[rt-users] Accessibility of RT for screen reader users?

Alex Hall ahall at autodist.com
Wed Aug 24 08:09:58 EDT 2016

Hello all,
Thanks for your comments on my long list of questions yesterday. I'm going
to take today and set up RT on our Debian server, just to see how well it
works. As I do, one final question comes to mind: how well does RT work
with screen readers?

For those unfamiliar, a screen reader does basically what it says on the
box: it is a program that speaks, using synthesized speech, what's on the
screen. It uses standard system commands augmented with a set of its own
commands to read just about everything--emails, webpages, spreadsheets,
documents, menus, etc. Different screen readers do different amounts of
guessing if the OS/current application fails to provide information, but
they all work best when whatever you're using them to access complies with
standards and best practices.

In this case, I'm wondering how compliant RT's webpages are with web
accessibility standards. I'm visually impaired, so use a screen reader
(NVDA, www.nvda-project.org) to do all my work. I'm the only one who will
be using RT here that needs a screen reader, but as it's my job to
administer the system, I have to be able to use it reasonably well.
OSTicket has several major problems in this area, and, while I could
usually get around them, they made things slower and more frustrating than
they needed to be.

If anyone has any experience with web accessibility and happens to know how
well RT works with common screen readers, I'd love your thoughts.
Specifically, I'm looking for the basics--label tags for form fields, table
titles, image descriptions using the alt attribute, use of headings and/or
landmarks to facilitate easy navigation, accessible widgets like menus or
dialogs, and so on. I'll find out soon first-hand how well RT does at
these, and I did have a quick look through the demo site, but if anyone has
input I'd love to hear it. Thanks.

Alex Hall
Automatic Distributors, IT department
ahall at autodist.com
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