AccessODF helps authors evaluate and improve the accessibility of their documents in OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice Writer. A document may contain many problems that the author is unaware of but that can keep someone with a disability from accessing the content. This is true whether documents are accessed in Writer itself, or exported to a more common format like HTML or PDF. Thanks to the extensions odt2daisy and odt2braille, Writer documents can be a suitable source for formats specifically aimed at persons with disabilities. But in order to create valid and usable Braille or DAISY books, the source document needs to be accessible.
You can do several things to increase the accessibility of ODT documents. The following documents give you a number of guidelines:
AccessODF helps you to keep these rules in mind and makes it very easy to write accessible documents. Checking the accessibility is now as straightforward as checking the spelling: similar to the spelling checker alerting you to potential spelling errors, the accessibility checker helps you identify and resolve potential accessibility issues.
AccessODF is available as an extension. The installation requires OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice 3.3. AccessODF runs on all platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux).
Warning: If you get an error dialog with the words com.sun.star.registry.CannotRegisterImplementationException in it when installing the extension on Ubuntu, open a command line and enter the command
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-java-common.
This solution may also work for other Linux distributions when you adapt the package installation command. For example, on Mageia 3, you need to run urpmi libreoffice-java-common (with administrative rights).
The accessibility checker is shown in the Accessibility section of the Task Pane in Writer.
You might have seen this Task Pane before in Impress, where it is used for Master Pages, Layouts, Custom Animations and Transitions. It is usually located at the right side of the workspace, but it can also be placed at the left or even undocked. To check the document for possible issues, do the following:
The task pane displays all issues in a 'tree' view. While navigating the issues, focus will move to the relevant location in the document. Each issue is classified as an error or a warning. Selecting an issue shows information about why something might be inaccessible, and instructions on how to fix it.
You can include or exclude certain checks specific to the export to DAISY and Braille. To show these options, go to Tools > Options... > OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice Writer > Accessibility Checker. In order to do Braille-specific checks, odt2braille version 1.1.0 or later must be installed.
Each error or warning includes instructions on how to fix it manually. For some issues, you can also use the handy Repair button. This button either fixes the issue automatically, or it sends you in the right direction so that you can skip a few steps. It is also possible that the checker reports an issue where no problem exists. In this case, just ignore the issue with the Ignore button.