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Re: remote desktop program question with screen reader


From: Jeffrey (JDS)
Date: Aug 28, 2020 3:01PM

Serotek used to have a remote access option too ... called remote
incident... that was cross screen reader...
It worked rather well.
I've used it or system access to support JAWS users and NVDA users.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of
Weston Thayer
Sent: August 28, 2020 1:25 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] remote desktop program question with screen reader

Hi Tyler,

No, unfortunately remote desktop protocols like RDP and VNC do not transmit
accessibility API calls. For example, if you are on a Windows PC running
Narrator and use the built-in Remote Desktop app to connect to another
Windows PC, Narrator will communicate the remote connection as a "window"
with input capture, but nothing about its contents. This is also true if
attempting to use RDP from a Mac to connect to a PC, VoiceOver only knows
about the window containing the remote connection.

This isn't something an individual application can fix. There are a few
options to try though:

1. Start a screen reader on the remote machine and turn off your
local screen reader. Since all of your keyboard and mouse input is being
sent to the remote machine, and the remote machine's audio is being sent
back, this generally works, but lag or latency can be a major annoyance.
should be possible to set up physical ATs connected via USB with the
computer as well via USB forwarding
2. Use a screen reader native remote protocol. For example NVDA has
https://nvdaremote.com/. Your local copy of NVDA can connect to a copy
of NVDA running on the remote computer, and forward commands and speech
output. I believe JAWS has a similar offering. There shouldn't be much
at all here, but it does require that the remote machine is
with NVDA
3. Microsoft Remote Desktop services do have a feature called RemoteApp
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Desktop_Services#RemoteApp>, where
a single remote application acts like a normal application window. This
would only work in the PC-to-PC case, and I've never tested it, but
a small chance the accessibility APIs would work (I doubt it though,
RDP does not support them)

I think this is an area that deserves focus and innovation. I'd love to see
more AT-native remote protocols like in option 2, maybe even cross-OS
protocols, so that VoiceOver could remotely connect to Narrator, etc.


On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 9:11 AM Tyler Shepard < <EMAIL REMOVED> >

> Hi all,
> If I use either NVDA or JAWS while navigating a computer and I need to
> open a program that is remote on another computer will my local screen
> reader read what is on the local remote computer?
> If not, what fixes should i.t implement?
> I hope to hear from you soon.
> Yours sincerly,
> Tyler Shepard
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >