I’m not sure whether or not I’ve discussed this here, but to recap, all the Mirc-derived IRC clients create issues for the screenreader. No viewing the list of messages in the email client, no viewing wwhat’s in the system tray. Basically, the only thing I can do while the client’s loaded is browse the web,and that pretty much excludes editing forms, unless you’re an excellent typist and ayou’re absolutely sure you can avoid all clerical errors. Well, I’m pretty close to perfect, but typing without a single error is beyond even my capabilities. So, the search has been on for a newer, better, more accessible client. And I’ve found it. It’s called ChatZilla, and it’s an add-on for Firefox. Now, generally, I’m an Internet Explorer user, but that’s not so much because I have this overwhelming love for the browser. But I’m really considering to FF as my browser, with the exception of some pages that rely upon IE scripts for the screenreader. The IRC add-on allows you to press f6 to cycle between views, (list of users, input, and output), the page refreshes without being intrusive, and the page is nicely laid out in two tables. The only possible criticism I have is that the messages aren’t automatically read, but if you move down to the bottom of the table containing the messages, you can see the last one. It keeps a running log, so it’s possible to catch up if you’ve missed anything. So not automatically reading for me is a very minor inconvenience. I strongly encourage anyone who’s having accessibility issues to try this add-on, and maybe even consider switching your browser too. But if you don’t opt for the latter, at least opt for the former, and try the add-on.

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

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