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
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?
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- [libreoffice-users] Accessibility issues - BLIND USER · Wes Will
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