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

Chris McClement chrisis at bosberaad.com
Wed Aug 24 19:18:35 EDT 2016


Hi Alex

While I don't have much experience with web accessibility I do run a
network of public PCs that includes NVDA installed on those PCs, so I
jumped onto one of them to do a quick test of the RT web pages with NVDA
active. Bearing in mind that I don't know what is supposed to be good and
bad for these sorts of things, here are my observations, based on the list
of your basics:
- label tags for form fields: yes. You have to mouse over for them to be
read
- table titles - When I opened a ticket listing (for example, by clicking
on a search) the page opened and the first thing NVDA said was "table of x
rows and Y columns". It also read the table title (e.g. "Found 1 Ticket").
However it did not automatically read column titles, I had to mouse over
them.
- image descriptions use alt attribute - yes, but actually a bit annoying.
At the top right hand corner of every RT page is the Best Practical Logo so
every page change one of the things it read was the Logo's alt attribute.
It felt redundant really quickly!
- use of headings/landmarks - yes, RT divides tickets display pages into
sections and the headings are not only in enlarged fonts but different
sections have color-coded headings. For example, "The Basics" and "Custom
Fields" is in bright red, the "People" section is in light blue, "Dates" is
in magenta, etc. So depending on the level of your visual impairment that
may be useful.
- accessible widgets like menus or dialogs: menus = yes, dialogs = no.
There are no popups. Also, the menus are all dropdowns, so nothing visible
in the menu until you click on it. Clicking on a menu heading does not
change page, it just opens the menu. Not sure if it is relevant but you can
configure custom field selection boxes in multiple ways, so for example you
can make them a dropdown box, or a selectable list, that sort of thing.

One other observation for the web interface: in ticket listings, RT
abbreviates dates (so "Aug" for August" etc) which took a bit of getting
used to when NVDA read out the abbreviation when I moused over it.

Hope that helps!
Chris

On Thu, 25 Aug 2016 at 00:10 Alex Hall <ahall at autodist.com> wrote:

> 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
> ---------
> RT 4.4 and RTIR training sessions, and a new workshop day!
> https://bestpractical.com/training
> * Boston - October 24-26
> * Los Angeles - Q1 2017
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