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Re: remote desktop program question with screen reader


From: Weston Thayer
Date: Aug 28, 2020 4:57PM

Ah yes, watch out for the Mac to PC scenario. If you have a full sized Mac
keyboard with an INSERT key and you're using the official Microsoft Remote
Desktop client, you should be ok, but if you use CAPS LOCK as the modifier
key, it won't work.

This is because of a API design decision Apple made — they don't treat CAPS
LOCK like a normal key, it's more of a mode, in that it can only be on or
off. There's no notion of it being "pressed", or even keydown/keyup events.
To deal with this, most remote desktop software will send a CAPS LOCK
keydown immediately followed by a keyup when it detects that the caps lock
mode has changed. This of course doesn't work so well with NVDA, Narrator,
or JAWS, which expect it to be held down. You'll need to remap to a
different key, for which installing sharpkeys
<https://github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys> on the remote PC can be handy.

If you don't use the official Microsoft Remote Desktop RDP viewer, be aware
that some remote viewers take a different input approach, leaving even more
keyboard shortcuts broken. For example, on a Mac with en-US keyboard
layout, CTRL+OPTION/ALT+N (normally used to start NVDA) sends a dead key
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_key> for the accent above an "ñ". If
other keyboard shortcuts aren't working, that's probably why.

On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 3:38 PM Alan Zaitchik < <EMAIL REMOVED> >

> Also I have encountered problems with some key mappings trying to use a
> remote PC or a Virtual PC environment running JAWS, while I am using my MAC
> keyboard.
> This was a few years ago so maybe things have improved.
> A
> > On Aug 28, 2020, at 13:24, Weston Thayer < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> wrote:
> >
> > 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. It
> > should be possible to set up physical ATs connected via USB with the
> remote
> > 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
> lag
> > at all here, but it does require that the remote machine is
> pre-configured
> > 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
> there's
> > a small chance the accessibility APIs would work (I doubt it though,
> since
> > 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.
> >
> > Best,
> > Weston
> >
> >> On Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 9:11 AM Tyler Shepard <
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> 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
> >> > >> > >> > >> > >>
> >