Hello from Ohio, USA. Accessibility is my thing

Hello, I am in Ohio, an hour or so from the border with Canada. I found Logseq when searching for task management tools. I decided to try it because I am very intrigued by the non-linear organization of it, and the focus on knowledge management really grabbed my attention.

I spent 20+ years working in IT (on the infrastructure side) in international corporate environments.

Summary

I then became disabled (I’ll spare you the details of that for now), and for the last 10+ years, have not been able to work full time. I segued from IT into disability rights and social justice activism, which is my true passion. The IT work paid the bills (quite nicely) and I found it interesting, but not enough so that I am disappointed about no longer being able to work within the un-sustainably grueling and high-pressure environments I used to. I am, however, very enthusiastic about ways to contribute and collaborate in that part of the ven diagram where disability activism and nerdy computer stuff overlap.

Ergo, “Accessibility” has become my topic of avid interest.

Right now, I am having a “love it but hate it” reaction to what I’ve seen so far exploring Logseq.

Summary

It seems to me to have a lot of promise, and it’s firing up my imagination regarding all the different ways it could be very helpful for organizing and managing various projects I have in mind. That being said, I am struggling with it a lot because I am finding both the app and the user community environments to be not very accessible for me (I am happy to discuss details of that with anyone who expresses an interest).

Both as personal and “bigger world” interests, I would really love to see accessibility become more of a concern and proactive focus than it appears to be here. (Case in point: “accessibility” isn’t even available as a tag I could add to this post; that is rather disappointing to me). My time and energy are fairly limited and inconsistent, but I am open to doing what I can, in collaboration with, or support of, anyone else here who would like to find ways to increase awareness about, and focus on, accessibility in this community. I am not an expert on the technical aspects of accessibility, but I do have some knowledge and a lot of IRL experience with it. I would love to continue to increase my knowledge and experience in a way that also contributes to increased inclusion and awareness in the entire tech field.

For anyone who is curious, but doesn’t know what I mean by “accessibility,” or why it should matter to them, here are a few resources to get the idea across. I also have many more resources, thoughts and ideas to share if there is any interest:
ADA Accessibility Standards - Please be aware that ADA guidelines are just a starting place, and that it is USA-specific. What is required by law in the US is horribly insufficient, and better than nothing, but not nearly enough. But for anyone who has an interest in disability rights in the US, it is important to know what the bare minimum, according to the law, is.

GPII Developer Space - Full disclosure: I know virtually nothing about this organization; I just found it a few days ago. But it appears to have a treasure trove of tools, resources, bullet-list explanations, tutorials and other information for developers who want to make sure their offerrings are accessible. At the very least, it ought to be a good place to get a general sense of what is required to make an app or site accessible.

The 10 Principles of Disability Justice- -Disability “rights” is just the starting place for addressing ableism (and the resulting lack of accessibility) in societies. For anyone who is willing to go there (in my wildest dreams, I hope everyone is) understanding how a lack of accessibility perpuates ableism, which is systemic, to varying degrees, in most countries requires an understanding of the concepts of ableism and disability within a social justice framework. That’s what the Disability Justice movement is about. Note: there is a disabilityjusticeDOTorg website; it is not affiliated with the Disability Justice movement, or any of its founders.

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Hello.

I’m a blind person, and I help teach other people who are blind how to use technology. There is a lot I have to keep up with. I have nearing 16 students on my own, and plenty more that other staff work with. I have dozens of courses I try to keep up to date, and just lots of other info I’d like to be able to simply and quickly manage. So, I’ve always been looking for a good, crossplatform knowledge management system. I’ve gone from Org-mode (Accessible on Mac and Linux, not so much on Windows due to Emacs and Emacspeak not working so well on that platform), to Dendron, which seems to really be primarily for developers, which I’m not really one of those yet.

I primarily work on Windows, since Linux accessibility isn’t good enough yet for daily use by someone with a job and things to get done. So Emacs and Org-mode are relegated to a ChromeBook, which yes I use sometimes, but that has other issues. So, basically, I’m between Obsidion and Logseq.

My supervisor uses Logseq, and I’ve tried both out. Both aren’t very easy to use. Either I can’t read what I’ve written, can’t navigate the text, or focus management isn’t very quick or productive across the interface. I know Elektron apps can be accessible, VS Code does most things very well, and apps like Bolena Etcher is pretty nice to use.

But I’m not only thinking about myself. Blind students who are going into college could really use things like this, for managing all the stuff they have to take notes on, stuff like that. So far, all we have are simple “Notes” apps on iPhones and Braille “tablets” running Android 8 or 10, that don’t approach the tip of Logseq’s features.

Since the web is, if used correctly, one of the most accessible platforms, I think what are basically web apps, could be just as accessible. With keyboard shortcuts, the use of Markdown, and using HTML, Logseq is closer than, say, apps that use SDL or something that draws their UI on the screen directly. Yes, it’ll take work. But it could be so much worse. I hope people with disabilities and the community and developers can work together to make Logseq something that anyone, truly anyone, can use.

