Accessibility for screenreader(s)


So far, AppImages have brought some very nice and instant-runnable applications to my Ubuntu desktop: Etcher and more recently KeePassXC. Thumbs up for that!

As a visual impaired user, I use a screenreader (Orca), but find both AppImages to be totally inaccessible. The window title is spoken, but once the window has focus, Orca goes silent.

Are AppImages indeed not accessible to screenreaders? If so, could this be made part of the roadmap?

I am not an accessibility developer, but am a subscriber of the Orca mailing list. What would be needed to include accessibility support?

Thank you very much,
Frans-Willem Post

Hello Frans-Willem, I doubt that AppImage changes anything regarding accessibility. How accessible an application is will likely depend on which ingredients the application author has put into the AppImage. After all, an AppImage is just a self-mounting filesystem image that, when executed, mounts itself and executes the payload application.

Are you saying that the same applications, when not run as an AppImage, are more accessible?

As for KeePassXC, it is a Qt application, and the AppImage bundles a private copy of Qt (not the one in the system), which does not use the Qt plugins from the system. Possibly Qt applications need the Qt accessibility plugins to be deployed in order to be accessible? Do you know?

Etcher, on the other hand, is an Electron app. I don’t know whether there is something similar to Qt accessibility plugins for Electron.

Thank you for the quick response. Now I understand what AppImages are, and what they’re not.

I have heard about Qt being accessible, if the developer pays attention to it. Electron, however, has a bad name in accessibility.

I will try to contact the developer(s) to consider and include accessibility in their applications.