Improving SoulseekQt accessibility with screen reader software

Description: 
Hi, I attempted to use SoulseekQt build 12-14-2011 today so as to take advantage of the many new features implemented therein. However, much to my dismay I've found that the interface of the program has sadly become inaccessible when using screen reader software. In the way of explanation this software (through synthesized speech) verbalizes all on screen content that is text based or properly labeled or coded so that blind computer users (such as myself) can access and interact with it just as anyone else would (often making use of keyboard commands to simulate mouse movements and the like). Unfortunately within the new user interface the places into which information such as user name and password input should be typed aren't appearing as edit field type controls and I'm also finding that the interface is laden with graphics which do not feature text based labels. As a result screen reading software merely assigns them random numbers thus it is difficult to interact with and use the program. I was humbly inquiring as to whether the developers would be interested in perhaps augmenting the interface to restore the usability of the program to blind and visually impaired users that was present in the older "ns" version. Some of the most popular screen reading programs do have free or demo versions that could be used to test accessibility. I would also be happy to help however I can it insure that the program could continue to be a tool that would benefit all users. Sites for the most popular screen readers are Jaws For Windows www.freedomscientific.com System access www.serotek.com NVDA www.nvda-project.org window eyes www.gwmicro.com thanks so much for your kind attention to this. I've always endeavored to be a positive contributor to the sharing community and hope to continue to do so with your help. Robin
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I can look into this at some point, but I'm the sole developer on this project and this seems like a pretty massive undertaking, so I have to prioritize my development time. Frankly, I think there's a good chance accessibility features might be very hard to implement into SoulseekQt on a cross-platform basis. Soulseek NS automatically works with accessibility software such as screen readers because it is built using Microsoft libraries on a Microsoft platform, and it has built in support for it. Qt works on Linux, Mac and Windows which probably makes it tricky to properly support platform-specific accessibility tools. Honestly, if Soulseek NS works for you I suggest you stick with it. We have no plans of breaking backwards compatibility, and it should be a long time before SoulseekQt even catches up with the feature set in Soulseek NS.

Thanks, Nir

Hi,
Thanks so kindly for taking the time to respond. I am by no means a programmer or code writer and thus won't argue as to whether or not the process of achieving cross platform accessibility would be difficult or not. for now I'll let your assertion stand. Though I'd hope it wouldn't be as arduous a task as it might seem especially with so many operating systems building in accessibility features themselves.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing the fruits of your labor with so many of us over the years. It is definitely valued and appreciated. I've enjoyed being a member of the sharing community and am glad for the reasonable level of accessibility that exists in the ns version and thus will stick with it as you suggested. Though some of those qt features such as filtering results or the potential to do so sure did sound neat (smiles).
Thanks again for all you do.
Have a great day.
Robin

Thanks for your reply. I am not sure how difficult it would be to improve accessibility on a cross-platform piece of software but you do have a point. I did not know accessibiilty on the NS client was mostly native to Microsoft. I hope you find the time and find a way to improve it on the Windows operating system if it is possible to focus on one operating system. I am not sure how many non-Windows users who use the software are blind.

Oh wow, I just realised this was not my suggestion although I submitted two. I guess I am not the only one who had extreme problems. Good luck with this.

Nir, this may not be as hard as you think to implement; Qt provides some accessibility features; according to the documentation you just have to add a property to each widget so the screenreader knows what to read out loud. (yes, probably time-consuming, but at least you don't have to do a total rewrite...)

The relevant Qt doc is here: http://doc.qt.nokia.com/4.7/qwidget.html#accessibleDescription-prop

And this page also has an example/short explanation: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3893560/qt-accessible-widgets

Hope this was helpful!! I know you're working hard and very busy, I can't thank you enough for your tireless efforts!

Thank you waterbreath, I'll look into it and see what I can do.