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Re: Adobe Connect and screen reader users

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From: Howard Kramer
Date: Jan 26, 2013 4:00PM


Hi John,

I don't know if you've seen my post of a couple of days ago on basically
the same issue. I posted it again below. I used Adobe Connect to record
content from our 2012 Accessing Higher Ground conference. I haven't found a
problem with the login screen - at least not for accessing recorded
materials on our Connect server with I.E. & JAWS. I'm not sure if the login
screen is different for meeting rooms (i.e. live events).

There is a helpful set of hotkeys for using Connect via the keyboard. You
can find them at:
http://support.handsonconnect.org/entries/20211463-shortcut-keys-for-adobe-connect-labsis
one such site. Another one is:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/connect/9.0/using/WS5ae85155c1a0214d1172e081227b89777b-8000.html#WS5e953006aa800217-2e21eaae122a9c49b5b-8000

Through testing with JAWS I've found it problematic to move around the
various pods. There are at least 3 buttons unlabeled near the top of the
interface. If you tab a few times into the interface you can then use
cntr-F6 to move around the pods although I find you cannot access the video
player controls unless you press the JAWS pass-through key (Andrew from
Adobe had suggested this method) and then the 'p' key. This will toggle the
state of the play/pause button and you can then access the timeline slider
and the volume control slider. However, the labeling does not go beyond
"slider" so it's easy to mix up the two slider controls. Furthermore, you
cannot access the time progress indicator to the right of the timeline
slider. So it's impossible to know you're at the 10 minute mark of a 40
minute video for example (there may be a workaround using mouse keys but I
haven't tried this).

Once in the time slider widget you can use the arrow keys to move the video
back or forward. You can then press the space bar to start the playback at
the new location.

One other glitch I've found is that once you access the video player
controls, neither cntr-F6 (nor tab) will get you back to the other pods. I
needed to refresh the screen before I could return to other parts of the
Connect Interface.

I find the Connect system excellent for recording live content and
synchronizing the real-time captioning. It's also excellent for adding
groups and users for access to the recorded content. I'd like to stay with
the platform for those features but unless Adobe improves the accessibility
of the Connect Interface I plan to look for a different platform for next
year's conference.

I'm hoping enough folks will give Adobe (Andrew in particular) feedback
that this needs addressing and they'll make changes.

I hope this was helpful.

Regards,

Howard


[My previous post]

Hi Andrew,

Finally getting back to trying out your suggestions. The JAWS pass-through
ins-3 key did allow access the the play/pause control (via 'p' key). Once
you get to the play/pause control I was able to then get to the time slider
but there was no information other than "slider" provided to JAWS. You get
the same announcement when you tab once more to the volume level slider.
Once on the time slider I was able to use the arrow keys to move the
control ahead or back on the video. Pressing the space key would then move
the actual video to that point for actual playing (if you don't press the
space key you'll jump right back to the original position when you enter
'p' again). But I could only determine how I was moving along the timeline
by percentage. I could not access or read the actual time information (i.e.
"11:00:22/22:00:00") just to the right of the slider.

But the whole thing seemed unreliable -at least to me. I just went back to
check again what's announced when going to the timeline slider and I
couldn't get back to it. I tried different combinations of cntr-F6 and
tabbing. There are definitely controls and pods that should be better
labeled (at least one object on the page is not labeled at all) and it
should be easier to move through different pods.

I'd like to hear from other screenreader users or those who have tested out
the Connect playback interface with screenreaders. Maybe it's just me.

Thanks,
Howard


On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM, John E Brandt < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Has anyone developed an easy to understand set of directions for Adobe
> Connect (AC) for new participants who are screen reader users? I've seen
> all
> of the Adobe help pages which focus quite a bit on the administrative side,
> but very little in terms of helping a participant who is using AC for the
> first time. Adobe also has videos explaining new users about AC, but these
> are completely inaccessible to blind and visually impaired people.
>
>
>
> The first issue is that the "portal" page we are using is not accessible.
> It
> is poorly coded and does not meet any accessibility standards. We've worked
> around this by telling screen reader users that they have to keep tabbing
> until they hear the description of an un-tagged input box, type in their
> names and hit enter. I've searched high and low, in vain, to find out who
> controls this page and who has the ability to edit it to meet standards. No
> one seems to know, and those who do are not talking. Best I have been told
> is that the new version of AC *may* fix this, but no official word from
> Adobe on this.
>
>
>
> Once inside AC, there are no directions to the screen reader user as to
> what
> they are "viewing" or how to navigate. There needs to be an explanation of
> and directions on how to use the "pods" and how to navigate among them.
>
>
>
> We know that some content within pods can be read (some cannot), but there
> is apparently no way to alert the screen reader user when there is new
> content in the pod or when the pod refreshes. This is particularly
> problematic in the chat pod where the screen reader user could post a
> question, but if they get a chat response, they have no way of knowing it
> is
> there. This issue is apparently known to Adobe, but no solution has been
> offered.
>
>
>
> The best work around I can determine is to by-pass AC completely and give
> the screen reader user a conference call phone number where they can listen
> to the oral presentation live and make sure they have all of the handouts -
> in an accessible format (not PowerPoint) - before the event so they can
> study the content of the presentation before the event.
>
>
>
> So, if anyone is using Adobe Connect successfully with screen reader users
> I'd love to know how you are supporting these users.
>
>
>
> I've been hinting to my clients that maybe there is a better webinar
> solution out there that accommodates screen reader users more completely,
> but I've not seen any that are much better.
>
>
>
> ~j
>
>
>
> John E. Brandt
>
> www.jebswebs.com
> <EMAIL REMOVED>
>
> 207-622-7937
>
> Augusta, Maine, USA
>
>
>
> > > >



--
Howard Kramer
Conference Coordinator
Accessing Higher Ground
303-492-8672
cell: 720-351-8668

AHEAD Association of Higher Education and Disability