Re: spss inaccessibility: absolutely inexcusable

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I think the approach has to be that way since we have always had people who writ software who do not integrate their code with anyway of the accessibility APIs consistently or sometimes at all. If there had been more rules that you have to obey when writing code you probably could not get code for things that can run on other platforms.
There are lots of scripts in nvda and indeed in most of the readers. the dolphin ones use Lieue or some such system for its scripting, but I'm not aware what others do.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Travis Siegel" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] spss inaccessibility: absolutely inexcusable

This is something folks generally don't realize. Jaws is nothing but a
glorified scripting engine. If you deleted all the scripts from jaws,
there would be next to nothing it could do all by itself. This is an
approach I never liked, and I never understood why screen readers didn't
make more of an effort to just read what's on the screen, regardless of
what/where it was. NVDA works hard to accomplish this, and this was
also the approach of windowbridge (hey, I didn't bring it up), It's
always boggled my mind how little the commercial screen readers (with
the exception of windowbridge) could do on their own. I'm strongly of
the opinion that script based screen readers are useless, because if
there is no script, the program can't do anything. If it mad an attempt
to see what was on the screen, at least then you have a fighting chance
to find what you need on the screen, even if it doesn't know what it
is. I never understood the whole scripting approach myself, but some
folks seem to like it, so I guess if it works for them, then more power
to them, but it certainly isn't my choice, I'd much prefer to have a
screen reader that at least makes an attempt to see what's on the
screen, instead of saying, oh well, no script, can't help you.

On 11/16/2016 11:11 AM, Brian Vogel wrote:

SPSS (if it's the same SPSS <> I
know of, and it probably is), was originally called the Statistical
Package for the Social Sciences, is ancient, and has long since come
into common use for number crunching in many disciplines. That being
said, SPSS was developed long before accessibility was on virtually
anyone's radar.

I was, for a very long time, under the grossly mistaken impression
that screen readers had been developed such that they could make a
decent attempt to read virtually anything that might pop up on a
screen. I was recently disabused of that notion when working with a
client who was expected to be able to use Interaction Desktop by
Interaction Intelligence and a number of custom screen-based, but not
web-based, programs developed for the client company. It became
abundantly clear instantly that JAWS (in this case, but it could have
been any screen reader, this isn't JAWS bashing) was utterly incapable
of interpreting the first thing that was on the screen because the
underlying scripting for these applications did not exist. We take
for granted the way screen readers do function with common office
suites and web browsers because an untold number of hours have been
dedicated to creating the scripting that ships with them to handle
these programs. There is no way that any company can develop scripts
"for everything" so the focus will logically be on the things that can
benefit the most people in the most settings. SPSS is absolutely a
niche market, writ large. In the context of the population at large,
blind or not, very, very few people will ever touch SPSS. That would
not be a logical place to dedicate a lot of resources to as a result.

The above being said, after my experience with the client I made
reference to, I was able to determine that there are several sites
that had blind individuals using the software in question and that a
significant scripting base was in place already and I believe it was
actually done by Freedom Scientific. What I do not understand is why
companies like Freedom Scientific, when they're doing this work, do
not have some contractual language in place that allows them to add
said scripts to a central repository that they would maintain. It is
insane to keep reinventing the wheel, and that's exactly what happens
when it comes to relatively little used commercial software when
scripts have to be created, again and again, for each blind user at
each site. I was shocked that Freedom Scientific could not tell me
whether any scripts existed or whether JAWS was known to have been
used over Interaction Desktop. Screen readers themselves are niche
markets in the grand scheme of things and they would be boosting their
respective reputations and really serving an important function of
increasing accessibility for niche products if they set themselves up
as centralized script repositories, with the proviso that they are not
actively maintaining said scripts, just so a baseline would exist to
work with when needed.

You can't convince me that SPSS hasn't been scripted, probably
hundreds of times now, but where, for what screen reader or screen
readers, who knows?

*/Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.
If you’re alive, it isn’t./*

//~ Lauren Bacall

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