Lodahl's blog: It's been a good day ...

08 August 2007

It's been a good day ...


Today i'we had what I would call a good day. You know, the kind of day, where it all went on very well, and where you actually feel that you have achieved something.

Just before my summer holiday, I received a mail from a guy, who wanted to talk to me about accessibility in OpenOffice.org. I actually didn't think much about it at that time, but after the holidays are over, I've been in contact with this guy a couple of times. He wanted to know if OpenOffice.org could be used with a screen reader. He is working as a consultant at The Danish Association of the Blinds (http://www.dkblind.dk/dab)

Well, I must confess, that I didn't know much about accessibility in OpenOffice.org before, except of cause all the keyboard shortcuts. So what could I do to prepare a meeting ? I contacted the appropriate project (http://ui.openoffice.org/accessibility) and asked for help. And within just a few hours, I received a basic overview of the project and how things works. This was the first positive thing today. Thank you guys !

I went to visit David in his own home today. I didn't know for sure, but i had a clue: he is blind. He showed me how he is using his computer just as easy as I do. I was really impressed by this first demonstration of what accessibility is about - wauw. This was the second positive experience today.

I helped him to install the appropriate software (Java Access Bridge) and change the configuration in OpenOffice.org (activate AT support in OpenOffice.org: Choose menu Tools/Options/Accessibility and check “Support assistive technology tools”.).

We talked about the perspective for blind people, if they can gain access to an office application for free. David will perform a basic test, and if needed, a list of issues. Then we will make a short description in Danish for others to use. And I hope to be able to provide the The Danish Association of the Blinds with a special CD-image soon, that includes OpenOffice.org and the appropriate supplemental software pre-installed.

When I came home, I found that several other community members had joined the discussion and provided me with lots of further information about blind people, accessibility in general and perspectives in OpenOffice.org. Again a positive experience.

So, all together: It's been a good day !


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1 comment:

jpmcc said...

Sometimes people ask me "Why do you spend your precious free time on this OpenOffice.org stuff"?

Stories like this are the answer.

Thanks for sharing it.

John