By Jason Fayre 1040237
#539905 Hi,
I am totally blind, and use VPilot in conjunction with several other add-ons to fly the airplane when using vatsim. One thing that would be extremely helpful is the addition of hotkeys in VPilot to access the various controls in the software such as connect/disconnect, settings, flight plan, etc. At the very least, allow the buttons to be activated when you tab to them and press Enter. Right now, I need to do a somewhat complex procedure using my screen reader to activate these buttons.
Also, some elements of the software are not available when tabbing through the UI. For example, the tree view for nearby controllers doesn't focus properly when using Tab.
Could the accessibility of the software be looked at?
There are several other blind vatsim users that could benefit from this.
Thanks much!
By Sarah Alawami 1469385
#539908 I'm one of the BVI pilots actually. thanks Jason for posting this topic as I was going to do it but you beat me to it. lol! I want to add some things as well.

The main thing is this. when you hear the triple beep and go to the message tab, for example ground or who ever contacted you, our screen reader which can be found at can't detect the message pain. I wish there could be a tab control for a read only control like in the general messages/console area, the area where you can type .com1 and the freq etc. If we could tab to that after selecting the private message that would be wonderful as it would cause us to respond quicker if necessary and switch frequencies and have a smoother experience.

Second, I agree with Jason on the hotkeys. Please make the buttons be able to be pressed with space bar such as connect, settings, squawk charley etc. Right now I have to hit at least 3 sequences of keys and if my curser does not move to that location and I don't know it, I could end up being in trouble or not doing what the controller wants me to do such as squawk ident.

I think that's about it. Thanks so much staff for an almost 100 percent accessible client.
By Ross Carlson 887155
#539993 I will look into adding spacebar support to the buttons across the top. Those are custom controls rather than standard Windows buttons, which is why the spacebar and enter key are not supported. It should be simple to add support for pressing the buttons with the spacebar, but I have to be careful not to take the keyboard focus away from the main command line where you enter dot commands.

What I might need to do is add dot commands for opening the connect window, toggling Mode C, squawking ident, etc. Would that be a usable alternative for you?

Jason, you mentioned that you would like to be able to tab to the controller list tree view control. Can you let me know why you need to be able to tab to that control? Do you need to be able to tab to the tree view in order for the screen reader to read the controller callsigns and frequencies?

Sarah, I'm not understanding the problem that you're describing regarding the message tab. Can you elaborate on what the actual issue is?
By Jason Fayre 1040237
#539996 Hello!
Thanks so much for your response.
If we can't have hotkeys to activate those buttons directly, additional dot commands could definitely work.
Regarding the tree view, that is correct. Right now, I need to try and use my screen reader's review functions to locate that tree, which is tricky, especially if there are a lot of messages being displayed.
If this isn't possible, could we get another dot command to dump the list of nearby frequencies to the message window?
I'll answer for Sara, since I'm not sure if she's regularly monitoring this topic.
When you are on the regular Messages tab, you can press Shift+tab from the chat input control to get you to the messages area. This lets you use the up and down arrow to read any messages being displayed there. For whatever reason, this doesn't work when you are on other tabs, such as private chats with controllers/supervisors.
If it would be helpful, I would be happy to connect with you via Zoom conferencing or something similar so you could see my screen and I could show you exactly what's going on.
Thanks again for looking into this.
By Ross Carlson 887155
#539997 Okay, that makes sense. I'll look into why shift tab doesn't work on the private chat tabs. And I'll look into adding dot commands for accessing the various buttons across the top.

Regarding the controller list, I had the same thought ... perhaps a new dot command that dumps a list of in-range controllers into the main messages tab. What would be the best way for me to format that data so that it is most easily navigable and readable for you? For example, should it print out one controller per line, with their callsign and frequency separated by a space? Also, should it be grouped by facility type like it is in the tree view, or would it be better to have them all in one list sorted alphabetically?

Lastly, for the connect button, instead of a dot command that opens the existing connect window, how about a dot command that simply initiates the connection? Something like ".connect DAL123 B738". This would connect you with callsign DAL123 using aircraft type B738. That way you wouldn't have to navigate the connect window. I would also add an associated .disconnect command of course. I could possibly do something similar for filing a flight plan if that would be helpful.
By Jason Fayre 1040237
#540000 You are awesome!
I think listing by facility would be helpful, as listed in the tree. One frequency per line.
For connecting, being able to do that on one line would be nice, but not totally necessary. The dialog is easy to navigate once it's open.
Thanks again!
By Declan Webster 1418456
#540001 Hi, another blind pilot here with my thoughts on this.
Thanks for being open to accessibility.
The interesting thing is that the main text window for the frequency you happen to be on is fine, it's just private message tabs that don't allow us to view the text area in the same way.
Commands or hotkeys would be great for the buttons. The connect window however is pretty usable for me, everything is labeled and clickable I think.
I think if a command was created that would send nearest controllers, say within 100 NM or something, as a private message would be great. Personally, I think lines of text sorted by controller position, with the name and then a space followed by frequency, would be most useful.
By Sarah Alawami 1469385
#540018 Sorry guys. Was at dentist, then was at work. Yes Jason got it right. The private message tabs don't read properly. It's a pain to try and find and focus on the chat messages. I would do a demo etc but I've got a paralyzed jaw muscle they are working to fix thanks to a nerve blocking agent kind of gone wrong, so speaking for very long will be a chore. Anyway I will keep an eye on this thread, thanks so much for making those changes, I will be more than happy to test, but let's hope by then the muscle will be ok.

Again, thanks for considering accessibility, and thanks for bringing ideas to the table. I like the idea of the added command set.
By Ross Carlson 887155
#540069 Give this build a try: ... -2.4.2.exe

I decided to enable the space bar and enter key on the buttons across the top, rather than adding a dot command for each button. I also remove the tab stop from some of the controls that don't need it such as the radio status controls at top right, and the splitter bar that separates the controller list and the messages area.

I also fixed the tabbing within private chat tabs so it now works the same as the main messages tab. (Same for the notes tab.)

I also added the .listatc command which prints a list of all in-range ATC in the main messages area.

I also tweaked the tab order a bit so that it cycles from the main messages area to the Connect button, then across all the buttons in proper order, then back to the messages area.

Please give it a try and let me know if you need any tweaks.
By Jason Fayre 1040237
#540072 Hello,
Got it! This looks really good. The buttons are acting as expected now. The .listatc command also seems to be working.
The notes tab also looks good, but I haven't checked private message tabs yet.
One thing I noticed. After the settings tab, there are two tab stops that aren't labeled. The first one says nothing, the second one just says "x". What are these?
By Sarah Alawami 1469385
#540136 Cool, can those two tab stops be labeled as maybe "minimize" and "exit" or something to that effect? I didn't quite look around the whole interface, still kind of resting for a bit.

Happy Monday, and again thanks so much.

One more question, if we do stream our experiences with vatsim, do we have permission to stream this updated client, or not yet. I want to make sure before one of us does it either by accident or what not.