college.

Colour Blindness

This is the inability to differentiate between two, or in rare cases
three colours. In order of frequency, the colour combinations that are
seen as the same are:

-   Red and Green;

-   Blue and Yellow;

-   Monochrome---everything is shades of black and white;

Low Vision

The major issues encountered by people with low vision is the colour,
and size of the fonts. If users have the ability to adjust those items,
then most issues can be easily remedied.

Legally Blind

"Legal blindness" is defined as having less than a twenty degree range
of vision, or less than 20/20 vision in the best eye, when corrective
aids are used. Users on the "low vision" end of the range might be able
to get by with screen magnification.

#### Designing for Vision

Design criteria include:

-   No blinking Images;

-   No flashing images;

-   Visual differentiation of different parts of the material;

-   Different colours have different tones

-   Bright, high contrast colours are used;

-   No fixed font sizes;

-   No fixed font colours;

-   No fixed font typeface;

-   Keyboard navigable;

For a module to be accessible, it has to be meet the following criteria:

-   Text that is at least ten, and preferably twelve point in size;

-   A simple, clean font;

-   A high colour contrast between the text, and the background colour;

The first two items can be set by the user, if the module creator has no
inflicted their own font parameters into the module. For the third item,
please review the section Colors, in the document Best Practices.

The required accessibility tools depend upon the specific issue. This
list contains the most commonly used tools:

-   Perkins Keyboard;

-   Screen readers;

-   Voice Recognition Software;

-   Braille Display monitors;

#### Implications

Screen magnification built into the tool bars for all
That helps individual with low vision, and age related deterioration.

Resource creators must give users the option of adjusting:

-   The font;

-   Font size;

-   Font colour;

Resources must be keyboard navigable.

Accessibility Tools

"Assistive Technology" is the term used to describe the tools that
enable individuals to perform tasks that they might otherwise be unable
to accomplish. These tools include, but are not limited to:

-   Digitizing Pads;

-   Head pointers;

-   Joysticks;

-   Keyboards Enhancements;

-   Mouse Emulation Software;

-   Mouse;

-   Other Pointing Devices;

-   Perkins Keyboard;

-   Screen Magnifiers;

-   Screen Readers;

-   Speech Synthesis Tools;

-   Switches;

-   Text to Speech Output;

-   Touch Pads;

-   Touch Screens;

-   Trackballs;

-   Virtual Keyboard;

-   Voice Input Systems;

-   Voice Recognition Software;

In the last fifteen years, virtually no progress has been made in the
ability of either screen reading software, or voice input software, to
do what they are designed to do. In some respects, the currently (2010)
available software is inferior to the software of 2001.

The only area in which things have marginally improved, is an increase
in the number of programs that are self-voicing.

### Keyboard Modifications

Available keyboard modifications depend upon which edition of which
version of which operating system one is using. Furthermore, the same
functionality is called different names, on different operating

Bounce Keys

This requires keys to be ignored, if repeated within a specific period
of time. This helps people with motor control issues.

Filter Keys

This is a setting that adjusts the speed at which a character is

Slow Keys

This setting requires a key to be held for a specific period of time,
before it is accepted. This helps people with motor control issues.

Sticky Keys

This tool allows one to press several keys sequentially, without having
to hold down a modifier key, whilst pressing a second and, in some
instances, a third key, simultaneously. This helps people using a
Perkins keyboard, or a virtual keyboard.

Toggle Keys

This setting emits a high sound when Lock Keys are turned on, and a low
sound, when they are turned off.

### Pointers, Mouse, and Mouse Emulators

Mouse enhancements

These are enhancements are offered by the operating system:

-   ClickLock: This locks a mouse button, so that one can drag things
    > around the screen;

-   DoubleClick: This adjusts the acceleration speed at which the mouse
    > travels;

-   MouseSpeed: This sets the speed that the mouse travels;

-   Pointer Highlighting: By pressing a key, the mouse pointer is
    > highlighted;

Mouse emulation

This enables one to use a keyboard as a mouse replacement. Typical
substitutions are:

-   Navigation: Arrow keys;

-   Mouse click: The Enter key;

-   Dragging: Not supported;

-   Left button: Virgule, on the numeric keypad;

-   Middle button: Star, on the numeric keypad;

-   Right button: not supported;

-   Double Click: Plus on the numeric keypad;

-   Button release: Decimal on the numeric keypad;

-   Button lock; Zero on the numeric keypad;


This is part of the Microsoft Windows Operating System. This turns the
numeric keypad into a mouse pointer.

