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Accessible Documents Using Open Source Software

Primary supervisor

Cagatay Goncu



People who are blind or have low vision (BLV) access documents using screen readers such as JAWS and NVDA. These screen readers emulates a cursor moving around the screen using arrow keys or various shortcut combinations. However, this way of interaction is vey slow and not ideal for getting an overview of a document and navigating to relevant sections.

This project will investigate novel ways of improving document access by extending existing screen reader features and document editing softwares such as Microsoft Word, so that BLV can quickly get an overview of a document as well as navigation cues for important sections.

During the project you will first conduct surveys to understand the current state of access to various documents used in the workplace. Second, you will focus on improving the NVDA ( screen reader. Third, you will improve the accessibility of Word documents itself using Microsoft VBA (Visual Basic of Application) and/or Microsoft Visual Studio Code (