Unity with Orca-- it's almost fully accessible!

Dave Hunt ka1cey at gmail.com
Tue May 24 16:34:49 UTC 2011

Hi, all!

I decided to change the desktop, on this trusty netbook, to Unity from 
Classic Gnome, having remembered decent accessibility when I played with 
it at a Ubuntu Beta Bug Jam at a Canonical office.

In my previous message, you'll recall, I mentioned trouble accessing the 
indicator applet, where one chooses network connection, checks battery, 
restarts, etc.  I'm happy to report that these menus are easy to find 
and read when using Unity.  I like how they are attached to the menu 
strip for the focused application.  Using that filter string to get 
quickly to a subset of the items found in Preferences, is very nice, 
too, so long as one knows what she/he is looking for.  For instance, I 
typed "login screen" into the filter, and found myself right on the 
"unlock" button.  The shortcuts, 'super+0' through 'super+9' are very 
quick and convenient; What a great idea!

Now, here are the things that still need some work, perhaps the team is 
already aware of these?  Context menus for launcher buttons do not 
speak.  The speaking of Unity menu names, as one scrubs with left or 
right arrow is inconsistent.  All Unity menu items (wifi options, 
volume/mute, etc, are spoken as "checkbox unchecked"; I happen to know 
what is a checkbox, and what is not, but, this should be fixed.  The 
new-style "places" options do not speak.  Partial results in the 'run' 
dialogue do not speak.  Finally, when switching applications with 
'alt+tab" or 'alt+shift+tab' keys, Orca will not speak while the 
modifier key(s) held down.  When keys released, Orca, first, speaks the 
name of the application that had focus, then the name of the 
newly-focused application.  This requires that user memorize the order 
of applications in the stack, an unnecessary distraction.

I hope the above will help Ubuntu's design, development, and QA 
efforts.  Please advise on whether or how I can expand on any of these.

Thanks for listening,

Dave  Hunt
(I'm totally blind, BTW)

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