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Greetings. Just signed up for the list. Have NOT had the time yet to get to the archives and dig for prior messages to this list regarding blind users, so if this is already old news, please forgive me and drop a link to the pertinent archives.

I will assuredly be delving for this topic as soon as it is possible. I'll likely wait for daylight, it is presently 0100 hours here (U.S. CST) and it has been a long day.

The problem is that I have been talking LibreOffice up to the heavens to a blind friend. He is stuck in a WinBlows environment, has the latest-version-but-one of the JAWS screen reader, and has been scorched by M$ Turd one too many times. It -does- read through his screen reader, but their "ribbon" foolishness has made the thing completely and utterly useless to him. Simple things that he has always been able to do with a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-O for opening a new document for instance) no longer work. One keyboard command might do one thing if a certain 'ribbon component' is active, and a completely different thing if another is active. He needs a reliable productivity suite, and I think LibreOffice -ought- to be perfect for him.

Except that it ISN'T. He installed it, and was greeted with SILENCE from his screen reader. Keyboard commands, like that Ctrl-O, work fine. It just won't read the screen to him. Nightmare time for a totally blind person who just wants it to talk to him like all the other applications he uses.

So I start looking, and I find that there is a REQUIRED additional JAVA API that must be installed. Roadblock ONE. It's on an Oracle site, which ISN'T all that 'blind friendly' and requires license acceptance via a bloody MOUSE CLICK on the web page. "MOUSE" and "BLIND" do NOT go together. I can get him by that, eventually, by downloading it myself (done) and sending it to him, but then it goes to roadblock TWO. The API installer is NOT 'blind friendly' either, requiring that he unzip the package, find the correct file for his OS, start it, and then answer (BY MOUSE-CLICKS AGAIN!!) several pages of information. I cannot walk him through this, as I do NOT use Microsoft ANYTHING. I cannot simply do it for him - he is in California and I am in Illinois. There is a 3000 kilometer gap between his keyboard and my hand.

Is there ANY WAY that the correct API can be embedded into the LibreOffice package, or put there as an option in the install process?

I.E. start the LibreOffice install; somewhere near the beginning be presented with "Add Accessibility Java Extension API to LibreOffice;" select "Accept Oracle License Agreement;" Continue installation WITH the added Java API automatically being unpacked and installed in the proper place.

Or even a previously-accessibility-extended-install version of the LibreOffice suite installer.

Can anyone get me past these roadblocks? I'm at a loss here, I DO think that FOSS software will work well for him, but getting it to actually WORK in the screen reader environment is already a messy, complicated thing for a BLIND MAN.

Are there work-arounds or things that can be done to accomplish this?

Another thing I noticed in the documentation for accessibility: The JAWS screen reader Version listed as being compatible with the (JAVA Accessibility API-Enabled) LibreOffice suite was SEVEN... They are up to version FOURTEEN, and he is using TWELVE. Has anyone checked these out for compatibility? Again, I cannot, since it is a Win-Only application. If I can get my friend in California past this whole mess, I will gladly have him test it out for compatibility and report back here so the documentation can be updated.

Ideas?  Links to information?  Go suck an egg?  What should I do here?

Wes Will

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