The sequence to turn it on is "\>Start \>Settings \>Control Panel
\>Accessibility Options \>Mouse". One then checks the "Use Mouse Keys"
box. \<Left Shift\> \<Left ALT\> \<Numlock\>, when pressed
simultaneously, will turn Mousekeys on.

Pointing Devices

In general, pointing devices only allow for clicking on a specific item.
When combined with a virtual keypad, they can provide some of the
functionality of a mouse emulator.

### Screen Readers and Screen Magnifiers

Screen readers convert the text on the screen to voice output.
Typically, a synthesized voice is used. In theory, a screen reading
program will include the required tools for mouseless navigation. In
practice, the supported features are closer to a pointer, than a mouse.

Microsoft Narrator

The only virtue of this program, is that it comes with the Windows
Operating System. When I was testing it with e‑Sword, on Windows 2000,
it repeatedly crashed.


This is probably the most popular screen reader for Windows.


No longer on the market due to a patent troll that made good on their non-invention.


NonVisual Desktop Access. The only time I tested this screen reader, it
refused to shut down, until I uninstalled it. Since I had both JAWS and
Window-Eyes installed, that refusal didn't go down to well with me.

### Voice Input and Voice Recognition

The only player in the field is Nuance, with its Dragon Naturally
Speaking line.

### Implications

The major accessibility issues are:

-   Not all components have zoom functionality;

- Resource selection via keyboard strokes is extremely difficult, and usually impossible;

Testing For Accessibility

The simplest way to test the accessibility of a program, is to remove
the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Launch the program, and use it as
designed. If it does not work as expected, the program is not

### Software Accessibility Requirements

A program needs to be able to accept simultaneous input from all of the
following: to be A11Y compliant:

-   Voice;

-   Joystick;

-   Perkins Keyboard;

-   Mouse;

-   78 key keyboard;

-   Touchpad (^19);

-   Virtual keyboard;

-   Game Controller;

The program to be able to simultaneously output to all of the following
devices, to be A11Y compliant:

-   Braille display monitor;

-   Audio format;

-   CRT or LCD monitor;

-   Touchpad (^20);

The user must be able to change the display size of the data that is
presented to them:

-   This includes screen magnification on CRT or LCD monitors;

-   This includes screen magnification on touchpads;

-   This includes all tactile devices;

The user must be able to change the audio volume of all of the data that
is presented to them:

-   Screen readers;

-   Self-voicing functionality;

-   Audio output devices;

The user must be able to change all of the colours, including icon sets,
and themes:

-   Icons must be changeable both individually, and as a group;

-   Colours used anywhere in the program must be user changeable;

The program must be able to print to:

-   A Moon Printer;

-   An audio file;

-   A Braille printer;

-   PDF format;

-   A "normal" printer, including, but not limited to:

-   Ink jet printer;

-   Dot matrix printer;

-   Laser printer;

-   Thermal ink printer;

In an ideal world, the user could select any of those, and the program
would automatically print out the data on the requested printer, without
any more user intervention.

^19: This is the standard touchpad that can serve as a substitute for a mouse;

^20: This is not the touchpad that works as a substitute mouse, but rather translates the 2D display for the monitor, into a 3D object.

> essentially make it difficult for any governmental agency to adopt it as their default wordprocessor software suite?

In the United States, without a VPAT, you can say goodby to the SMB and larger organisations. SOHOs _might_ be willing to forgoe the VPAT, _if_ they have access to a LibO trainer that also understands A11Y issues, and solutions.

I need to emphasize that the VPAT is the responsibility of the vendor that installs the software, because of the wide range of use cases, and potential diametrically opposed A11Y solutions in using the software.


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