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Hi, Devin!
It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for sharing some of your experience and thoughts about accessibility. You are right: it could be much worse! What I am hoping is that we can start to catalog ways in which logseq creates blockades to accessibility in various scenarios, and for various disabilities and/or sensory states. I am hoping that the owners of this forum will create a category (or at least tags) for accessibility issues, and that we can start to bring these forward. And I truly hope that the developers will regard this as an attempt to contribute to making logseq available to more people because we are already sold on it being a great app. I definitely don’t want to come from a place of complaining or criticizing, but I do want the developers and the community (most of whom, apparently, don’t have non-typical accessibility challenges) to take this seriously, and understand that there are so many things that seem trivial to most people that can create barriers for some people, and that those people deserve access just as much as those who don’t have what are often considered “special” needs. (I put that word in quotes because I don’t like it in this context, as it implies a sort of unintentionally derogatory, in spite of being well meant, perception of the lived experience and accommodation requirements of disabled people). I know it’s a bit of overkill for the scope of this particular thread, but I would like, at some point, to post information in the forum about the social vs. medical models of disability, so that people here can use that information to shift the way they think about disability and how/why/when it is important to prioritize accessibility as an integral feature - not a “nice to have if there’s time” add-on.

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Hi LShark,

I am interested in Accessibility, too. I originally looked at this while researching notetakers as an Assistive Technology Specialist. I love the non-linear nature of the notes and spontaneous cross-connections. I could see someone going into upper class at a university using this to make connections throughout their education process. I started donating to support Logseq specifically because I didn’t feel I was in a position for feature requests if I didn’t have a stake in supporting the software.

I’m no longer an AT Specialist, but I use this daily, and I recommend it to others. I want it to be made more accessible, and I just wanted to add my voice to your introduction. Thanks for mentioning Accessibility!

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Nice to meet you, Mark! I love that you were an AT Specialist. I’m really interested in AT, but don’t know much about it yet.

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Assistive technology is interesting. working with a student’s strengths and finding tools to augment their strengths to overcome a college classroom. The past few years have seen many of the tools become mainstream. At the same time, there are people trying to do more with them, so it really takes a specialist to be effective. I loved the challenge but hated the commute. I’m closer to home in a field that is a little friendlier to having little ones.

Here is a great list of assistive technology tools a friend and colleague made. It has a flowchart to help get an idea where students struggle and a bunch of different options for a variety of tools. Some of his info is a little out of date, but useful to know, since there were times that I had to rely on old software to do a task.

the one really weak point in AT is notetaking. Custom solutions for education like Glean don’t have the guts of tools like OneNote. OneNote is great except they removed the ability to search in recordings and (at least a couple years ago) it wouldn’t give you a transcript. I also found it was too free-form for some students who would get lost in the options, or become to enamored with making things pretty to actually pay attention.

LogSeq’s PDF handling was one of the things that initially interested me in this tool. It has a lot of potential. I wish I still had the student connection, but I’m finding it helpful to my new role. I can definitely talk your ear off about accessibility and AT, inequities in current educational practices, and the promise of higher level mathematics for VI students, but I should probably get some work done :smiley:

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Oh, wow, the AT trello you linked here is really informative! I have a ton of knowledge in both the IT world and from a social justice / disability rights perspective, and what I’m working on these days is merging the two, and a focus on accessibility is the natural outcome of that merging. But I don’t know nearly enough about it, so this is a really helpful info resource. Thanks so much for sharing it. :smile:

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Hi LShark,
as Mark_mintz, I don´t feel in the position to request such features, but I´d love to add some guidelines and criteria as reference, if somebody wants to look into it.
WCAG 2.2 - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Those criteria from the w3c (world wide web consortium) are - at least in europe - demanded for Websites and Apps of the public sector. They don´t cover everything, but they might be helpfull. :wink:

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If Logseq uses LaTex for math input, it could reall be great for students that need to write both pros and math in one file. Org-mode handles this pretty well. But as I’ve probably said before, not many blind people use either Mac or Linux, which is needed for Emacs and Emacspeak to work well.

Hi all. Logseq 0.8.6 has accessibility improvements, so I thought I’d start at the beginning and describe what happens as I open a fresh Logseq.

So, I installed Logseq with winget, because I’m too lazy to go to the website and download it. It did install 8.6 though. After installing Logseq, I opened it, and was immediately placed into a block editor. However, I wanted to look around the page. I did so, and under the block editor, I found the getting started section.

This was a little confusing to me, as I thought that since I was placed into a block editor, I was good to go and start writing. But I have to choose a place to put the files first. Speaking of placing the files, the buttons to “Choose a folder” and “Open existing directory or Create a new one” are just shown as clickable elements, not buttons. One can use the role attribute to style them as buttons to screen readers, so that they can use quick navigation techniques to reach buttons faster.

After choosing a folder, I then am placed into a block editor again. I begin reviewing the page from the top. There are six unlabeled buttons after the skip to content link. After the heading “Sep 16th, 2022”, there are two unlabeled links. When editing blocks, I can now edit and read each block. I’ve also heard one can do slash (/) and get commands one can put into blocks. When I pressed slash then typed the letter T, I heard nothing. One can create menus with ARIA. The options do appear, as plain text, under the block editor.

Overall, I think at this point I may be able to begin using this as a sort of replacement for Org-mode. I think I might be able to do the basic tasks of creating a file, adding blocks, maybe doing ToDo items, and exploring other commands. Thanks all who have worked on the accessibility in this version, and I hope this feedback gives enough info for further enhancements and fixes.

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Hi all!

@DevinPrater Some improvements were indeed released in the latest versions of Logseq, but there is still a fair amount of work that needs to be done regarding accessibility. It would probably take some time to get to an adequate level, but I believe we can get there. Personal experiences are the best way to test and improve a product, so thank you for the detailed feedback :purple_heart:.

@Torf This document was also added to the project. It is not a complete guide, but it should be a good starting point.