[R] Using R with screenreading software

Roopakshi Pathania r_akshi_tgk at yahoo.com
Mon May 10 22:07:58 CEST 2010


I use R with a screen reader to do statistical and financial analysis. 

There are a couple of things that your student can do.

R was created on Linux, and then ported to Windows. So she can use R under Linux where the CLI is perfectly accessible.
There are 2 main screen readers for Linux: Speakup for the text console and Orca for the Gnome Desktop.
Also, ESS, an extension to Emacs can be used as well.

On Windows, the accessibility of R console can vary from screen reader to screen reader.
I mainly work on the R terminal found in C:\Program Files\R\R-2.10.0\bin. You could create a desktop shortcut for the Rterm.exe file.
If she is not comfortable typing directly on the R console, then a text editor can be used for the R code.
Any text editor can do, though I use Tinn-R, which is fairly accessible.
Tinn-R can be found here.

The code can either be pasted in R or can be run directly by using the source function.
See ?source

R output can be sent to a text file using sink()

 # Open the connection

 # Enter something
 x <- c(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

 # End the connection

More helpful would be ?sink and ?capture.output

Depending on what she has to do, R can also be used through Excel which is again accessible.

Roopakshi from India
> Message: 29
> Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 15:41:41 +0200
> From: "Rainer Scheuchenpflug"
>     <scheuchenpflug at psychologie.uni-wuerzburg.de>
> To: <r-help at r-project.org>
> Subject: [R] Using R with screenreading software
> Message-ID:
> <002e01caeb8f$8736b2c0$95a41840$@uni-wuerzburg.de>
> Content-Type: text/plain;   
> charset="iso-8859-1"
> Dear R-Experts,
> a student of mine tries to use the Windows-Rconsole with
> screen reading
> software (she is blind), and cannot access the command line
> (Menus are ok).
> The company which produces her screen reader tells her that
> this is due to
> the cursor used in Rconsole, which is static, not blinking.
> They maintain
> that if the cursor could be changed to a blinking one, she
> should be able to
> access the command line and outputs.
> For my last exam she used R in a Dosbox as workaround, but
> encountered other
> problems, esp. with scrolling. So: Is it possible to change
> the cursor
> type/behavior in R-Console? 
> She uses R 2.8.1, Windows 2000, and screenreader Virgo 4.6
> from Baum Retec,
> if that is any help.
> Your assistance with this problem and any other tips for
> teaching R to blind
> users will be much appreciated, 
> Rainer Scheuchenpflug
> Dr. Rainer Scheuchenpflug
> Lehrstuhl f?r Psychologie III
> R?ntgenring 11
> 97070 W?rzburg
> Tel:   0931-31-82185
> Fax:   0931-31-82616
> Mail:  scheuchenpflug at psychologie.uni-wuerzburg.de
> Web:      http://www.izvw.de

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