I would like to add something to what Jean-Philippe Mengual already wrote.
I am involved in the development of a few OpenOffice.org extensions that are related to accessibility: an extension that exports ODT to digital talking books in the DAISY format (odt2daisy on SourceForge), an extension that exports ODT to Braille (odt2braille, also on SourceForge) and a soon-to-be-released accessibility checker for ODT files. I have presented these extensions at various conferences, and the question I invariably get when there are people with disabilities in the audience (especially blind users) is: "When will OpenOffice.org become accessible on Windows?" I then explain that OpenOffice.org uses the Java Accessibility API on Windows and that this needs to be replaced with IAccessible2 code. Until then the extensions are not (or very poorly) accessible on Windows, the OS used by most people with disabilities. At the next conference I will be able to say that we can expect this to happen after the release of A00o 3.4. (After the integration of IAccessible2, I will need to check how this impacts UI created by the extensions, but that is for later.)

Best regards,


At 15:47 28-9-2011, you wrote:

Very interesting answer, thanks:

> I say 'potentially' as the developers in the community will make it a
> priority if, and only if, it is clear there is a strong demand for IA2
> and someone leads the work and use of it. So I would encourage you to
> continue your work of letting us know of the need and also suggest you
> guide other users and developers who require IA2 support in AOO  to
> join in the discussion here. (...)

I will try doing that. But I'd like to mention one problem and several elements which make me think I represent an enormous part of users who want IA2 to be integrated. The problem is that I have feedbacks essentially from France or French-speaking people, and they decided me to be intermediate between English-speaking community and them. So, they have difficulties to write here directly. The language is a problem for the major part of them.

However, several things make me think there's a large demand:
- In the public administrations in France, where OOo is choosen, we have thousands of people who work and who are blind or sight-impaired; - The workgroup "AccessibilitÚ et logiciel libre" (A11y and Free software), from April (the main French organization which Promote the Free Software in France) asked for this evolution. It appeared in our "bug tracker" (used to enable not English-speaking users to report problems so that we forward, as I do now). 4 bugs appear about this issue. - The LibreOffice project expressed the desire to wait for AOOo integration to integrate itself IA2 in their utility. - The problems with OOo are very often denounced on French mailing list of blind people (for instance, ALLOS mailing list). - The CFPSAA, an official enormous organization which defends the blind people rights, published, this June, a newsletter where they explained that migrating a desktop to OOo was a mistake as it's not accessible (it's a pitty! ). I tried answering and communicating about this, but of course if such official organization has this approach, it proves the need. - I met 60 people in France IRL a few weeks ago, to show them what free software gives to accessibility. The cain problem where I had to fight was OOo.

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
Open source for accessibility: results from the AEGIS project www.aegis-project.eu

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