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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Fwd: [Draft] The Public Service Mission of OpenOffice
Date Wed, 18 Jul 2012 12:21:51 GMT
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 5:18 AM
Subject: Re: [Draft] The Public Service Mission of OpenOffice
To: Rob Weir <>, ""
Cc: "" <>


(I unsubscribed from the OpenOffice mailing lists some time ago,
because I moved to another employer and another country. Feel free to
forward the message below to the ooo-dev list.)

The extensions odt2daisy, odt2braille and AccessODF were developed
within the framework of the AEGIS project, a big R&D project funded by
the European Commission. In projects like this, the prototypes always
need to be evaluated. Because of limitations in the accessibility of (at least on Windows) and the API for developing
extensions, we could not give the extensions directly to screen reader
users. However, we did give Braille documents created by odt2braille
to blind persons so they could judge the output. odt2daisy is being
used by several organisations who create DAISY books (for example,
BrailleNet in France confirmed this to me just last week); odt2daisy
and odt2braille are also being used together by a Braille and DAISY
production centre in Flanders (we worked with them for several months
to improve the output). Uptake of AccessODF seems to be much slower,
judging by the number of downloads at SourceForge.
So blind users can use the output from odt2daisy and odt2braille. The
problem is that they can't use (and LibreOffice) on
Windows because of poor screen reader support for the Java
Accessibility API. I sometimes read about public authorities who plan
large-scale deployments of or LibreOffice, but many
public authorities have a legal obligation to provide equal access to
people with disabilities. This obviously includes civil servants with
disabilities, so accessibility of office suites is important.
Accessibility also affects older people, who do not consider
themselves as disabled. Since demographics indicate that the number of
older workers will increase in the future, there will be a much bigger
share of the population that will benefit from accessibility. So I
strongly support the accessibility section in the Public Service
Mission proposed by Rob.

Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe

From: Rob Weir <>
Sent: Tuesday, 17 July 2012, 19:10
Subject: Re: [Draft] The Public Service Mission of OpenOffice

On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM, toki <> wrote:
> On 07/17/2012 04:03 PM, Rob Weir wrote:
>> Additionally, users who create documents must do their part to ensure that the documents
they create
>> work well with assistive technology, for example through the use of image captions,
consistent list levels, etc.  OpenOffice provides
>> strong accessibility support, including broader ecosystem support via extensions,
for working with Braille printers, exporting to DAISY talking books, etc.
> have you ever giving the Braille or DAISY output from OOo to a blind
> person?  If so, were they able to successfully use it?

Yes, from what I've seen and heard, these extensions work quite well,
If you have any specific issues to report, I'd recommend you bring
them directly to those projects.  I've cc'ed one of the authors.

In any case, the parent post is about mission and goals, not
collecting bug reports.  I assume you have objections to accessibility
as a project goal.


> My experience is that those extensions provide a nice checkbox, but
> blind users can not utilize the output of those extensions.
> jonathon

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