(In)Accessibility of Unity in current Precise

Nolan Darilek nolan at thewordnerd.info
Tue Mar 6 14:04:26 UTC 2012

Ugh! We get to this point in every release, where there are patches for 
a whole bunch of issues that take forever to land. Meanwhile, testers 
can't examine the new release to see what new issues were revealed after 
the fixing of the old. So there's no accessibility *test* cycle, just a 
bunch of bugs that go away after it's too late to address the 
newly-revealed ones. Meanwhile, accessibility users aren't confident in 
the newer betas, as even the final release can contain major issues that 
block productive use.

This isn't a slam on Luke, but on Canonical. If Canonical is pushing out 
Ubuntu for Android, surely they can put more accessibility people on the 
Ubuntu project, especially as it rolls out everywhere. It's going to be 
*more* important to have a highly accessible Ubuntu if it runs on my 
phone, tablet and TV. Canonical is in an awesome position to fix this 
once and have it run across the board, yet I only see Luke addressing 
patches and other volunteers occasionally popping in to remark on things.

Seems I've asked this before, but whom do we have to ask to get 
Canonical to put more people on the accessibility team as they surely 
are doing so for mobile/TV development? Is there some process other than 
posting to this list again to better let our voices be heard? When folks 
patch these accessibility issues, those patches should land in a short 
timeframe. As of now I'm on 11.04 because 11.10 had accessibility issues 
I couldn't live with, and 12.04 is shaping up to be the same. 
Unfortunately, Firefox is moving on, and I'm experiencing focus 
stickage/accessibility hangs that aren't likely to be fixed because I'm 
on GNOME 2.32, and I can't see things getting better as Firefox rockets 
onward, either.

If I don't get feedback on how to approach Canonical, I'll put up and 
promote a change.org petition before the week is out. We need to get 
more people helping Luke ASAP, especially as I for one don't want to get 
left behind when Ubuntu lands on Android.

Canonical, please stop deprioritizing accessibility. 11.10 was a 
transitional release that was highly broken in many respects. Blind 
users at least can't wait until 12.10 for an Ubuntu with speaking menus, 
speaking notifications and access to content in Ubuntu's default mail 
On 03/06/2012 04:39 AM, Boris Dušek wrote:
> Hello,
> my colleague is using current Precise with Orca and Unity 2D and is
> encountering the following problems:
> 1. In 2D, if you open the menu using Alt+letter (e.g. Alt+S for "&Soubor" in Czech,
>     could be Alt+F for "&File" in English), it does not announce menu item names
>     when navigating left/right and up/down.
> 2. In 3D, neither Dash (Alt+F2) nor Launcher (Alt+F1) are accessible (you can
>     navigate them, but no speech)
> Luke mentioned for some of these problems that "patch exists" or is even
> coming some time ago (approx. half of February), but the problems above still persist.
> Can I find some of those patches anywhere so that I can make a patched version of Unity?
> Or better, are those patches coming in some updated unity package for Precise?
> Thanks and best regards,
> Boris Dušek
> BRAILCOM,o.p.s.

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