[Support] Ubuntu-Mate Accessibility Review (1st draft)

Hank Smith, and Seeing-eye dog Iona hank.smith966 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 22:26:14 UTC 2015

I think I will stay away from mate
sounds like it needs some serious work

On 4/8/2015 3:20 PM, Dave Hunt wrote:
> This is a brief account of my experience with Ubuntu-Mate 15.04 Beta 
> 2. If I were unfamiliar with Mate, and its accessibility quirks, I'd 
> have had a lot of trouble; things are not really intuitive. Review 
> below...
> HTH,
> Dave
> When the live system booted, I got the sound of bongos. At this point, 
> I used 'ctrl+s' to toggle speech on.  The introductory dialogue, with 
> "install Ubuntu" and "Try Ubuntu" options is fully accessible; I 
> tabbed to "try", and hit the space key.  My system went into a 
> desktop; I only knew it was ready by the long absence of drive 
> activity; an introductory sound would be helpful, here. When I figured 
> that enough time had passed, I used 'alt+super+s' keys to toggle the 
> speech on; this is a nice feature, and familiar to those using GNOME 
> 3.  Orca came on, as expected, but nothing was focused.  I just 
> happened to try 'ctrl+alt+d' and found that the desktop gets focus.  
> From here, I could set my screen reader preferences in the expected 
> way.  Once I had Orca set up, I started exploring the menu system, by 
> entering with 'alt+f1' keys.  I found the expected three-column menu 
> set on the top panel.  I exited the menus and tried getting to the top 
> panel, with 'alt+ctrl+tab' and 'alt+ctrl+esc' keys, but could only get 
> to the bottom panel.  Even with focus on the bottom, I found no way to 
> reach the top, where my wifi options are likely shown.  I went back 
> into the menus, and found Preferences. In the 'look and feel' section, 
> I found a new item called Mate Tweak, which I started, with hopes of 
> messing with the interface. I found panels options, including Ubuntu 
> Mate, Ubuntu Mate with Mate Menu, and an interesting one--  Redmond.  
> Once I chose this option and left the tweak tool, I found I had a 
> single-panel layout, with a single column of menus, similar to the 
> layout you'd find on Trisquel 7. I had to use 'ctrl+alt+escape' to get 
> to the panels, though, even after binding 'ctrl+alt+tab' for switching 
> between desktop and panels. Anyway, once I got to the new bottom 
> panel, I could connect to my wifi as expected.   Having unlocked this 
> monumental achievement, I launched a web browser, just to check 
> connectivity. Since all seemed well, I closed the browser, and hit the 
> 'install' button on the desktop.
> The installer is a typical session of Ubiquity, about which many of us 
> have written before; it hasn't changed much, in terms of 
> accessibility, since 14.04; I will mention, however, I had to toggle 
> Orca a few times, when switching from one page to the next.
> When I started my new system, I found that the login greeter did not 
> come up talking, as it would in Trisquel. The 'f4' keystroke got Orca 
> talking on the dialogue, but attempts to explore it caused the greeter 
> to crash, thereby preventing logins.  I gave the 'reboot' command from 
> another console, and waited. This time, the greeter came up talking, 
> and I just entered my password.  A talking Mate session, set up almost 
> according to a previously-made configuration, came up.  In the new 
> session, "alt+ctrl+tab' does not work as it should, though it is shown 
> as bound in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialogue.  I set the Redmond panel 
> layout, as mentioned above, and did a few post-install things. The 
> system is now running.
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