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VRC with Screenreaders

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Hi. I am a totally blind user of vrc using it with a screenreader. It is currently the most accessible controlling program given Euroscope is not at all. The majority of vrc is usable I have found in my training as we are able to view flight plans and edit the information on them. We have encountered several problems and I was wondering if you would be kind enough to make some small accessibility changes. The first is that I cannot seem to find the textbox with incoming frequency messages, although I can find it for private messages. WE think this may be because the main frequency messages box, where tex pilot's messages will come in, is graphical. If this could be made an edit read only box that would be great.

The second issue is that it would be great to have a . command for setting the primary frequency on the fly, just because the current dialogue seems to have a very random tab order with the screenreader when trying to find the prime checkbox.

Many thanks and this would be much appreciated, Declan. 

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Hi Declan, thanks for reaching out. As you may or may not have seen, I posted recently about my plans to eventually retire VRC and focus solely on developing my other radar clients, vSTARS and vERAM. As such, I won't be making any more updates to VRC. I don't know for sure when VRC will officially stop working. That won't happen until VATSIM makes a significant change to their server protocol such that VRC no longer functions properly. Before that time arrives, I plan to update vERAM and vSTARS to make them more suitable for tower cab positions, including clearance delivery, ground, and tower. This is because vSTARS is primarily for approach/departure, and vERAM is primarily for center. So both clients need updates to make them a more suitable replacement for VRC.

You are correct that the textual radio messages appear as graphical bitmap text, rendered by OpenGL on the main radar screen. However, I did make a version of VRC especially for the blind community, and that version sends a copy of all radio text and private messages to a single consolidated text box which your screen reader can access. To use this version, install version 1.2.6 as normal, and then download this new exe file and overwrite your existing exe file:


For the future, when VRC is eventually retired, then you'll need to switch to another client. vSTARS and vERAM both have a tab-based text communications window, which should work fine with your screen reader. The command input box is graphical, though, so we might need to add a way for you to enter commands a different way, something more like what VRC has with its command line text box. I can work with you and other blind users when that time comes. I'll keep it in mind as I further develop vSTARS and vERAM.

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Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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